History and missions

Artist commissions

Commissions attest to the relationships forged with artists from around the globe, and the desire for openness to the world and contemporary society. The relationship developed between the Fondation Cartier and the artist goes beyond mere patronage.

Commissions are a constructive way of supporting artists by sponsoring the creation of a single work, a series of works or a complete exhibition. It becomes a truly creative partnership, from the conception to the execution of the work. It gives the artist the opportunity not only to create something original, but to explore new horizons: working on a different scale, bringing a project to fruition, realizing a dream, and more.

“Commissions are representative of our conception of patronage”

Alain Dominique Perrin

Image gallery

Since its beginnings, in 1984 in Jouy-en-Josas, the Fondation Cartier has made it policy to offer a place for artists to express themselves. Through a program of workshops and residencies, a range of artists have used the Fondation Cartier’s spaces as a creative terrain, including Marc Couturier in 1987, Jean-Michel Othoniel in 1989, Absalon, Fabrice Hybert, Huang Yong Ping and Chéri Samba in 1990, Cai Guo-Qiang and Tatsuo Miyajima in 1993.

With the move to Paris, the spaces transformed, but the spirit remained intact. Artists are invited into the building designed by Jean Nouvel to conceive of their art. In 1999, Sarah Sze spent a month working in the exhibition spaces to create Everything that Rises Must Converge, a delicate and monumental installation that is now part of the collection.

“I consider the whole building as a light box of fleeting reflections and images.”

Sarah Sze (interview with Jean Nouvel)

Sarah Sze, Twice Twilight, 2020, Mixed media, wood, stainless steel, acrylic, ceramic, video projectors, archival pigment prints, dimensions variable, View of the exhibition Sarah Sze, Night into Day, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, 2020.