Is Paris becoming fertile ground for private foundations?
Following François Pinault’s return to the French capital, after an unceremonious departure from the country following the failure of the Ile Seguin project — which was then realized at Palazzo Grassi in Venice, private foundations in the French capital are beginning to blossom. Thanks to businessmen and collectors, the foundations, some longstanding and others newly established, are fighting to gain the best locations and develop the most powerful set of guiding principles.
Though the press has been concerned mainly with the forthcoming installation of the Pinault's collection at the Bourse du Commerce in Paris’ center, other foundations have gained the attention of the media, particularly since September and the FIAC week.
Thibault Poutrel: At the forefront of young creativity
Hailing from the world of finance but now a collector based in London, Thibault Poutrel is in the process of setting up an endowment fund, which is securing funding from a number of financial backers to ensure its longevity. The goal of this endowment fund is to develop art schools and foster young creativity. Art patronage is in Poutrel’s DNA. A donor to the Tate and the Centre Pompidou, and a member of both the Tate’s Latin American art acquisitions committee and the Pompidou’s international acquisitions committee, his efforts to support young creatives will be facilitated by the future foundation. Poutrel explains his desire to be “close to schools, to young graduates, and to minor biennials which are often in need funding. These may be somewhat prosaic topics, but they are crucial if we want to continue to see artistic variety.” People had the opportunity to see his choice of collectors at an event he hosted alongside Frieze. Collected under the title “Territories,” the selection of works — which included pieces by Fayçal Baghriche and Jannis Kounellis — are connected by their interest in globalization, migration, and personal identity.
In January, the foundation will announce the name of the first institution to benefit from its endowment.
Jannis Kounellis. Thibault Poutrel Contemporary Art Ltd Collection, London
Tradition meets innovation at the Etrillard Foundation
A former banker at Lazard Frères, Gilles Etrillard founded his eponymous foundation in 2015. With offices in Geneva and Paris, the foundation hopes to open its next premises in Florence and New York. The Etrillard Foundation wants to set up a dialogue between tradition and contemporary art with three key themes in mind: art, religion and power. The foundation’s first Paris exhibition, entitled “Renaissances: A Contemporary Tribute to Florence,” and organized by director Anna Morettini, offers a reflection on these core themes in relation to Florence’s past and present. It features the photographs of Candida Höfer (Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze I), Massimo Vitali (Firenze Via Via) and a series by Thomas Struth. A marble and resin sculpture by Ryan Gander, which echoes the style of Renaissance sculpture, will also be on display, alongside modernist illustrations by Sandow Birk inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy.
As well as putting on its own show, the Fondation Etrillard is offering sponsorship to other exhibitions, as was the case this year with “Carambolages,” organized by Jean-Hubert Martin for the Grand Palais (March through July), and “Paul Klee: l’ironie à l’oeuvre,” at the Centre Pompidou (April through August). In its most recent initiative, the foundation has created the Prix Anna Morettini, an award themed around the 15th century Italian monk and preacher Savonarola. The winner will be awarded €20,000 and will have their work exhibited in Paris and Florence.
Ryan Gander, I is (xii), 2015. Courtesy the artist & Esther Schipper, Berlin. Photo : Andrea Rossetti
Galeries Lafayette Foundation
Guillaume Houzé, Director of Communications at Galeries Lafayette and longtime lover of contemporary art, ran a curatorial project with Lafayette Anticipations from October 2013 to October 2016. It is in this context that he is putting on “Faisons de l’inconnu un allié” in the former Weber Métaux shop in the Marais, an exhibition which brings together work by artists who participated in Lafayette Anticipations. François Quintin, the project’s director, explains that Lafayette Anticipations, “wants to situate these artists differently, not on the margins, but in a central position that allies poetics with politics. It is not about deifying these artists or extolling their virtues, but rather about questioning what they embody in society.”
In Autumn 2017, the Galeries Lafayette Foundation will open at 9 rue du Plâtre, in a 26,900-foot-space that is being renovated by the OMA agency.
©Fondation Galeries Lafayette
Hôtel de la Salle, 21 rue de l’Université 75007 Paris
“Renaissances: A Tribute to Contemporary Florence,” runs until December 18, 2016.
Galeries Lafayette Foundation
9 rue du Plâtre 75004, Paris (opening in Fall 2017)