Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain – Paris
The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is an institution and an art center in Paris focused on the promotion and display of the most diverse forms of contemporary art and cultural expression.
Nouvel’s building and Baumgarten’s garden
Founded in 1984 by Alain Dominique Perrin, chairman of the luxury brand Cartier, the Foundation is housed since 1994 in an iconic building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel on Boulevard Raspail, in Paris’s 14th arrondissement.
For the Cartier Foundation, Nouvel designed a 113,000-square-foot building marked by large glazed facades through which the flexible and naturally-lit interior spaces of the center are put in direct visual relationship with the garden which surrounds it.
Entitled Theatrum Botanicum and designed by German artist Lothar Baumgarten, the garden is actually a giant art installation – made of trees, shrubs, and flowers – which evolves throughout the seasons.
Programs of activities and exhibitions
The Cartier Foundation develops an enduring activity aimed to promote contemporary culture by organizing activities that involve artists and intellectuals of the greatest International relevance. The center, therefore, commissions site-specific artworks and installations and features exhibitions of visual arts, architecture and design, live performances, and music concerts.
International artists presented in monographic and thematic exhibitions at the Cartier Foundation in the last twenty years include Bruce Nauman (2015), Diller Scofidio + Renfro (2014), Ron Mueck (2013), Yue Minjun (2012), Beat Takeshi Kitano (2010), Andrea Branzi (2008), Patti Smith (2008), David Lynch (2007), Agnès Varda (2006), Hiroshi Sugimoto (2005), and Marc Newson (2005), among many others.
The program of the Cartier Foundation also includes various types of collateral activities, such as creative workshops for children, guided tours, and special events.
The Cartier Foundation in Paris, photo courtesy of Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Cartier Foundation by Jean Nouvel, transverse section, west elevation, and views of the roof terrace; images courtesy of EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award
Views of the “Theatrum Botanicum” of the Cartier Foundation designed by Lothar Baumgarten; photos © Olivier Ouadah (top) and by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
View of the Foundation’s ground floor during the exhibition “Daido Tokio” by Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama (2016); photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, Musings on a Glass Box (2015), Fondation Cartier, installation views; photos by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Cover image courtesy of Ateliers Jean Nouvel
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