COLLECTOR - Artworks from Centre national des arts plastiques - 5th OCT 2011 > 01st JAN 2012 _ lille3000 & CNAP

THE COLLECTION

THE BIGGEST MODERN ART COLLECTION IN FRANCE

One of the essential missions of the Centre national des arts plastiques is to manage the State’s modern art collection. It’s one of France’s biggest arts collections in this area, thanks to purchases, donations and commissions to living artists, over more than two centuries. Since 1981, about 600 artworks have been added to the collection (called the national modern art collection) each year, adding up to an exceptional heritage of over 90 000 pieces. More than the two thirds of the pieces are from the 20th and 21st centuries, and belong to the plastic arts, photography, video and new media as well as to decorative arts and design.

Today, CNAP’s collections bring together a great variety of pieces, using all the media used by modern art artistes from very different origins, reflecting the originality of creative work. CNAP’s policy is clearly to discover new talents: each year, one artist in three that makes it to the collection has never sold a piece before. The primary aim is to reflect creation as a working progress by recording, in real time, an artistic situation that throws light on the variety of today’s artistic practices and process. That’s how, as time goes by, a quality heritage is constituted for the future. Its eclecticism highlights each era’s main trends.

Methods of acquisition are quite simple - direct purchase from different market bodies - giving economic and institutional support to artists first, but also to galleries, mainly French or European. The goals leading the acquisition policy are support of young artists by spotting promising new talent, in order to constitute tomorrow’s heritage, the constitution of meaningful ensembles on a movement, an artist or a specific field, giving special care to international artistic innovation.

CNAP’s purpose is not to simply ‘amass’ pieces of art to collect dust, as the title ‘Collector’ might suggest: it aims, primarily, to give a wide access to modern art thanks to an intense scheme of artwork lending for temporary exhibitions and storing, to museums as well as to French institutions and worldwide. Almost 2500 pieces are lent each year to almost 300 partner institutions. This pro-active exhibition policy will go on in the years to come, tackling new issues on each occasion.

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