National Centre for Visual Arts (Cnap)
The Centre national des arts plastiques (National Centre for Visual Arts, Cnap) is a public institution attached to the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. It fosters and supports artistic creation in France in all areas of the visual arts: painting, performance art, sculpture, photography, installation art, video, multimedia, graphic arts, design and graphic design. It follows young artists closely, provides its expertise and support to the emergence of new forms and assists artists and contemporary art professionals.
A decree passed on April 23rd 2015 (nº 2015-463) modified its statutes and made clear its missions.
A public collector
The Centre national des arts plastiques is directly involved in the arts economy as a public collector. On behalf of the French State, it expands and manages a body of artworks, known as the Fonds national d’art contemporain, the French national contemporary art collection. This collection of unique scale currently holds over 100,000 works and aims to be the most accurately reflect the current art scene. The works are directly purchased from the various players on the art market. Artists and galleries, French or foreign, are thus supported financially and institutionally.
The Cnap also manages and conserves these artworks acquired over the last two centuries, providing its highly technical skills and numerous areas of expertise.
An institution dedicated to artists and contemporary art professionals
The Cnap contributes to innovation in the arts by supporting artists who are engaged in experimental projects. It also provides financial backing to assist contemporary art professionals (galleries, publishers, art restorers and critics) with their projects. It stays attuned to developments in artistic creation, and gives prominence to the projects it supports at national level.
The Cnap provides professionals and artists with information on the practice of their craft (copyright, taxes, social security in France, etc.). An annotated online directory lists over 2,300 contemporary art venues, including museums, art centres, grants, awards, scholarships and artist residencies.
A unique partner and cultural co-producer
The Cnap seeks to bring the acquired works to the broadest audience possible through short-term loans, long-term loans to museums and government buildings, and the co-production of events in France and abroad. Each year, the Centre national des arts plastiques lends some 2,000 works from its collection.
The institution also serves as a cultural partner and institutional liaison to museums, schools, art centers and private organisations such as foundations. The Cnap assists projects from the definition stage, through to production, execution, and finally the mediation of the works.Through all these activities, the Centre national des arts plastiques promotes, relays, and makes known contemporary artistic creation, and opens new horizons.
A focus on all audiences
Special programs are implemented to assist all audiences in their encounters with the works. Sensitive to the issue of artistic and cultural education, the Cnap collaborates with professionals in the fields of education, social affairs and mediation, who all have an essential role as transmitters.
The Cnap's editorial policy stems from its efforts to disseminate contemporary art and increase public awareness, and contributes to the scientific appreciation of the institution. Each project is undertaken in conjunction with a public partner or a private publisher. The Cnap favors external contributions so as to offer a variety of perspectives on the works, the artists and the projects, and to diversify the offering for the audience.