Collectors France

French collector plans offshore sculpture park

Edouard Carmignac plans to install art on Porquerolles, an island 35 miles from St Tropez

The island of Porquerolles

An island off the south coast of France is due to be transformed into a vast sculpture park by the private collector Edouard Carmignac, who bought a major piece at Art Basel this week. Carmignac, a Paris-based asset manager, plans to launch the park in mid-2014. It will cover 16 hectares on Porquerolles, which is 35 miles from St Tropez.

New works are due to be commissioned from established and emerging artists through the Carmignac Gestion Foundation, which the entrepreneur founded in 2000. “Porquerolles, with its natural landscape and 100-year-old olive trees, offers a unique setting for contemporary sculptures, while the Provençal house [there] will be remodelled as a 1,500-sq. m exhibition centre for temporary shows of emerging artists,” Carmignac says. The foundation’s €4m annual budget will increase to fund the island scheme. Gaïa Donzet, formerly of Bonhams, is the park’s project manager.

The entrepreneur bought a major piece this week at Art Basel: Tom Friedman’s Untitled (peeing figure), 2012, from Stephen Friedman Gallery (2.1/J11). Carmignac has collected contemporary art for more than 20 years. The artists represented in his collection include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, the Lebanese artist Ayman Baalbaki and the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat. As part of the foundation’s remit, members of staff in the European offices of Carmignac’s company choose paintings and photographs for display in their workplaces.

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