Flash News: Paper Positions – The Fondation Carmignac


Paper Positions kicks off in Berlin

Paper Positions – focusing on all forms of creativity on (or in) paper – opens April 26-29 in the superb atrium of the Deutsche Telekom Hauptstadtrepräsentanz. This year the fair will present drawings, collages, cutouts, paper-folding, art books, written works and 3-D creations. Of modest dimensions – just 46 galleries – the exhibitors are mostly German and mostly from Berlin, Leipzig, Munich, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg and Nuremberg.

One of the fair’s strengths is its interesting mix of Contemporary and historical artists. In previous editions we saw works by Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER, George GROSZ and August MACKE alongside works by Véra MOLNAR and Neo RAUCH. The fair therefore manages to present every possible dimension of the paper medium, both spatially and temporally. The result is a high quality event which, after Berlin, will be taken by its energetic management team to Basel (12 to 17 June 2018) to profit from the effervescence of Art Basel, and then to Munich (18 to 21 October).

Generally speaking, in Germany and elsewhere, works on paper are changing hands at a faster pace and with greater ease. Today they represent a fully-fledged autonomous and recognized market. This has not always been the case. Long associated with ‘preparatory stages’ (preliminary work for paintings or sculptures), works on paper (i.e. historically, drawings) were considered for centuries a minor category (except by a handful of far-sighted collectors for whom drawing is the true root of all creation). Over time, the hierarchy of artistic genres and categories has evolved in favour of the paper medium. Today, drawing has an honourable place on the art market and has emerged come to the forefront of private and public collections, gallery proposals and specialised art fairs. In recent years, several fairs dedicated to drawing (and works on paper in general) have started around the world (Paris, Quebec, New York, Berlin and Basel). Auctioneers, particularly Artcurial, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, have taken to organising specialised sales on the sidelines of these fairs. These sales attract lots of buyers since works on paper are generally cheaper than canvases and therefore offer an excellent alternative access-point to the work of established and historical artists. Today, the Western drawing market represents an annual auction turnover of $1 billion… a significant share that represents 10% of the West’s total Fine Art market.

The Fondation Carmignac… an island in the Med

The Fondation Carmignac was created in 2000 to showcase Edouard Carmignac’s collection of Contemporary art and award the Carmignac Prize for photojournalism. In early June, its magnificent new home will officially open… the culmination of a major project and the realization of Edouard Carmignac’s dream. Founder and CEO of the Asset Management company Carmignac Gestion and a major collector of artworks, Edouard Carmagnac relied on Gaia Donzet to manage his foundation before passing the reins to his son Charles Carmignac in January 2017. The new premises are located in a particularly spectacular and prestigious setting: the island of Porquerolles, the largest of the three îles d’Or in the French Gulf of Hyères. Porquerolles is a protected island, with no traffic and subject to highly restrictive construction regulations, so visitors will be enchanted before they even get to the end of the path leading to the Foundation. The work of transforming the old Provencal farmhouse into an art museum was entrusted to GMAA based on a design by Marc Barani and the garden was transformed by landscape architect Louis Benech. The venue is surrounded by olive trees, eucalyptuses and vineyards and the 15-hectare sculpture park has been designed to harmonise with the existing nature.

The 1500 m² of indoor exhibition space will host the Carmignac collection which today owns 250 works by emblematic artists like Yves KLEIN, Andy WARHOL, Willem DE KOONING, Keith HARING and Roy LICHTENSTEIN. The exceptional setting and the major artists on display will no doubt attract visitors who will also discover works by lesser-known young artists introduced into the collection each year.

Another facet of the foundation’s history is its commitment to the Carmignac Prize for Photojournalism. Directed by Emeric Glayse, the prize supports, once a year, the production of an investigative photographic and journalistic report on human rights violations in the world. Selected by an international jury, the winner receives a grant to conduct an in-depth report in a selected field as well as financing for a subsequent traveling exhibition and the publication of a monographic book. The 9th Carmignac Prize has been awarded to the Russian Yuri Kozyrev and the Dutchman Kadir Van Lohuizen (from the NOOR agency) for their project for a dual expedition to document the consequences of melting ice in the Arctic region (Arctic: the New Frontier). The two photojournalists will each spend six months exploring areas of Russia, Norway, Greenland, Canada, and Alaska before meeting up in the Bering Strait in September. The expedition has received a logistics grant of €100,000.