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Founded in 2000 by Édouard Carmignac and led by Gaïa Donzet, the Carmignac Foundation is a corporate foundation that supports contemporary artists through a programme of sponsorship, the creation of an international collection, and the annual Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism award.
History of the collection
Originally centred on Pop Art and the Expressionist German School, the Carmignac corporate collection has more than 200 works from the 20th and 21st centuries, including work by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Gerhard Richter, Andreas Gursky, Keith Haring and Martial Raysse.
The collection is on display at Carmignac Gestion's headquarters in Paris, London, Madrid, Milan, Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Zurich.
Two large portraits of Lenin and Mao, painted by Andy Warhol in 1986 and 1973 respectively, are displayed in Edouard Carmignac's office. Jean-Michel Basquiat, another cornerstone of the collection, is represented with five pieces, including Fallen Angel, the premonitory work of 1981.
Roy Lichtenstein is represented with two key pieces: Vicky I – I thought I heard your voice, from 1964 and Fishing Village from 1987.
The collection continues to grow, encompassing new artists from emerging art scenes, including Ayman Baalbaki and Hanibal Srouji from Lebanon, Os Gêmeos from Brazil, Shirin Neshat from Iran, Miguel Rothschild and Guillermo Kuitca from Argentina and Marcos Lopez from Columbia.
Photography also forms an important part of the collection, with work by Andreas Gursky, Peter Lindbergh, Martin Parr, Doug Aitken, Chen Wei, Alex Prager, Nicola Costantino, Cindy Sherman and Edgar Martins.
The Porquerolles project
The Foundation has plans to open new premises in 2016 on the island of Porquerolles (Var, France), in the heart of the Port-Cros National Park. The site will be open to the public and will show temporary exhibitions and artworks which will be created in situ for the museum and sculpture park.
The change of use for the existing building, a Provençal country house that is typical of the local architecture, requires a re-design which will be conducted by architect Marc Barani. The Carmignac Foundation commissioned landscape architect Louis Benech for the design of the gardens.
The Carmignac Gestion photojournalism award
Created in 2009, the Carmignac Gestion photojournalism award finances a long-term project every year, on a chosen theme relating to current affairs.
A grant of 50,000 euros is given, with the aim of encouraging an in-depth study within the area. Then the reportage is exhibited at the Chapelle de l’École des Beaux-Arts de Paris. In certain years, the exhibition has been itinerant to several cities such as Milan, Frankfurt, or London. A monograph is published and the Foundation commits to the purchase of four photographs from the project.
A panel of notable personalities from the world of photography and specialists of geopolitical issues select a project annually.
- 1st Edition 2009, Kai Wiedenhöfer – Gaza
- 2nd Edition 2010, Massimo Berruti – The Pachtounistan
- 3rd Edition 2011, Robin Hammond – Zimbabwe
- 4th Edition 2012, Davide Monteleone – Chechen Republic
- 5th Edition 2013, Newsha Tavakolian – Iran
On 11 September 2014, Tavakolian announced that, in order to retain her "artistic integrity and independence", she was stepping down as the winner of the 2013 Carmignac Gestion Award, returning the €50,000 prize, and cancelling all co-operation with Fondation Carmignac. She criticized Edouard Carmignac for personally editing her photographs and removing most of the subtle portraits that she felt were central to her concept, for altering the accompanying texts of the remainder, and for insisting that the name of her project, "Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album", be changed to "The Lost Generation". Tavakolian wrote that these changes turned her project from "a subtle attempt to bring across the realities of life of my generation in Iran" into a "coarse and horrible clichéd view about Iran". She accused Carmignac of wanting "full control over my work according to his own established idea of how Iran should be represented" and of indefinitely postponing the contracted exhibition and monograph publication of her photographs after she refused to accept his changes. 
- Financial Times, Madison Marriage, Why your office needs a Warhol, February 5, 2013
- Beaux Arts Magazines, Porquerolles, une île pour l'art contemporain, May 2012
- Christine Coste, "Iranian photographer returns €50,000 prize" http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/Iranian-photographer-returns--prize/35666
- David Gonzalez, "Keeping True to an Iranian Vision, Minus Big Money" http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/17/keeping-true-to-an-iranian-vision-minus-big-money/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
- "La lauréate Newsha Tavakolian déclare renoncer au Prix Carmignac" http://www.photographie.com/news/la-laureate-newsha-tavakolian-declare-renoncer-au-prix-carmignac