Places of interest20 July 2018

Warhol, Lichtenstein, Botticelli land on the island of Porquerolles: guided tour of the Carmignac Foundation [Video & photo gallery]

Visitors and art lovers will be able to discover big names thanks to the impressive collection gathered by the financier in his youth, Andy Warhol to Roy Lichtenstein going through a ... Botticelli.

Credit Facebook site

Credit Facebook site

A portrait of Carmignac, signed Jean-Michel Basquiat shows his interest and admiration for artists. The permanent collection of the Foundation brings together more than 70 works. Architecture and art meet in huge bright rooms. Even though the art center is seven meters below the wine estate, the visitor always feels like being in daylight.

“Liberté” [freedom] is Fondation Carmignac’s guiding principle. Over the last twenty years, the collection has been put together in a pioneering spirit, disregarding borders and taboos. Each acquisition is driven by an appetite for novelty, by the pleasure of immersing oneself in a singular world, by the desire to be drawn into the youthfulness of a fresh outlook. A glance at my partners, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat or Roy Lichtenstein is the right antidote to conformity and convention. Their revolutionary diversions, which have now become universal codes, are an obvious source of inspiration and energy, for myself as well as for my teams: a constant call for self-criticism, vigilance and clarity.

These legendary works are witnesses to an exceptional era, carried by one of the most powerful currents of subversion and freedom known in history. They provide a different way of seeing.

Since the creation of Carmignac Gestion, the collection epitomizes new currents of contemporary creativity with a single overarching priority: that each work should generate a new sensation, a rich and unique aesthetic emotion.

If there are bridges between the world of art and the financial asset management profession, they are this state of alertness, this independence of spirit and this autonomy. Through these different events, for us, Fondation Carmignac is a human adventure that has meaning only by its being shared.

Edouard Carmignac

Opening exhibition - Sea of DesirePorquerolles island till November 4, 2018 Open every day

Dieter Buchhart - Curator

The phrase SEA OF DESIRE, written in sprawling letters on a large-scale painting by Ed Ruscha, greets the visitors at the end of their journey through the Porquerolles forest. ‘Words have temperature’, states the artist, ‘When they reach a certain point and become burning words, then they appeal to me….’. The ’word temperature’ of SEA OF DESIRE is hot, boiling over with ambiguous meaning. On the one hand, this sentence expresses the Eros drive and our desire for beauty. On the other, it contains our irresistible attraction to drama and potentially, destruction. 

These two contrary and inseparable predilections sit at the heart of a literary masterpiece, written not far from Porquerolles, at Sanary sur Mer, in 1931: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This science-fiction novel anticipated profound social changes due to new technologies, propaganda and mind control. Thirty years later, Huxley revisited his novel and reassessed that the world was fulfilling his prophecy in high-speed: a seductive world entertaining for the masses, but rotten and manipulative under the surface.

Fifty years ago in France, in May 1968, there was an awakening. The outbursts meant protest, civil disobedience, as well as newfound freedoms and the upheaval of old rules and systems. The exhibition SEA OF DESIRE does not throw paving stones, as in the May 1968 movement, but it does confront the viewer with artworks that challenge their appetite for revolt, freedom and beauty. 

SEA OF DESIRE is devised as a journey guided by the thread of desire, which visitors must follow in order to lose themselves, from the first staircase that leads them beneath the surface. Rebellious iconic artists are in dialogue with each other throughout the eight chapters that structure the exhibition, from ‘Pop Icons Reloaded’ to ‘Brave New World Revisited’, including Sandro Botticelli, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, along with younger artists who’s artistic voices are no less loud and clear.

International editions:   English | Deutsch | Russian