Centrally funded spaces

In each nearly every region of France, there are contemporary art centres which have the offical label (and funding) of the Ministry of culture.

In each nearly every region of France, there are contemporary art centres which have the offical label (and funding) of the Ministry of culture.

Many of them started their activity in the 70's on the Kunsthallen model and develop a policy of research and development through their exhibition programme, with publications, commissions, the production of works and artists' residencies.

Since 1983, the French Ministry of culture has supported many of them financially and created others in partnership with local and regional authorities.

They played a vital role in the art scene in the 80's and 90's and are complimentary to the modern art and contemporary art museums. They have also developed important initiatives as regards education programmes with the aim of increasing public access to contemporary art.

In the last few years, there has been a general debate about the vitality and necessity of these art centres, a debate usually initiated by local authorities who are reluctant to pay their part. Nevertheless, the art centres have mostly survived despite important funding cuts.

There are also a wide variety of municipal art spaces, some of which are interesting and are listed here.

Stephanie Délcroix has written two articles on various aspects of working and exhibiting in France for the a-n website. Read The Hole of Art: Part 1 (on the Centres d'Art structure of galleries) and The Hole of Art: Part 2 (on the processes of public commissioning in France).


This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material.
The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.
Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.