agnès b. art collection
As well as being a gallery owner, agnès b. is also an avid art collector. Over the years, she has built a vast contemporary art collection, exhibited for the first time at Les Abattoirs in Toulouse, France, in 2004. Her rich photography collection was previously exhibited on two separate occasions: at the Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, in 2000, and at the Pavillon des Arts, Nogent sur Marne, outside Paris, in 2002.
In October 2008, the prestigious photography museum C/O Berlin, in Berlin, Germany, hosted an exhibition of photographs from the collection to coincide with the release of the JRP/Ringier art publication Collection agnès b. The agnès b. Endowment Fund, established in 2009, is in charge of preserving and presenting this unique ensemble of contemporary art to the public. Items from her collection are regularly loaned to museums and art institutions for exhibitions worldwide.
2000, agnès b.’s photography collection at CNP
In February 2000, agnès b.’s photography collection was exhibited for the first time at the Centre national de la photographie (CNP) in Paris. “If it is a collection, it looks more like a free assembly than a thoughtful construction,” said agnès b. “I could even say that it is the photos themselves that have imposed themselves one by one, one calling out to the other to create, without realizing, what we see today.” Artists in the exhibition include Massimo Vitali, David Lynch, Malick Sidibe, Henri Cartier Bresson, Richard Prince, Kenneth Anger, Helen Levitt, and Dennis Hopper.
2004, I'm installing at the Abattoirs
In 2004, at the invitation of Les Abattoirs, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Toulouse, agnès b. exhibited works from her personal art collection, which includes photographs, drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations, sound, video, and films. For more than forty years, her personal tastes and interests enabled agnès b. to build a collection that is rare, personal, and unique. agnès b.’s collection is part of a certain vitality of production and artistic output; it is part of a commitment which goes way beyond the position of a simple private collector. The vast collection was exhibited at Les Abattoirs and included works by Gilbert & George, Louise Bourgeois, Harmony Korine, Jean Michel Othoniel, Ryan McGinness, Futura 2000, Tracey Emin, and Robert Mapplethorpe.
2008, C/O Berlin
In October 2008, agnès b. exhibited photographs and video from her personal art collection at the prestigious C/O Berlin, International Forum for Visual Dialogue. More than 200 photographs and videos from the collection were exhibited together for the first time outside France. The C/O Berlin exhibition offered a journey through the history of photography with works by Diane Arbus, Andy Warhol, Nan Goldin, Brassaï, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ryan McGinley, and Ingar Krauss.
Un regard sur la collection d’agnès b. Photographs from her art collection have been exhibited before; and at LaM in Lille, France, in 2015, they were exhibited alongside other artworks from her collection, including paintings, drawings and sculptures. Artworks in the exhibition presented some of the most symbolic works from the collection, especially revealing what the interests that moves agnès b. She included works from many eras in her collection, ranging from pictorial writings from the end of the 20th century and the early 21st century, to the 60s and 70s anti-authority movements, the 80s and 90s revival of bold graphics, the 90s and 2000s urban street culture, and the decade from 2000 to 2010 with new forms of video and performance. And if the portrait theme is one of the striking features in her collection, other themes include the relationships between music, photography, and cinema, with notions of otherness, identity, counterculture, time and memory.
Commissioned by Marc Donnadieu, LaM Contemporary Art Curator
2017, Vivre !!
Seventy artworks from agnès b.’s personal art collection, curated by Sam Stourdzé, director of the Rencontres de la photographie, Arles, were exhibited in the exhibition VIVRE!! at the Musée de l’Histoire de l’Immigration in Paris. Centered around eleven themes which offered the spirit of the exhibition, including childhood, love, writing and identity. Artworks by Claude Lévêque, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Olivia Bee, and John Giorno, were exhibited alongside works by Mona Hatoum, Kader Attia and Darling Samba, and additional artworks from the museum, offering an unseen dialogue between artworks and the untold stories of immigrants.
2017, La collection Lambert, musée d'art contemporain, Avignon
The Lambert Collection presents a selection of artworks from agnès b.’s art collection timed during the Grand Arles Express, an “off the wall” program of the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles. agnès b., having collected works of art for over 30 years has already exhibited elements from her collection, but to bring together a body of work revealing the multifaceted portrait of her collection has never been shown on this scale. Bound by the same passion for art and love for creation and human beings, agnès b. and Yvon Lambert connect as much by their fusional implication with the artists for whom they are committed as their eclecticism and their avant-gardist look. It is therefore natural that 400 artworks of agnès b.’s collection in the exhibition included paintings, film, photography and sculpture. Aesthetics of love, music, teenage years, modernity, avant-garde, and African culture can be discovered through the diversity of the exhibition, interwoven with a passion for life and the fight for freedom.