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Analysis out of the box

Can a French award increase an artist’s international reach?

Analysis out of the boxContemporary Art | As in other professional corporations, the field of contemporary art counts with a variety of awards; given by brands, companies, foundations, collectors’ associations… While not all of them have a significant impact on their beneficiary’s reputation, some can actually exert a leverage effect on their careers; particularly through the bonds created with internationally renowned institutions. We present five actions that favor the French art scene’s diffusion worldwide.

Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017 Joana Hadjithomas et Khalil Joreige © Centre Pompidou, 2017, Audrey Laurans
Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017 Joana Hadjithomas et Khalil Joreige
© Centre Pompidou, 2017, Audrey Laurans

The Prize Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, a stepping stone

Clément Cogitore, Un archipel, 2011 © Photographie - Aurélien Mole / Fondation d'entreprise Ricard
Clément Cogitore, Un archipel, 2011
© Photographie - Aurélien Mole / Fondation d'entreprise Ricard
Every year since 1999, the Prize Fondation d’entreprise Ricard invites a curator to put together an exhibition on the young French art scene; the jury consists of art collectors and curators from previous editions. The winning artist is awarded a grant to present a project abroad, while one of his works is purchased and donated to the Centre Pompidou’s collection.
Recipients of the prize also benefit from favorable conditions to build a reputation among the international contemporary art network. In this sense, the Prize Fondation d’entreprise Ricard has been a stepping stone when it comes to French awards.

Isabelle Cornaro, winner of the 2010 edition, represented by the Balice Hertling gallery and the Francesca Pia gallery; subsequently exhibited at the White Cube, the Palais de Tokyo and the Hermès Corporate Foundation in Brussels. She participated in group exhibitions at the Modern Art Gallery in Rome, the City of Paris’ Museum of Modern Art, the Palais de Tokyo in 2011, the Sharjah Biennale and the Sculpture Center in New York… In 2016, while Cornaro reinvented herself as an artist-curator, her protégé Clement Cogitore won that year’s award.

Lili Reynaud Dewar, the 2013 edition’s winner, represented by the Kamel Mennour Gallery, Emanuel Layr and Clearing, exhibited at the New Museum in New York for Live Through That? ! , among others. In 2014 and 2016, the Kamel Mennour Gallery produced the exhibitions Living with this? ! and Teeth, gums, machines, future, society. In 2015, the artist participated in the 56th Venice Biennale All the World’s Futures.

Other beneficiaries develop their international careers over longer periods of time, such as Tatiana Trouvé (2001) or Mircea Cantor (2004), while some artists such as Didier Marcel (1999) or Loris Gréaud (2005) have had fluctuating careers since they received the prize.

The Marcel Duchamp Prize : a label and a platform for synergy

Tatiana Trouvé, vue de l'exposition ''4 between 3 and 2'' au Centre Pompidou Paris, 2008 © Courtesy Perrotin, photographie : Florian Kleinefenn
Tatiana Trouvé, vue de l'exposition ''4 between 3 and 2'' au Centre Pompidou Paris, 2008
© Courtesy Perrotin, photographie : Florian Kleinefenn
The collectors association ADIAF, directed by Gilles Fuchs, founded the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2000. Its goal was to promote the French artistic scene, which had little weight in the international market. In its beginnings, ADIAF partnered with FIAC and the Centre Pompidou, which organized the winner’s exhibition. Since 2016, the Marcel Duchamp Prize attained an institutional dimension based on its new bond with the Centre Pompidou. The cultural centre exhibits two shows : that of the nominated artists (selected by a group of collectors and one of the Pompidou’s curator), and that of the award’s beneficiary the following year. Besides this exposure, the Prize consists of a 35,000 euros grant which is awarded to a French artist or an artist residing in France.

