FACE Foundation

- Supporting French-American Cultural Exchange in Education and the Arts

Etant donnés Contemporary Art


Etant donnés Contemporary Art is a program implemented by Villa Albertine and the FACE Foundation which aims to foster, promote and support artistic performances and creations, through cultural institutions and artistic exchanges.  

For almost 30 years, Etant donnés Contemporary Art Program focuses on introducing French and France based 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 and American visual artists, collectives, curators and cultural institutions. The program 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 $3,3 million to fund more than 350 projects. 

Etant donnés Contemporary Art is possible with support from:
Ford Foundation
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation
French Ministry of Culture
Institut français

Etant donnés Contemporary Art 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 France based artist;  
  • 2 | Curatorial fellowship 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 (This call for applications is open until February 1, 2023)  

Grant to Artistic Project

This program seeks primarily to introduce French and France based 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. 

Please read carefully the eligibility criteria and updated guidelines.

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Curatorial Fellowship

Etant donnés Contemporary Art offers grants to American curators wishing to conduct a research project about the French art scene. In 2023 for the first time, FACE Foundation partners with Independent Curators International (ICI) to offer those Curatorial Fellowships to U.S.-based curators to follow their research in France.  

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.

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Calendar & Applications



Origins of the Etant donnés fund

Étant donnés was founded in 1994 by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy—now Villa Albertine—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.  Named after “Étant donnés : 1° la chute d’eau 2° le gaz d’éclairage… “, the famous work of Marcel Duchamp, a French-born artist who settled in the United States and whose work has inspired contemporary artists for decades, Étant donnés strengthens the ongoing exchange between France and the United States in the art world. It also supports the belief, articulated 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, Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, the CAC Cincinnati, Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, Bass Museum in Miami, etc. Support has also been given to numerous projects at alternative spaces, including Artists Space, Artist’s Institute, Art in General, Black Cube Nomadic Art Museum in Englewood, etc. It has also provided funding for French organizations such as the Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Villa Arson in Nice, ANDEA (network of French art schools) and several FRACs (Regional funds of contemporary art). 

French artists  who have been introduced to the U.S. thanks to the support of Étant donnés  include Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster,  Pierre Huygue, Kader Attia, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, Lili Reynaud Dewar, Yto Barrada, Kapwani Kiwanga, Julien Creuzet, Mircea Cantor, Thomas Hirschhorn, Mohamed Bourouissa, Kader Attia, Marguerite Humea etc. In France, John Currin, Sterling Ruby, Roe Etheridge, and Diana Thater, Dread Scott, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Xaviera Simmons are just a few of the American artists who have been supported by Étant donnés for solo shows or residencies. Among the american curators whose research has been supported by the fund are Steven Bridges, Hamza Walker, James Voorhies, Ruba Katrib, Anthoni Huberman. 


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