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Foundation Carmignac Modern Art Another Reason to Visit Porquerolles

The Foundation Carmignac opened to the public on June 1st. This display of modern art is in a vast (1500 sqm) gallery inside a Provencal villa on the beautiful island of Porquerolles.

Financier Edouard Carmignac has put the collection together. It includes works from the American Pop Art School, including paintings and sculptures by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Koons, and Basquiat …Continue reading here for the Aixcentic post.

Île de Porquerolles Beautifully Wild

This is the biggest of three small islands that make up the Îles d’Hyères or Les Îles d’Or (Golden Islands), located just off the coast of Hyères. The island of Porquerolles is small at 7km long and 3km wide. Since 1820, there has been a small village, and a lighthouse was installed in 1837.  In 1912, Francois Fournier purchased the island and planted 200 hectares of vineyards (this was some of the first wine to be classified, Côtes de Provence).


In 1971, the French State purchased 80% of the land to preserve the land from overbuilding.  Today development remains strictly controlled, vehicle traffic is limited, and the number of permanent inhabitants remains low.  The Île de Porquerolles is part of the national park – Port-Cros Parc National.

You take the ferry from just outside of Hyères at Giens Port de La Tour Fondue (15-minute ride) or from Le Lavandou (40-minute trip) to access the island. Shuttle details here.

Porquerolles ProvenceThe Île de Porquerolles is blissfully devoid of large yachts, high-end retail outlets, exclusive hotels and fancy dining.  There is a variety of accommodation on the island, including guesthouses, camping, self-catered rooms and small hotels.  There are several locations to rent bikes. Book ahead! Accommodations, restaurants and bikes are limited.

Hiking, biking and secluded beach time are some of the reasons to visit Porquerolles—and, now contemporary art.

Fondation Carmignac Art Collection

Édouard Carmignac’s financial success enabled him to collect original works of art from some of the most famous artists of the modern era. However, this personal collection, which includes over twenty years of acquisitions, is as a result of his delight in the art (and artists) that pushes the boundaries, challenges traditional outlooks and invokes a sense of “Liberté” [freedom] – the foundation’s guiding principle.

From an interview by Fabrice Bousteau with founder Édouard Carmignac, this quote appears to sum up his philosophy towards art and societal conventions.

“In this day and age, linear thinking is not an effective approach. One must know how to both surf and challenge one’s own convictions at all times!”

The Fondation Carmignac was first established in 2000 as a corporate foundation. There are now over 300 artists’ works in the collection. The Foundation also provides an annual photojournalism award, valued at 50,000 Euros, to the successful applicant.

“I created this foundation for the pleasure of sharing what I love with as many people as possible. I prefer the word ‘share’ to the word ‘transmit.’ That is why I like accessible works. Art needs to speak.” Édouard Carmignac

Managed by Charles Carmignac, one of the founder’s sons, the beautiful Villa Carmignac and gardens on Porquerolles are now the backdrop for this collection. Construction restrictions on the island required architectural creativity, so the exhibition space was built underground.

Important Details:

Fondation Carmignac (website)
Open to the public daily from April – November from 10 am until sunset.
Guided tours from Tuesday – Sunday at 14h
The walk from the ferry port is about 10 minutes.

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Lynne Alderson

Lynne Alderson

Aixcentric was set up by Lynne Alderson three years ago as a channel to send out info on events taking place around Aix as well as news, relevant books, the latest films, new shops and of course where to eat locally. Why?

According, to Lynne:

"It came about out of frustration with the lack of communication in the town. Posters would suddenly go up about an event that week. No prewarning. I had difficulty too in finding information from many of the tourist offices. Things are slowly getting better and there is sometimes information in English. Hopefully by keeping an eagle eye on the local press and talking with contacts in town, I can publicize fun things that people would otherwise miss. It's a ragbag of info that I come across on my travels. I've published nearly 600 posts now and have lots of followers so hopefully, it is fulfilling its role of helping people, residents and visitors alike, get the most of their time in Aix."

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