The final jury, which is renovated each year, consists of personalities with a power of influence on the international art scene. In 2017, for instance, the group was composed of Bernard Blistène (Director of the Centre Pompidou), Gilles Fuchs (ADIAF’s President), Carmen Gimenez (United States), Chinese collector Mao Jihong, artistic director Jérôme Sans, German collector Erika Hoffmann and Akemi Shirana (representative of the Marcel Duchamp association). In 2018, Jérôme Sans curates Le Grand Écart at the TsingHua University Art Museum, an exhibition that displays the works of 11 of the Marcel Duchamp Prize’s beneficiaries.

In comparison with the prestigious Turner Prize, the Marcel Duchamp Prize positions itself as a label when it comes to the French artistic scene, acting as a platform for synergy. Among the initial award winners, the case of Tatiana Trouvé (2007) is indicative; nowadays the artist is represented by the Perrotin gallery (previously by the Gagosian gallery), she participated in the Venice Biennale (2007), Manifesta (2008), the São Paulo Biennale (2010) and the Lyon (2015), Istanbul and Buenos Aires Biennales (2017) . She has also taken part in several collective exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, the Palais de Tokyo, the Museum of Decorative Arts (Paris), the Pinault Foundation, the Castello di Rivoli …

The artist duo Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel (2012), represented by the Lœvenbruck gallery, have promoted their distinctive work with their presence in major institutions and events such as Documenta 2017, the Centre Pompidou, White Cube or the MOMA with collective exhibitions…

The Meurice Prize

Morgan Courtois, Still Life XXII © Jean Picon
Morgan Courtois, Still Life XXII
© Jean Picon
Created under the leadership of Franka Holtmann, General Manager of the Parisian palace Le Meurice, the Meurice Prize for contemporary art has awarded an artist and his/her French gallery every year, for the last ten years. The Prize consists in an endowment of 20,000 euros destined to finance an exhibition project abroad.

The selection committee, which has remained unchanged since its foundation in 2008, comprises influential actors active in the art world. It was conceived as a collegiate body with the purpose of instituting the prize beyond the time of the event, which takes place during the FIAC. The committee’s members are : Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Sponsor of the Prize - Colette Barbier, Director of the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard - Nicolas Bourriaud, Artistic Director of the contemporary art space La Panacée - Philippe Dagen, writer and professor at the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Claire Moulène, artistic consultant - Montse Aguer, Director of the Center for Dalinian Studies - Jennifer Flay, Director of the FIAC - Marta Gili, Director of the Jeu de Paume - Jean de Loisy, President of the Palais de Tokyo - Maryvonne Pinault, Collector - Franka Holtmann, Managing Director of the Meurice - Henri Loyrette, State councilor and Hans-Ulrich Obrist, guest of honor.

Nine artists have won the Prize since its creation, among them we have Saâdane Afif (who had already received the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2009) and the Mehdi Chouakri gallery in 2015. The same year, his work was presented at the 56th Venice Biennale. In 2016, he exhibited Quoi? - L’Eternité at the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès in Séoul and in 2017, the Centre Pompidou hosted his personal exhibition The Fountain Archives.

Artist Neïl Beloufa, who won the Prize in 2014 along with the Balice Hertling gallery, presented two personal exhibitions in 2016 : Projects 102 : Neïl Beloufa at MoMA New York and Soft (a) ware at the K11 Art Foundation in Shanghai.

Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, who received the Prize in 2012 along with the Marcelle Alix gallery, participated in several biennales and collective exhibitions such as the Palais de Tokyo Triennial in 2012, the Venice Biennale in 2015, the Palais de Tokyo again in 2013, the Centre Pompidou Metz in 2015 and the Villa Médicis in Rome in 2017…

The SAM prize, supporting the young international art scene

Vue de l’exposition de Mel O’Callaghan “Dangerous on-the-way”, Palais de Tokyo. Sam Art Projects © Photo André Morin
Vue de l’exposition de Mel O’Callaghan “Dangerous on-the-way”, Palais de Tokyo. Sam Art Projects
© Photo André Morin
The SAM prize, which was founded in 2009 by Sandra Hegedüs, is one of SAM Art Projects main actions. Every year, the non-profit organization awards a prize to a French visual artist or a foreigner living in France; the requirements are being 25 or older and being represented by an art gallery in Europe. The prize comprises an exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, a catalogue’s edition and an endowment of 20,000 euros destined to support the realization of a project in a foreign country (non-European or North American).

