Announcing the 2020 Étant Donnés Contemporary Art Grantees

Announcing the 2020 Étant Donnés Contemporary Art Grantees

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and FACE Foundation are excited to announce the grantees of the 2020 Étant donnés program. Étant donnés Contemporary Art seeks to reinforce the links between France and the United States in the domain of contemporary art by lending financial support to and encouraging collaborations and partnerships between French and American institutions and, notably, between American curators and French artists.

The selection committee chose a total of 15 projects, divided into three categories: grants to American institutions that host exhibitions, installations, featuring French and France-based artists; curatorial fellowships assisting American curators who wish to conduct research in France; and a residency program supporting French and France-based visual artists seeking to develop specific projects with American partners, with a total grant allocation of $170,000.

The 2020 Étant données jury includes César Garcia, director of The Mistake Room – Los Angeles; Jamillah James, curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art – Los Angeles; Hendrik Folkerts, curator at the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago; Emma Lavigne, president of the Palais de Tokyo – Paris; Paula Aisemberg, president of Trampoline and executive and artistic director of the Fondation Emerige – Paris ; and Adeline Blanchard, program officer for visual arts at the Institut français – Paris.

“In the current context of the pandemic, which has heavily impacted artists and cultural institutions worldwide, we at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy are committed now more than ever to pursuing our mission to support high quality artistic projects that reinforce the links between our two countries. We send the winners our best wishes for the success of their future projects, and thank our partner FACE Foundation and the Étant données sponsors for their essential support”, says Gaëtan Bruel, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the US.

Étant donnés Contemporary Art was established by FACE Foundation in 1994, developed in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, with the support of the Institut Français – Paris, the French Ministry of Culture, the Florence Gould Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Chanel USA, the ADAGP, and the CPGA. Étant donnés has earned international acclaim, by allocating more than 3 million dollars of financial support to over 300 projects and supporting about 30 exhibition curators.

2020 Étant Donnés Grantees

Artistic Project Grantees

The seven selected American institutions receiving a grant for exhibitions that include French or France-based artists are:

·        Noguchi Museum (New York, NY) for the exhibit Spaces of the Mind, presenting works by renowned designer Pierre Charpin, curated by Dakin Hart;

·        Museum of Art and Design (New York, NY) for the group show Garmenting: Costume and Contemporary Art, including works by French artists Karina Bisch, Rafael Barontini, Cécile Bome, Louise Bourgeois, and Annette Messager, curated by Alexandra Schwartz;

·        Aurora Picture Show (Houston, TX) for the solo screening and installation of video works, by French-Congolese artist Michele Magema, curated by Mary Magsamen;

·        Blaffer Art Museum (Houston, TX) for L’amour à la machine, a solo show dedicated to the up and coming artist Caroline Mesquita, curated by Steven Matijcio;

·     Beall Center for Art and Technology – University of California (Irvine, CA) for Variations, a solo show on Vera Molnar’s computational work, curated by David Familian.

·     Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, CA) for Witch Hunt, a group show including commissioned works by Franco-Moroccan artist Bouchra Khalili, curated by Connie Butler

·        Hunter East Harlem Gallery (New York, NY) for the touring of the group show Dust Specks on the Sea: Contemporary Sculptures from the French Caribbean & Haiti, which presents the works of French artists from the Caribbean : Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Julie Bessard, Hervé Beuze, Jean-François Boclé, Alex Burke, Vladimir Cybil Charlier, Gaëlle Choisne, Ronald Cyrille, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Kenny Dunkan, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Adler Guerrier, Jean-Marc Hunt, Fabiola Jean-Louis, Nathalie Leroy-Fiévée, Audry, Liseron-Monfils, Louisa Marajo, Ricardo Ozier-Lafontaine, Jérémie Paul, Marielle Plaisir, Tabita Rezaire, Yoan Sorin, Raphael Barontini, Sylvia Berté, Vickie Pierre, Michelle Lisa Polissant, and Kira Tippenhauer, curated by Arden Sherman. This show was initially presented at the East Harlem Hunter College – NYC, then at the Little Haiti Cultural Center – Miami. An extended version will be performed at 516 Arts in Albuquerque and Loyola Marymount University – Los Angeles.

Curatorial Fellows

The four curators that have been awarded grants that will allow them to undertake research trips to France are:

·        Selby Nimrod (MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge) for the collaborative project Collecting Digital Art: Institutional Precursors in France at the Turn of the Millennium, a Case Study. In partnership with the Espace Multimedia Gantner in Bourgogne-Franche Comte;

·        Stevens Mckenzie (Visual Arts Center, University of Texas- Austin) for a project with the Frac Bretagne – Art Norac Award. In partnership with le FRAC Bretagne, Rennes;

·        Dean Daderko (CAMH – Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas) for research on The Politics of Freedom: Claude Cahun and Bouchra Khalili. In partnership with the Musée des Beaux Arts de Nantes;

·        Mary Magsamen (Aurora Picture Show, Houston, Texas) for research on the artist Michèle Magema. In partnership with Light Cone and the Festival international de court métrage (International Short Film Festival) of Clermont Ferrand.

Étant donnés Residency Grantees

The four French artists selected to receive a grant to support their 2- to 4-month long residency projects in the US are:

In partnership with the Institut français- Paris:

·        Théodora Barat for Four Corners, in partnership with Mayeur Projects, Las Vegas, NM;

·       Eva Barto for The Legal Loopholes Society, in partnership with the SculptureCenter, New York City, NY;

·    Simon Ripoll-Hurier for The Targets, in partnership with the Kadist Foundation, San Francisco, CA.

In partnership with the CPGA – Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art:

·        Jean-Charles de Quillacq for Corporeal Commons, in partnership with the Coalesce Center for Biological Art, University of Buffalo – New York and the Bemis Art Center, Omaha; and the gallery Marcelle Alix.


About Étant donnés Contemporary Art

With the aim of introducing French visual artists whose works have rarely, if ever, been shown in the United States, the fund supports projects at three levels. Financial support is granted to American nonprofit institutions to organize exhibitions, installations, or research projects featuring French artists; a curatorial fellowship assists American curators, either independent or affiliated with institutions, who wish to conduct research in France; and a residency program supports French visual artists seeking to develop specific projects with American partners.

Among the American institutions that are beneficiaries of Étant donnés are: Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum, DIA Art Foundation, MoMA PS1, The Drawing Center, Artists Space, Performa,  Wallach Art Gallery (Columbia University) – NYC, Hammer Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, LAXART – Los Angeles, MCA Chicago, San Francisco Art Institute, Wattis Art Institute – San Francisco, Walker Art Center – Minneapolis, Wexner Art Center – Ohio, Contemporary Art Center – Cincinatti, Savannah College of Art and Design, Bass Museum – Miami, MIT List Visual Art Center – Cambridge, National Museum of Women in the Arts – DC, Institute of Contemporary Art – Boston, Barnes Museum – Philadelphia,Mass MOCA.

Recently, Étant donnés has supported the research of the following American curators: Leigh A. Arnold, Hamza Walker, James Voorhies, Valerie Rousseau, Alexandra Schwartz, Kristine Kuramitsu, Natasha Marie Llorens, Kristan Kennedy, David Familian, and Denise Markonish.

Previously, Étant donnés supported the presentation of the following French artists in the U.S.A.: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, Liv Schulman, Guillaume Leblon, Kapwani Kiwanga, Mohammed Bourouissa, Michel Blazy, Ulla Von Brandenburg, Laure Prouvost, Tarek Atoui, Pierre Leguillon, Yto Barrada, SMITH, Stephanie Solinas, and Frank Leibovici, among many others.