Provence’s inimitable landscapes and quality of light inspire art in every shape and form… A hub of contemporary works and creations, its talented artists shine through space and time.
la Côte Varoise
From Arles to Avignon, heritage and contemporary collections
Let’s head to Arles and the LUMA Foundation for a singular encounter with contemporary art. Stroll through this cultural centre, where visual arts, production, research, photos, publishing and multimedia live together in perfect harmony… In Avignon, you’ll discover the Collection Lambert. Take time to soak up these timeless works. The Parcours d’Art festival in October offers a multitude of disciplines, ranging from painting to sculpture and digital art, staged at the town’s most beautiful heritage sites. A truly one-off experience! Next stop: the intimate and welcoming Villa Datris at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, in the heart of the Luberon (usually open from May to October). Entry is free and the theme of the forthcoming 2020 exhibition “Recycler – Surcycler” (Recycling-Upcycling) is resolutely in keeping with the times. Wind up your cultural escapade in style at the Fondation Blachère for an aesthetic and ethical immersion in African art.
Marseille, inspiring creativity since ancient times
The Manifesta contemporary art biennial is coming to Marseille for the first time this year from June 7th to November 1st, 2020! Striking up a dialogue between art and society, the event promises to lead visitors on an art discovery voyage filled with surprises. The works are shown at various cultural and off-the-beaten-track venues around the city. Another must-do, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur FRAC (Regional Contemporary Art Collection) aims to introduce the public to current creative trends. Located in Marseille’s buzzing Joliette quarter, it represents 540 artists and exhibits over a thousand works. Loyal to its core values – artistic experimentation, distribution and sharing – the FRAC hosts numerous events both on site and around the city, offering a compelling approach to contemporary art. The Musée d’Art Contemporain [MAC] harbours a collection paying homage to contemporary art from the second half of the 20th century and early 21st century. The museum also features a garden showcasing works by Jean-Michel Alberola, Julien Blaine, César, Erik Dietman and Fabrice Gygi. Closed for refurbishment work during the run-up to “Manifesta”, it will be reopening in autumn 2020.
Tucked inside a pine wood on Porquerolles island, the Fondation Carmignac is a genuine ode to the senses… Designed to strike up a dialogue between visitors, art and nature, the contemporary artwork on show serves to further enhance the island’s preserved beauty. Back on land, climb up to Villa Noailles overlooking the town of Hyères and offshore Golden Islands. This avant-garde temple of contemporary art explores a multitude of themes. Offset by an intriguing Cubist garden – an official “Remarkable Garden” – Villa Noailles also welcomes the International Festival of Fashion and Photography every year, when young designers present their collections to a jury made up of representatives from the finest houses including Chanel, Chloé and many more. Interior design fans won’t want to miss the Design Parade Festival, shining the spotlight on projects by 10 promising young designers every year.
Art galleries in the country
Nestling in the hills of the Var area, the Commanderie de Peyrassol offers an alluring blend of history and contemporary creation. Enjoy a walk in the vines dotted with a variety of captivating artwork by around fifty artists, sparking the imagination and inviting onlookers to let their mind wander. In Rians, Georges Brunet has transformed Château Vignelaure into a contemporary art gallery while continuing to produce acclaimed wines. Each new vintage is adorned with a unique label designed by an artist. Next, it’s time to head to Le Muy, where minimal and conceptual art are the stars of Fondation Venet. The foundation’s 10-acre grounds are sprinkled with contemporary works set against an exceptional natural backdrop. Don’t miss a visit to the famous Chapelle Stella while you’re there. Last but not least, the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Chateauvert, set on the banks of Argens river, invites you to discover collective exhibitions of 20th and 21st-century works.