The jury consists of the following personalities : Jean de Loisy, director of the Palais de Tokyo - Jean-Hubert Martin, curator - Sandra Hegedüs, founder of SAM Art Projects - Marie-Ann Yemsi, curator - Alfred Pacquement, former director of the National Museum of Modern Art - Laurent Le Bon, director of the Picasso Museum - Marc-Olivier Walher, director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and Thierry Raspail, director of the MAC in Lyon.

Franco-Moroccan artist Bouchra Khalili, represented by the Polaris gallery, won the prize in 2013. She then presented her exhibition Garden Conversation at the MACBA, Foreign Office at the Palais de Tokyo in 2015 and Bouchra Khalili : The Mapping Journey Project at the MoMA in 2016. The artist also displayed her work at the Lisson Gallery in 2017, at the de Paume in 2018, and participated in the Venice Biennale in 2013 as well as Documenta 14 and the Taipei Biennale in 2017.

Mel O’callaghan, represented by the Allen Gallery in Paris and the Galeria Belo-Galsterer in Lisbon, won the Prize Sam for contemporary art in 2015. She presented several solo exhibitions such as Ensemble at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne and Dangerous on-the-way at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, in 2017. The artist also participated in L’art de la révolte at the Centre Pompidou and in Do Disturb at the Palais de Tokyo in 2016, as well as Demain dans la bataille pense à moi at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Villeurbanne in 2015. It is also worth noticing that Mel O’callaghan was a finalist for the Meurice prize in 2017.

The Emerige Revelation grant

Physics of a Cloud – Initial Condition Lifetime Concession n°77, Objet n°33, Objet n°34, Objet n°35 - 2016. Vue d'exposition, mai 2016, New York, USA © Courtesy of Cercle de La Horla
Physics of a Cloud – Initial Condition Lifetime Concession n°77, Objet n°33, Objet n°34, Objet n°35 - 2016. Vue d'exposition, mai 2016, New York, USA
© Courtesy of Cercle de La Horla
The Emerige Revelation grant, which was created in 2014 by the president of the real estate group Emerige Laurent Dumas, is aimed at French artists or artists residing in France, under 35, with no gallery representation. The 15,000 euro grant is intended for the conception of a solo exhibition in a French gallery and in a foreign one since 2017. The award also provides a support system during the creation of the project, access to a workshop for a year and a financial sum destined to cover the production of the work and the exhibition’s setup.
The members of the jury belong to the organization, which consists of Laurent Dumas, director of artistic projects Angélique Aubert and art critic and curator Gaël Charbau; each year they are joined by the director of the gallery hosting the laureate artist’s exhibition.

Artist Vivien Roubaud won the award in 2014 and exhibited at the gallery In Situ Fabien Leclerc. The following year, the gallery presented an installation of his at the Jardin des Tuileries, in the context of FIAC’s Hors les murs program in 2015. In 2016, the Palais de Tokyo displayed one of his in-situ installations with the support of the Emerige Revelations Grant. The same year, the grant was given to Edgar Sarin, born in 1988. Even though it is too soon yet to analyze the international reach of these recent laureates, we notice that Edgar Sarin’s work was present at the FIAC both at the Michel Rein gallery stand and at the german Konrad Fischer gallery.

These French awards for contemporary art constitute a platform that brings greater visibility to artists, as is the case with national art prizes in other countries; the main condition required is the exposure of their work in the international sphere through their participation in events such as biennales and fairs.

Carlotta Montaldo / Vincent Kozsilovics
Publié le 30/04/2018
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Version française

Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017 Joana Hadjithomas et Khalil Joreige © Centre Pompidou, 2017, Audrey Laurans

Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017 Joana Hadjithomas et Khalil Joreige
© Centre Pompidou, 2017, Audrey Laurans

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