The Frac Bretagne collection is one of the richest nationwide, counting about five thousand works by roughly seven hundred artists (including about two thousand artists books as well as works from external collections) in 2019.

The Frac Bretagne collection

From its outset, the collection has been developed with a dual spirit of coherence and openness, based on the search for a balance between generations as well as between different local, regional and international scenes.

The collection includes works which can be presented by theme and/or by artist:

LYRICAL ABSTRACTION underpins a selection of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the 1950’s and 1960’s which form one of the historical bases of the collection, developed according to the choices and contacts of French art critic Charles Estienne. Included in the collection are works by Camille Bryen, Jean Degottex, Jean Duvillier, Jan Krizek, Marcelle Loubchansky, Pierre Tal-Coat, and others. This initial foothold was also based on an analysis of the regional context, seeking to create a continuum with Brittany’s public collections in the reading of 20th century art.

The acquisitions made in the field of ABSTRACTION, in the broad sense, further develop the theme of this first group, both as counterpoint and as complement. A number of contemporary artists, both young and more established, continue to explore the possibilities of the abstract field. Painting, in particular, which borrows from the fields of photography, sculpture, architecture and graphics, escapes from the wall and spreads out across the floor. In doing so, it illustrates the present day flexibility of artistic boundaries and represents a permanently growing reference collection, with works by John Armleder, Geneviève Asse, Cécile Bart, Alan Charlton, Nicolas Chardon, Bernard Frize, Shirley Jaffe, Julije Knifer, Vera Molnar, François Morellet, Aurelie Nemours, François Perrodin, Jean Pierre Raynaud, Kees Visser, and more.

THE RELATION BETWEEN ART AND NATURE is the starting point for another large selection of works, initiated, notably, with purchases and commissions for the Domaine de Kerguéhennec (Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hamish Fulton, Robert Grosvenor, Richard Long, Giuseppe Penone, Jean Pierre Raynaud, Ulrich Rückriem, Susana Solano…). The theme of art and nature leads into the issue of landscape, in a broad sense, connecting works as diverse as those of Philippe Durand, Nina Childress, Vincent Victor Jouffe, Ron Haselden, Bethan Huws, Herman de Vries and Robert Smithson…

Both in extension of and in counterpoint to the body of works dealing with abstraction, the Frac Bretagne collection reflects on the STATUS OF THE CONTEMPORARY IMAGE, focusing on intersections where film, photography and the visual arts meet, developed by Dennis Adams, Ursula Biemann, Tacita Dean, Khalil Joreige/Joana Hadjithomas, Gary Hill, Jean Le Gac, André Raffray, Yvan Salomone, etc.

The collection is also shaped by the figure of the ARTIST AS A WITNESS OF THEIR TIME—“the painter of modern life”, to quote Baudelaire—as in the case of Richard Artschwager, Lewis Baltz, Olga Chernysheva, Hannah Collins, Sophie Ristelhueber, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula and Malick Sidibé.Finally, the collection boasts many monographic presentations, which help us to understand the artistic careers of the artists Isabelle Arthuis (53 works), Iain Baxter (57 works), Christophe Cuzin (71), Raymond Hains (62), Jean-Philippe Lemée (59), Gilles Mahé (plus de 1000), Vera Molnar (13), Tania Mouraud (18), Julien Prévieux (10), Didier Vermeiren (24), and Jacques Villeglé (17) more fully.


As of 2019, approximately 38% of the collection is comprised of drawings and works on paper, 25% of photographs, 13% of paintings, 12% of graphic design and prints, 6% of 3D works, 4% of textile works and 2% of video or cinematographic works.82% of the artists in the collection are men, 16% are women and 2% are collectives.

Image : Reserve of paintings from the Frac Bretagne collection. Photographic credit : Aurélien Mole