Artists Collectors News France

French collector starts residency programme

The Pinault Collection will support contemporary artists to work in Lens, a former mining town

The Pinault Collection has confirmed that it is establishing an international art residency centre in Lens, the ex-mining town in northern France where a satellite branch of the Musée du Louvre opened in 2012.

The residency programme is a new initiative for François Pinault, whose contemporary art collection is exhibited in two permanent venues in Venice, Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana. Jean-Jacques Aillagon, Pinault’s spokesman, told Agence France-Presse that the collector’s visit to the Louvre-Lens last year had inspired the idea to “participate in the regeneration of the area”.

One emerging artist a year will be selected by a committee including representatives from the Pinault Collection, the Louvre-Lens, the Dunkirk-based Frac (the regional contemporary art foundation) and Le Fresnoy contemporary art centre in Tourcoing. They will be supported by these institutions in the development of their projects and accommodated in a former rectory close to the Louvre-Lens.

With the first residency due to start next autumn, the Pinault Collection will soon launch a call for architects to restore the building and create an artist’s studio in the garden at an estimated cost of €600,000.

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