FACE Foundation

Supporting French-American Cultural Exchange in Education and the Arts

Étant donnés Contemporary Art


Étant donnés Contemporary Art aims 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. Furthermore, it has been instrumental in creating a network of curators from France and the U.S. Since its inception, Étant donnés has developed an international reputation by allocating over $3 million to fund more than 300 projects and 19 curators.

Over the past 25 years, the art world has profoundly evolved. Étant donnés seeks to embrace new practices and enable different approaches to creation in contemporary art, to include projects that draw on the visual arts, design, architecture, and performance. Étant donnés aims to support ambitious projects, with high priority given to coproductions, new commissions, and projects that can be developed across several cities in the U.S.

To this end, and with the aim of introducing French visual artists whose works have rarely, if ever, been shown in the United States, the fund supports projects at three levels. Financial support is granted to American nonprofit institutions to organize exhibitions, installations, or research projects featuring French artists; a curatorial fellowship assists American curators, either independent or affiliated with institutions, who wish to conduct research in France; and a residency program supports French visual artists seeking to develop specific projects with American partners.

Exhibitions and Artistic Projects Grants to American Institutions

This program seeks primarily to introduce French visual artists whose works have rarely, if ever, been shown in the United States. The fund offers financial support in the form of grants to American nonprofit institutions that organize exhibitions, installations, or research projects featuring French or France-based artists.
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Application Deadline: 2021 – TBA

Curatorial Fellowships For American Curators

Étant donnés Contemporary Art offers grants to American curators wishing to conduct and deepen their research in contemporary art 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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Application Deadline: 2021 – TBA

Etant donnés Residencies For French & France-based Artists

These grants are intended for French or France-based visual artists seeking to spend 2 to 4 months in the United States, in order to develop specific research or projects in collaboration with an American organization. Etant donnés Residencies aim to facilitate the integration of French artists into the American contemporary art scene and generate collaborative projects that may continue beyond the residency.
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Application Deadline: 2021 – TBA

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.


Anne-Claire Duprat
Program Officer, Visual Arts, Architecture, Design