The Fondation Cartier’s Famous Collection of Living Artists
The Fondation Cartier expresses Cartier´s commitment to the arts as a corporate patron. A pioneer in the field, Cartier invests on an unrivalled scale to promote the art of its time. From its inception in 1984, it has established a long-term commitment to artists of all nationalities. The Fondation Cartier remains committed to the artists whose work it continues to support. Its collection thus contains groups of works by artists whose careers it has followed, such as Raymond Hains, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Gérard Garouste, Alain Séchas, and James Coleman.
The richness of the collection also comes from a policy of acquiring monumental works, often conceived for the exhibition space on the ground floor of the building designed by Jean Nouvel, among them: La Volière (“The Aviary”) by Jean-Pierre Raynaud, The Monument to Language by James Lee Byars, Backyard by Liza Lou, Everything that Rises Must Converge by Sarah Sze, and Caterpillar by Wim Delvoye.
From the very beginning, the intention has been to build a collection that is committed to and situates itself on the side of living artists. This eclectic and specialized collection currently contains over 1000 works by 300 artists, testifying to the Fondation´s vision of contemporary art over more than twenty years. It grows by an average of 15 major works each year, legacies for the future that are selected by an international committee of professionals from the art world. All the different art forms are represented: painting, sculpture, video, photography, installations, design and filmmaking.
Throughout the years, via projects and acquisitions, it has developed special relationships with artists whose work may not easily fit into a museum or institutional context. This is the case with David Hammons, Panamarenko, and Jean-Michel Alberola. Beginning with Alberola’s paintings in the 80s and continuing to his most recent installations, the Fondation´s relationship with this artist is emblematic of the enduring support and unfailing loyalty it shows to creators.
Traveling exhibits of works from its collection have helped young French artists such as Jean Michel Othoniel, Vincent Beaurin or the talented videographer Pierrick Sorin gain international recognition. Finally, many foreign artists are represented in its collection, including Huang Yong Ping (China), Yukio Nakagawa (Japan), Alair Gomes (Brazil), William Kentridge (South Africa), Thomas Demand (Germany), Guillermo Kuitca (Argentina), and Bodys Isek Kingelez (the Congo).
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