“Renault would completely betray its commitment to artists if it sold the works from its collection” (Tribune)

Since its creation in 1967, the Renault collection has brought together works by great 20th century artists acquired by the company. But it risks being squandered during a sale at Christie's on June 6, artists and rights holders argue in the text below.


We, artists and rights holders of artists whose works are in the Renault collection, are categorically opposed to the dispersal of a significant part of this collection, planned at Christie's on June 6, 2024.

These works were acquired by the public company, as part of the first industrial patronage policy in France, inaugurated in 1967 with the creation of the “Art and Industry Research” service, with the aim of bringing together the two very tight universes of industry and contemporary art. The greatest French and foreign artists of the time were thus assembled.

These works were to be made available to staff, in the offices, the common areas of the headquarters and its dining rooms, or to be loaned to public institutions to be shown to the general public during exhibitions.

The spirit of this patronage was to constitute an inseparable collection, which should under no circumstances be resold. It is with this commitment that the artists contributed to this innovative project.

A sleight of hand

In 1986, the Régie stopped this policy. All the more reason to preserve what remains and constitutes a jewel of French heritage. What are we talking about? The sale includes sixty-three lots; it would sell major American painters, rarely present in French collections, such as Sam Francis and Robert Rauschenberg; it would disperse leading French artists (Jean Fautrier, Niki de Saint Phalle, Victor Vasarely, etc.); it would break out a set of superb works on paper by Henri Michaux.

We consider that Renault would be completely betraying its commitment to artists if it made this sale. Pretending to sell to buy street art – this is Renault's project – seems to us to be an unacceptable sleight of hand, which would undermine the very concept of industrial sponsorship. We must stop this squandering, and therefore prevent this sale.

If Renault really wants to act as a patron, respect the spirit of its collection and the artists who participated in it, the solution is simple: it can entrust these works to French museums, which will be able to welcome them and exhibit them to the general public. We call on the public authorities to intervene.


Dominic And Pierre BollingerJean Degottex estate; Pierre Buraglio, artist ; Bloum Cardenas, holder of the moral rights of Niki de Saint Phalle, holder of the moral rights of Jean Tinguely, administrator of the Niki Charitable Art Foundation, president of the Giardino dei Tarocchi; Zsuzsanna, Daniel, Jerome, Marc And Pierre HantaïSimon Hantaï estate; Julio Le Parcartist ; Ramuntcho MattaRoberto Matta estate; Jean Pierre Raynaudartist ; Margit RowellGeorges Noël estate; Isabelle, Anne, Florence And Christopher SotoJesus-Rafael Soto estate; Elodie TélémaqueHervé Télémaque estate; Claude Viallatartist.

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