A Story of Art: Yvon Lambert, a Collection, a Donation, a Venue

The book coupled with an exhibition at the Lambert Collection
Collection Lambert Avignon
Cy Twombly, Pan (détail), 1980

Cy Twombly, Pan (détail), 1980 (FNAC-2013-0244)

On the occasion of the publication of A Story of Art: Yvon Lambert, a Collection, a Donation, a Venue book dedicated to Yvon Lambert’s donation to the French state and co-published by Dilecta, the CNAP national fine arts centre and the Lambert Collection, a selection of this collection’s works will be exhibited from 25 March to 4 June 2023 at the Lambert Collection in Avignon

In consonance with the book from which it borrows its title, this exhibition paints the portrait of art over the past sixty years, through the tastes and passions of a visionary collector who, ever since the opening of his first Parisian gallery in 1965, has never ceased supporting the most audacious creators of his time. His exceptional 2012 donation of nearly 600 artworks to the French state, placed permanently in Avignon, stands out for the richness of its ensembles of works by artists often under-represented in French public collections, with notably 35 works by Nan Goldin, 16 by Cy Twombly, 14 by Sol LeWitt, 7 by Robert Ryman, 6 by Jean-Michel Basquiat, 6 by Miquel Barceló and 3 by Agnes Martin.

As the book relates, via its texts by different art historians and authors, the particularities of this singular donation, the exhibition ‘A Story of Art’ considers how this unique collection was assembled throughout the life and career of Yvon Lambert, in concert with the aesthetic and societal upheavals that together have shaped the history of contemporary art.

Both the publication and the exhibition show, each in its own manner, the pertinence of the avant-garde choices that the passage of time has finally confirmed. The exhibition also draws inspiration from the book’s various chapters: The new avant-gardes of the 1960s and 70s; The emergence of a new style of figurative painting in the 1980s; The collector’s attachment to artists of the ‘Pictures Generation’ and the renewal of photography; The question of what is ‘real’ as approached by the multidisciplinary practices at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries.

For the first time ever in the history of the Lambert Collection, this presentation of the donation, which the CNAP has overseen since 2012, occupies the entirety of the exhibition spaces of both the Hôtel Caumont and the Hôtel Montfaucon, linked together since the 2015 extension designed by the architects Laurent and Cyrille Berger.

The book

A Story of Art: Yvon Lambert, a Collection, a Donation, a Venue
The first reference work on the Yvon Lambert Donation

Editors: Jean-Baptiste Delorme, Director of the CNAP Fine Arts Collection (1945 – 1989), and Stéphane Ibars, Designated Artistic Director of the Lambert Collection.
With texts by François Aubart, Nicolas Bourriaud, Jean-Baptiste Delorme, Donatien Grau, Béatrice Gross, Stéphane Ibars, Pascale Le Thorel, Aurélien Lemonier and Alfred Pacquement.
Prefaces by Alain Lombard and Béatrice Salmon.
Graphic design: Dune Lunel Studio
Jointly published by Dilecta / CNAP national fine arts centre / Lambert Collection
Format: 22 × 28 cm
French and English versions.
440 pages for each version.
Price: €45

The Exhibition

‘A Story of Art’
Curation: Stéphane Ibars, Designated Artistic Director of the Lambert Collection
The Lambert Collection, Avignon

From 25 March to 4 June 2023
Press visit and private viewing: 24 March 2023

Other artists presented

Carlos Amorales, Shūsaku Arakawa, Javier Baldeón, Jonathan Borofsky, Slater Bradley, Christo, Spencer Finch, Anna Gaskell, Federico Guzmán, Tomoaki Hata, Jonathan Horowitz, Douglas Huebler, Idris Khan, Joey Kötting, Barbara Kruger, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Rika Noguchi, Cady Noland, Marcel Odenbach, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Adam Pendleton, Ross Sinclair, James Turrell, Salla Tykkä, Nick Van Woert, Gabriela Vanga


Collection Lambert

5 rue Violette
84000 Avignon

Updated: March 23 2023