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French Foundations Pinault and Pernod Ricard open new art spaces in Paris

Bourse de Commerce - Photo © Patrick Tournboeuf

This May, two new major art spaces opened in the French capital. The Pinault Foundation unveiled the transformed Bourse de Commerce in Paris's Les Halles district, while the Pernod Ricard Foundation introduced the public to a multifunctional venue located at the forefront of its patron group's new headquarters in Saint-Lazare.

Grand Opening of the Bourse de Commerce Pinault Collection

Five years after the historic building was purchased by the major art collector François Pinault, the Bourse de Commerce in Paris reopened this May for a celebration of patrimony, architecture and contemporary art. One of the most anticipated events of the year, the opening of this new exhibition space featured an inaugural show aptly titled OuvertureAs the city's art institutions began to unlock their doors, the Bourse de Commerce held an open house on May 22, 23 and 24 to let visitors discover some of the 10,000 works that comprise Pinault's private collection.

The inaugural exhibition, initially set to open in Summer 2020, will present artwork from 32 artists, in waves, over the course of a year. Among the pieces will be works by some of the most in-demand contemporary artists, including David Hammons, Kerry James Marshall and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

“Twenty years ago, people said that Paris was an artistic capital for classical or modern art but that London or New York had more effervescence for contemporary art,” said Martin Bethenod, Collection Pinault’s deputy chief executive officer. “Things have changed a lot since then, and this should make the whole Paris ecosystem more dynamic."

The museum is now open every day except Tuesday. Reservations can be made online.

The artworks bring new life to a building that has served various roles over the past few centuries. Once a corn exchange and then later a stock exchange, the 18th-century monument has undergone significant renovation to become a home for contemporary art. Pinault chose Japanese architect and 1995 Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando, with whom he had already worked on the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana in Venice, to redesign the space. Ando collaborated with the Parisian studio Niney et Marca Architects and the architect Pierre-Antoine Gatier on the project, and the renovations cost roughly 180 million USD.

Tadao Ando (left) with François Pinault (right) - Photography: Maxime Tétard 

When the team took control of the building in 2017, Ando had already planned the main feature of the renovations: an enormous concrete cylinder to be erected under the 19th-century steel and glass dome and seeming to plunge all the way down to the core of the earth. The cylinder leads to a basement auditorium that will host some one hundred events per year – concerts, conferences, performances, films, etc. This daring addition complements layers of design, from the original classical architecture to the late 19th-century ceiling painting depicting commerce in France. Visitors to the museum can walk between the cylinder and the building's classical façade as they soak up the space.

The exhibition covers 6,800 square meters over 5 floors, and the space features mediation areas and a restaurant by Michel and Sébastien Bras, La Halle aux Grains.

The Pernod Ricard Foundation (formerly the Ricard Foundation) opened a new space in the heart of Paris on May 19. Designed by Niney & Marca Architectes and facing onto a large tree-lined pedestrian esplanade – the Cours Paul Ricard – the space is located at the forefront of the Group's new global headquarters in the Saint-Lazare district. It includes an auditorium seating 130, a 300-square-metre main exhibition hall, a distinct space that can be used for performances or one-off shows, and a café and bookshop. All this is in keeping with Pernod Ricard's core ethos of cultivating a mix of conviviality and creativity.

In this new setting, the Pernod Ricard Foundation will roll out what is, according to its Director Colette Barbier, a “pioneering and audacious” program of solo and group exhibitions and will offer series of encounters dedicated to artistic performance, poetry and debates on social issues. Open to the city and its neighborhood, the Foundation will be, as it always has been, accessible free of charge. The placement of the foundation will also make the art easily accessible to the Group's 900 on-site employees, who are encouraged to reap inspiration and enrichment from the artists and their creations.

"We are delighted to be able to offer a new artistic venue in Paris, at the heart of the vibrant Saint Lazare district, that will contribute to the dynamism of the capital’s cultural scene and to the conviviality that we want to share," said Alexandre Ricard, Chairman & CEO of Pernod Ricard and President of the Foundation.

The new headquarters of the Pernod Ricard Group in the Saint-Lazare district, Paris. © Photo Luc Boegly

About Pernod Ricard Foundation

Pernod Ricard, created in 1975, is the world’s No 2 in wines and spirits. Pernod Ricard’s brands are distributed across 160+ markets and by its own salesforce in 73 markets. The Group remains true to its three founding values -- entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust, and a strong sense of ethics -- and, in recognition of its strong commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumption, it has received a Gold rating from Ecovadis. Pernod Ricard is also a United Nations’ Global Compact LEAD company.

Since its founding in 1988, the Foundation has presented over 1,000 artists in 150 exhibitions overseen by 250 curators, and it has earned a stellar reputation for its support of the young French art scene under the keen guidance of Colette Barbier. In this new chapter, symbolized by the new space created by its patron group, the Foundation will operate as a platform serving and in direct contact with artists. It will be dedicated to showcasing the emerging scene, in Paris and beyond, in particular by making greater use of the resources offered by a global group with 86 subsidiaries. Until now, the foundation was attached to the company's French branch that was behind its creation, but it is now overseen by the global group. This means that via these subsidiaries, the foundation will be able to champion the young French art scene more effectively on an international scale, gaining both logistical and financial support on-site.