Exhibitions News France

Retail giant recruits leading talent for new art space in Paris

Top curators, including Tate Modern and Centre Pompidou-Metz directors, to sit on the board

The Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette’s first exhibition, of the Kosovan artist Petrit Halilaj, opened last month in its as yet undeveloped Marais space

The French retail giant Galeries Lafayette has launched a new art foundation and recruited leading curators including Tate modern director Chris Dercon and Laurent Le Bon, director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, to serve on its board.

The organisation will commission new work and produce exhibitions. Its home, a 19th-century building on the rue du Plâtre in the Marais district of Paris, is to be renovated by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and is due to open in 2016.

The foundation’s first exhibition, of the Kosovan artist Petrit Halilaj, opened last month in the as yet undeveloped Marais space. The five-year budget for the new venture is €20.7m.

“The [foundation] is the first art institution in Paris not only showing exhibitions but offering artists from different backgrounds, like fine art, fashion, design, visual and performance art, unique conditions to think about, discuss, create and produce ideas,” says Martin Hatebur, the president of the Basel Kunsthalle, who is also serving on the foundation’s board.

Surprisingly, works acquired by the Moulin Family Endowment Fund, established earlier this year by the family behind the retail empire, will not be displayed in the new space. The fund has amassed a collection of more than 150 works by artists including Tino Sehgal, Simon Fujiwara, Ryan Gander and Trisha Donnelly.

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