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PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MICHELINE AND CLAUDE RENARD
'“It was as if they had opened the doors to a palace and I was free to help myself'” Arman said of Claude Renard and the Renault Factory’s project for Contemporary art.' The factory was one of the churches of my religion.'.
It was in 1967 that Claude Renard one of the directors of Renault first suggested to his President Pierre Dreyfus the ambitious idea of the company funding a project to focus on contemporary art. After getting the go ahead, Renard then asked the artists and friends he had met while still a fairly young and anonymous collector for help to build this innovative corporate collection. The intention was to use the collection as neither a promotional tool nor as an investment but as a bridge between the worlds of art and industry. Among the artists whose help and ideas Renard enlisted were Arman, Jean Dubuffet, Victor Vasarely, Jesús Raphael Soto, Jean Tinguely, Gundmundur Err o and Antoni Tàpies.
Renard’s wife Micheline also helped him in developing this new project and together they created what was to be the first French corporate collection. Collecting for Renault over the following two decades, the Renards supported and collaborated with many artists and in parallel, acquired an impressive personal collection of their work. As a result of their close working relationship with the majority of the artists whose work they collected, much of the Renard’s collection consists of work that was specially made for them.