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The Villa Datris in Provence is a great place to discover contemporary sculpture | © Foundation Villa Datris
The Villa Datris in Provence is a great place to discover contemporary sculpture | © Foundation Villa Datris
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This Foundation is Empowering Contemporary Sculpture in the Heart of Provence

Picture of Alex Ledsom
Updated: 20 July 2017
The foundation Villa Datris, in the picturesque town of L’Isle sur la Sorgue in Provence, is dedicated to supporting contemporary sculpture. Take a look at how they’re empowering artists in the heart of Provence.

The foundation was established in 2011 in an old villa that was renovated. The idea is simple – each year, they invite a large number of sculptors of national and international renown to showcase work on a different theme. It’s an opportunity for people to discover contemporary sculpture in a surprising and playful way.

This foundation is committed to sculpture
This foundation is committed to sculpture | © Foundation Villa Datris

The initiative was co-founded by Tristan Fourtine, who fell in love with the house while passing through on several occasions. He came up with the idea of launching a contemporary art project in Isle sur la Sorgue and raised enough funds. The idea was to have new art touching this very old part of the country – to give some new dynamism to a place with roots and history. Sadly, Tristan passed away in 2013.

The foundation is full of contemporary art sculptures
The foundation is full of contemporary art sculptures | © Foundation Villa Datris

The foundation likes to sponsor and support art that makes you think, like this work by Michael Blazy called, “Le mur qui boit du vin” or “The wine drinking wall”. It also has a great online bookstore for unusual arty books. The foundation also operates in Paris.

Michael Blazy’s work, “Le mur qui boit du vin”
Michael Blazy’s work, “Le mur qui boit du vin” | © Foundation Villa Datris

The exhibition in 2017 was on “Sculpture in Nature”, where lots of artists were invited who had used natural elements in their work. This work, for instance, is by Yayoi Kusama, called “All About Happiness“. It was made in 2013 from sewn stuffed fabric, paint and metal.

All about Happiness by Yayoi Kusama
All about Happiness by Yayoi Kusama | © Foundation Villa Datris

As part of the 2017 show on “Sculpture in Nature”, there was a section entitled “Garden of Eden”, which portrays the metamorphosis of man. It included work by Johan Creten, called “Why does Strange Fruits always look so sweet?”. The effect is supposed to be a little bit surreal and disconcerting.

Johan Creten’s work, “Why does Strange Fruits always look so sweet?”
Johan Creten’s work, “Why does Strange Fruits always look so sweet?” | © Foundation Villa Datris

Opening hours: The foundation is open only between 27th May and 1st November. July & August, daily, 11am to 1pm, 2pm to 7pm. May, June, September, October, Thursday to Monday, 11am to 1pm, 2pm to 6pm. Open on public holidays.

Foundation Villa Datris, 7 Avenue des Quatre Otages, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France +33 (0)4 90 95 23 70