FACE Foundation

Supporting French-American Cultural Exchange in Education and the Arts

Etant donnés Contemporary Art


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to deeply affect the world in many ways. As cultural institutions and artistic exchanges have been hit particularly hard by the global crisis, today, more than ever, the recent institution Villa Albertine with The French Embassy and the FACE Foundation are proud to encourage, promote and support artistic performances and creations.

For almost 30 years, Etant donnés Contemporary Art focuses on introducing French visual artists whose works have rarely, if ever, been shown in the United States. It aims also to strengthen ties between France and the U.S. in the field of contemporary art by fostering active collaboration and encouraging long-lasting partnerships between French visual artists, curators, and collectives and American curators and cultural institutions. The fund supports the discovery of emerging talents, while also sustaining interest in established artists, with high priority given to co-productions, new commissions. Furthermore, it has been instrumental in creating a network of curators from France and the U.S around new practices. Since its inception, Etant donnés has developed an international reputation by allocating over $3 million to fund more than 300 projects and 30 curators. 

To this end, and with the aim of introducing French and France based visual artists whose works have rarely, if ever, been shown in the United States, Etant donnés grants are designed in two complementary directions: 

  • 1/ Financial support granted to American nonprofit institutions to organize exhibition or production projects, featuring French artists or artist living in France ; 
  • 2/ Curatorial fellowship (Rolling Deadline) in order to assist American curators, either independent or affiliated with institutions, who wish to conduct research in France. 

Note : French artists or France-based artists wishing to do a one to three months exploratory residency in the United States are invited to apply to Villa Albertine residency program here.


Next Application Deadline : EARLY 2023, TBA

Please read carefully the eligibility criteria and updated guidelines for each grant.

Grants to American Institutions for physical exhibitions, and online or hybrid projects

This program seeks primarily to introduce French visual artists whose works have rarely, if ever, been shown in the United States. The fund, through a grant system, offers financial support to American nonprofit institutions that plan to organize physical exhibitions, installations, or research projects featuring French or France-based artists.  

Due to the exceptional situation this year created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Etant donnés has adjusted its criteria to better answer the needs of artistic cooperation between France and the United States in today’s world by allowing the development of online and hybrid projects for this specific grant.  

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Curatorial Fellowships For American Curators

Etant donnés Contemporary Art offers grants to American curators wishing to conduct a research project about the French art scene. 

These grants are intended to expand the professional opportunities and networks of American curators, encourage in-depth explorations of French cultural resources, and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and knowledge among artists, professionals, researchers, and institutions. This grant is intended to support the curator’s cost of travel and mission abroad.  

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Origins of the Fund

Étant donnés was founded in 1994 by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the former Association Française d’Action Artistique (AFAA)—now the Institut français—and the Délégation aux Arts Plastiques (DAP) of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. Taking its name from the famed work of art by Marcel Duchamp, the French-born artist who established himself in the United States and whose work has inspired contemporary artists for decades, Étant donnés underscores the continuous exchange between France and the United States in the art world. It also supports the belief, formulated by Duchamp, that “All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone.”

Étant donnés Contemporary Art has supported exhibitions in most major American institutions, including the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, the DIA Art Foundation, MoMA PS1, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the MCA in Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Wexner Art Center in Ohio. Support has also been given to numerous projects at alternative spaces, including Artists Space, Artist’s Institute, and Art in General. In previous years, it also provided funding for French organizations such as the Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Villa Arson in Nice, and several FRACs (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain).

Among the French artists first introduced to the U.S. thanks to the support of Étant donnés are Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Koo Jeong A, Isabelle Cornaro, Christine Rebet, and Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. In France, John Currin, Sterling Ruby, Roe Etheridge, and Diana Thater are just a few of the American artists to have benefited from Étant donnés support for early presentations of their works in solo shows. Some of the numerous curators whose work has been facilitated by the fund are Nicholas Baume, Tim Griffin, Fionn Meade, Lauri Firstenberg, and Silvia Karman Cubina.

Etant donnés Contemporary Art is a program of Villa Albertine and FACE Foundation, in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States, with support from the French Ministry of Culture, Institut français, Ford Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, CHANEL and ADAGP. 


Olivier Le Falher
Program Officer, Visual Arts, Design, Architecture