Villa Carmignac, An Impressive New Art Destination In The Mediterranean


June 7, 2018 | BY AFP

The French Mediterranean island of Porquerolles is the site of a stunning new contemporary art venue which opened its doors on June 2, offering temporary exhibitions and a sculpture garden within its idyllic surroundings

Villa Carmignac is the work of the Fondation Carmignac, which was created in 2000 under the initiative of collector Edouard Carmignac to showcase an art collection of nearly 300 works.

Among that collection, which in part celebrates American art from the 1960s to 1980s, are iconic works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, joined by works from Gerhard Richter, Willem de Kooning, Martial Raysse, Miquel Barceló, and Ed Ruscha.

Artists from further afield include Zhang Huan and El Anatsui, while young and emerging artists include Korakrit Arunanondchai and Theaster Gates, and photography and photojournalism likewise have an important place in the collection.

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At the site, visitors will discover the Fondation's collection within a Provençal farmhouse, for which an extension was built to accommodate 2,000 square meters of exhibition space. In an effort to integrate the museum into the farmhouse's original footprint, that space has been created below the natural surface of the site, with just a few planted terraces and walls made of local stone exposed to view.

At the centre of the museum, visitors will find an "aquatic ceiling", for which a body of water was built into the construction, allowing natural light to filter through.

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Outside, a selection of works will be displayed in a sculpture park occupying a 15-hectare garden. Among the out-of-doors works will be Olaf Breuning's monumental 1970 work, Mother Nature, and Miquel Barceló's imposing sculpture L'Alycastre, a "half skull and half sea monster" that will welcome visitors at the Villa's entrance.

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Upon its opening, the venue will feature the exhibition, Sea Of Desire, which takes its name from the words written on a large-scale painting by Ed Ruscha and will feature works from the collection that "challenge with a thirst for revolution and freedom and a quest for beauty".

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Villa Carmignac is accessible by boat and can be visited by foot or bicycle. Reservations can be made online, with entries limited to 50 people every half-hour. Find out more at

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