The Fondation Cartier Celebrates 30 Years

This Friday I was lucky enough to be able to attend the press view for the opening of the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain’s new exhibition “Vivid Memories” which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Foundation. For the last three decades, since it’s launch by founder Alain Dominique Perrin and artist César in 1984, the foundation has been supporting contemporary arts. As part of their patronage they have been commissioning great artworks, truly launching several artists’ careers, and holding seminal music and performance events, including a reunion concert between Lou Reed and the rest of the Velvet Underground in 1990.

The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris
The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris

If you are happening to be around Paris sometime between now and September 2014, I strongly suggest you drop by the Fondation and check out the exhibition. It is housed in an amazing glass structure, designed by star-architect Jean Nouvel (he also designed the Quai Branly in Paris and the One New Change in London). While some of Nouvel’s designs have received mixed receptions, I was positively surprised by how well he incorporated the open glass structure of the Fondation inside a garden. Arriving at street level, the building is hardly visible between all the fauna surrounding it.

Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake
Lamp installation by Issey Miyake in the garden of the Fondation Cartier

In the spirit of connecting the building with its surroundings, the exhibition begins in the garden. Here, emerging from the plants, geometric and at the same time organically shaped lamps by designer Issey Miyake have been installed. Inside the large open exhibition space a selection of artworks from the Fondation’s collection by diverse artists such as Chéri Samba, Alessandro Mendini, David Lynch, Beat Takeshi Kitano, Marc Newson and many more are on display.

Below you can find some more impressions from the exhibition and my experience at the press view.

View of the Exhibition "Vivid Memories"
View of the Exhibition “Vivid Memories”
Bodys Isek Kingelez
Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez’sKinshasa: Project for the Third Millenium, 1997
Ron Mueck, In Bed
Austrian artist Ron Mueck’s In Bed, 2005
Exhibition view with Mark Newson, Kelvin 40 (front) and Issey Miyake, Shadows (back)
Exhibition view with Mark Newson, Kelvin 40, 2004 (front) and Issey Miyake’s lamps (hanging from the ceiling).
View from the 8th floor of the Cartier Foundation
View from the 8th floor of the Cartier Foundation. Next to the Tour Montparnasse a tiny Eiffel tower is visible.
Petit Fours and espresso
Petit Fours and Espresso. The French really do know their pastries.

Vivid Memories – 30 Years of Stories is on from 10 May – 21 September at the Fondation Cartier, Paris. In October 2014 the exhibition will be replaced with a newly created installation by architects Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio. The new display will allow an outlook into the Foundation’s future engagement with contemporary art. I imagine the second part of the 30th anniversary celebrations will be equally exciting as this first survey on the Fondation’s history as a pioneer in corporate patronage.

All photos (except the first one) are my own. Please give credit when reproducing.


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