Cnap Curatorial Research Grants

In 2016, the Centre national des arts plastiques (National Centre for Visual Arts, Cnap) will once again award its curatorial research grant. The purpose of these grants is to enable curators to develop a research project around the Cnap collection over the course of a three-month residency in Paris.


The Fonds national d’art contemporain is France’s state-owned collection of modern and contemporary art. Works have been acquired from living artists for more than 220 years. The collection has been expanded through purchases, gifts and commissions and currently holds over 100,000 works.

The Cnap manages and displays this collection. It also plays an active role in its composition. Works are not acquired to form a collection around a single historical period or theme. The purpose is instead to assemble a collection that is representative of contemporary creation in all its forms, which constitutes a narrative for our era.

The Cnap expresses the diversity of artistic practices today, across different generations and nationalities. It seeks out and supports young artists, as well as adding to groups of works by established artists and creators through the acquisition of recent productions.

The collection is divided into chronological sections—historical (1791–1904), modern (1905–60) and contemporary (post-1961)—and categorized by media (in particular, graphic art and post-1980 video and photography).

The collection is unique in Europe for its size and scope. It offers the chance to experiment with new curatorial strategies and to view the collection in its most experimental sense, from its earliest to its most contemporary elements.


The grant invites candidates to conduct research on contemporary issues during a three month residency at the Cnap. Projects must demonstrate an experimental and innovative approach. They can focus on a period, a geographical region or, alternatively, take an interdisciplinary approach. Projects will be judged for their originality and a novel curatorial approach.

Selected candidates will be encouraged to work with the Cnap team, and will be given the opportunity to explore all of the Cnap’s resources.

At the end of the residency, candidates are invited to present the outcome of their research. These outcomes will be the subject of exchanges with the Cnap team.

Application requirements and conditions

  • Successful candidates will each receive a grant of 7,000 EUR covering travel, accommodation and living expenses.
  • Groups can submit a project but only one grant will be awarded.
  • Projects must be original and have never been previously published or produced.
  • The majority of documentation will be in French. Candidates must therefore be fluent in French.
  • Selected candidates will be auditioned from September 20 by a jury comprising members of the Cnap scientific team and specialists in the fields of art and research.
  • The residences will begin at the end of 2016 and be completed in spring 2017. Applicants will therefore have the possibility of a three-month residency depending on their availability and the agreement of the Cnap team.
Application date
3 months
Europe : France (Paris Île-de-France)
Humanities : Art & Art History
Required post-doc experience
Between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
€ 7.000