You’ll Have to Take a Boat Ride and a Hike Through the Forest to Get to France’s Newest Art Museum

A new French museum puts an out-of-the-box spin on the usual gallery experience

Porquerolles Island Lionel Barbe/Courtesy of Fondation Carmignac
Janaina Mello Landini, Ciclotrama 50 (wind), 2018. © Fondation Carmignac – Marc Domage
Alexandre VHILS, 2018 Fondation Carmignac, © Marc Domage
Nils-Udo, La couvée, 2018 © Fondation Carmignac – Nils-Udo
Miquel Barceló, Not titled yet, 2018 © Fondation Carmignac – Marc Domage
Jaume Plensa, Les trois Alchimistes, 2018 © Fondation Carmignac – Marc Domage
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fallen Angel, 1983-84 © The estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / Adagp, Paris 2018 – Photo : Marc Domage
Left : Martial Raysse, Untitled, 1962. © Adagp, Paris 2018; Right : Gerhard Richter, Evelyn (Blau), 1964. © Gerhard Richter 2018 Marc Domage
© Fondation Carmignac – Photo : Marc Domage
Ugo RONDINONE, 2018 Fondation Carmignac, © Marc Domage
Zhang Huan, Child Labor, 2007 Techniques mixtes / Mixed media © Zhang Huan Studio, courtesy Pace Gallery
Left: Martial Raysse, Untitled, 1962; Center: Andy Warhol, Lenin, 1986; Right: Andy Warhol, Mao, 1973 Left: © Adagp, Paris 2018; Center: © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Adagp, Paris 2018; Right: © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Adagp, Paris 2018
Porquerolles Island Eric Valli

Prepare for an unconventional art experience at Fondation Carmignac, a gallery opening this month on the Provençal island of Porquerolles at the heart of Port-Cros National Park. Visitors must take a 15-minute ferry from the mainland, then a short walk through the forest to reach the space, situated in a converted farmhouse on land that once featured in the Jean-Luc Godard film Pierrot le Fou. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with a ritualized drink service, then invited to walk barefoot on the sandstone floors of the contemporary-art-filled villa, an experience meant to connect you with the surroundings. Admission is limited — only 50 visitors are allowed in each half-hour — so as to ensure the museum never feels too frenetic or crowded.

You'll Have to Take a Boat Ride and a Hike Through the Forest to Get to France's Newest Art Museum
Jacob HASHIMOTO, Fondation Carmignac, 2018 © Marc Domage

The 21,530-square-foot space is capped by a glass ceiling with a water feature flowing above, lending it an otherworldly feel. The opening exhibit, Sea of Desire, begins as guests emerge from the forest and wends throughout the property, featuring work by giants such as Lichtenstein, Warhol, and Basqiat, as well as emerging artists. The grounds are planted with mimosa and lemon trees and dotted with sculptures, and the sea is just a few steps beyond—the foundation even encourages visitors go for a pre- and post-visit swim. To get to Porquerolles, connect via train or plane to Toulon, then drive to La Tour Fondue for scheduled ferry service or Hyères port for round-the-clock water taxi service to the island.

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