• To encourage artists to engage with the theme of water, which has played a part in the history of art since time immemorial.
  • To encourage them to reflect upon, observe, analyse, criticise and make use of water in their creative work, exploring its properties, its symbols, its tools and its issues.
  • To offer the artists a platform to reach all sections of the public.
  • To encourage dialogue and networking with the cultural community.
  • To develop the public’s awareness of contemporary art, particularly young people, and enable them, through the water theme, to experience and more easily perceive its diversity of perspectives.

Terms of the competition

This Competition is open to major visual artists, of all nationalities, at the mid-point of their career, the eligible disciplines are the following: painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, video or any other form of plastic or visual art (live performance and music are not eligible).

For installations and sculptures, artists may present either an existing work or a project. In the case of a project, a production budget of a maximum of €80,000 must be attached.
For other art forms, only an existing work can be submitted. No additional production budget can be allocated for paintings, drawings, photographs or videos. The work presented, which may consist of a set or a single piece, must be a single copy.
For video or photography, ideally the work must also be a single edition, but if it includes editions, the prize is different (see rules). Film productions, live shows and performances will not be considered. 

4 to 6 winning artists are awarded annually for their project or work.

The call for entries takes place in the autumn of each year. The 13th edition of the competition will run from September 27 to November 22, 2023.


  • Proof of a professional artistic activity and/or being a graduate of an art school. 
  • Have a solid artistic background : work recently exhibited in institutions, galleries, festivals, etc. or have participated in an artistic residency.


A maximum of 4 “Contemporary Talents” prize-winners will be chosen from amongst the candidates, each of whom will receive €15,000 for the acquisition of their work. The endowment also includes:

  • A collective exhibition at the Foundation’s Contemporary Art Centre
  • A bilingual publication presenting the prize-winners’ work
  • The inclusion of the work in the Foundation’s collection
  • A video portrait of each of the laureates.

For the realisation of the works presented in the form of projects (sculpture or installation), a maximum envelope of 80,000€ is made available, divided between the different projects according to the needs of the artists and the decisions of the jury. In this case, the files must include a detailed budget of the production costs with an estimate. The budget must not exceed 50 000€ per project. For photographs and videos, if the print is not unique, the prize is €8,000 (see the rules for details). However, it is advisable to propose a unique edition for the competition.

Selection of works and projects

Artists are invited to submit proposals offering a distinctive and sensitive perspective on the theme of water, whether realistic or utopian, figurative or abstract.

Selection of works and projects

Artists are invited to submit proposals offering a distinctive and sensitive perspective on the theme of water, whether realistic or utopian, figurative or abstract.

Four Expert Committees and an International Grand Jury International will meet in succession:

The expert committees
Each committee is made up of two art and culture professionals. Their mission is to identify around thirty submissions out of all the works or projects received to be presented to the International Grand Jury.

The international grand jury
The jury, chaired by Jean-Noël Jeanneney, will choose the 4 to 6 “Contemporary Talents” prize-winners whose works will be acquired by the Foundation.

  • Jean-Noël Jeanneney, former President of “Radio France”, former Secretary of State and former President of the “Bibliothèque Nationale de France” – Paris (France)
  • Rosa Maria Malet, Director of the Joan Miró Foundation 1980-2017, member of the Board of Directors – Barcelona (Spain)
  • Constance de Monbrison, Head of Insulinde collections, musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac – Paris (France)
  • Alfred Pacquement, Honorary General Curator of Heritage – Paris (France)
  • Chiara Parisi, Director of the Centre Pompidou – Metz (France)
  • Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Artist, Paris (France)
  • Roland Wetzel, Director of the Museum Tinguely – Basel (Switzerland)

NB: The expert committees and the grand jury are subject to change depending on availability.

Application file

Applications must be written in French by French-speaking candidates, or in English by other candidates.

These files must include:

Administrative part

  • Registration form and signed regulations read and approved (PDF format)
  • Copy of your identity document (front / back identity card or passport) (PDF format)


Artistic part (work carried out or project to be produced, sculpture or installation)

  • Your curriculum vitae and / or presentation of the collective of artists, justifying an artistic background (work recently exhibited in institutions, galleries, festivals, etc. or having participated in one or more artistic residencies) (PDF format, 2 pages maximum).
  • Your portfolio / artistic presentation of your work (PDF format, 20 A4 pages maximum, 20 MB maximum)
  • A note of intent presenting the work or project and the artist’s approach for the competition, intellectual and creative approach (PDF format, 2 pages maximum) as well as a short presentation of the work (maximum 1,100 characters with spaces).
  • A precise technical description of the existing work or project (sculptures, installations), title, materials, technique, dimensions, weight, constraints and technical means required for the exhibition, assembly or transport of the work (PDF format, 1 page maximum).
  • A detailed production budget of up to € 50,000 for works presented in the form of projects for sculptures and installations (PDF format).
  • 3 to 5 color visuals (photo, drawing, diagram, modeling, plan, etc.) (JPG format, 5 MB maximum per visual).
  • Video extract for the video works. It is possible to attach a video capture for the other works (painting, sculpture, etc.) in order to contextualize it (format MOV/MP4, 4 GB maximum).

IMPORTANT: The works presented must not under any circumstances be conceived with a view to being permanently installed at the Foundation.

Download the call for applications.
Download the regulations.