Le Frac Grand Large —
Le Frac Grand Large —

Frac Grand-Large - Hauts-de-France

The Frac Grand Large – Hauts-de-France holds exhibitions of its contemporary art and design collections throughout the year at regional and cross-border level. The collection includes over 1,800 works based around an initial core devoted to Arte Povera, minimalism, conceptual art, individual mythologies, Pop Art and Fluxus, with a specific section dedicated to design, which reflects the international mix of its sources. Today, acquisitions focus on emerging creativity – the world of objects, the notions of representation, the link between art and society, as well as the mobile nature of knowledge and the imagination.

Its partners are recognised artistic venues or third places, such as multimedia resource centres, schools and community associations. The Frac thereby promotes collaborative development and fosters synergy between groups to reach out to audiences in outlying areas. It tailors the subjects of the various projects to the interests of its partner institutions, as well as exploring the major thematic lines of its collection or reflecting the cultural agenda of the city of Dunkirk.

A strategy seeking to raise public interest among all sectors of the population accompanies the dissemination of the collection, in the form of visits, public lectures, participative projects and workshops. One of these initiatives, ‘Élèves à l’Œuvre’ (Art Works at School), is carried out in conjunction with the French Ministry of Education; it enables some twenty schools to receive works from the Frac and to study them in line with the school curricula.

Vue du Belvédère du Frac Grand Large — Hauts-de-France, Yona Friedman, Pictogrammes
Vue du Belvédère du Frac Grand Large — Hauts-de-France, Yona Friedman, Pictogrammes
Keren Detton. Photo : Pierre Volot / Ville de Dunkerque
Keren Detton. Photo : Pierre Volot / Ville de Dunkerque

Enhancing interaction between design and art, architecture and ecology

The Frac Grand Large – Hauts-de-France arts policy is based on the history of its collection and, in particular, its acquisitions portfolio which since 1983 has been devoted to design. I wanted to enhance the interaction between this field and the spheres of art, architecture and ecology through theme-based exhibitions and by inviting artists, designers and theoreticians (including KVM, Florence Doléac, Claude Courtecuisse and Mathilde Sauzet) to bring their vision to the collection.
In its early years, the Frac Grand Large developed a solid historical base that embraced the major art movements of the 1960s to 1970s such as Arte Povera (Luciano Fabro, Carla Accardi), minimalism (Sol LeWitt, Vera Molnar) or Fluxus (Joseph Beuys, Robert Filliou). Fuelled by the efforts of figures like Jan Hoet or Chris Dercon of the Technical Committee, this collection has greatly contributed to the Frac’s international reputation and its cross-border and European dissemination. These works have inspired new practices, particularly in the case of joint curatorships and residency programmes that we want to see take root throughout the region (Catherine Rannou, Donovan Le Coadou).
Another aspect of the collection, which is of especial interest to me, involves works that reflect a concern for language and its signs, and for narratives spanning a broad spectrum ranging from fiction to documentary. The exhibition ‘Another World /// In our world’ (2021, curated by Jean-François Sanz) is a contemporary take on fantastic realism, revisiting the Frac by challenging us about modes of truth in the age of new technologies.

My aim is that acquisitions should embrace different continents from now on, reflecting globalisation, so as to highlight the mobile nature and circulation of forms, ideas and imagination. This collection is therefore intended as ‘material’ to be pondered over and perceived in exhibition venues as diverse as schools, multimedia resource centres and prisons, creating ‘contact zones’ that are more essential now than ever before!

— Keren Detton, Director of the Frac Grand-Large – Hauts-de-France

Keren Detton holds a degree in art history and trained as a curator at the Ecole du Magasin in Grenoble (1999). Her work focuses on the latter half of the 20th century, the artwork as event and the relationship with the viewer. After professional projects in France and abroad, she joined the Air de Paris contemporary art gallery, where she developed an initiative for emerging artists (La Planck). In 2007, together with fellow curators she founded the association C-E-A, which she chaired until 2009. She was appointed director of the contemporary art centre Le Quartier in Quimper, where she curated around fifty solo and group exhibitions, as well as producing a large number of publications. As director of the Frac Grand Large – Hauts-de-France since 2016, she is pursuing new avenues for the collection, focusing on mobility, imagery and societal issues, while further developing the portfolio devoted to design and installation.

Technical acquisition committee

Irene Aristizábal
Commissaire en chef du Centre d’art contemporain BALTIC au Royaume-Uni depuis 2019.
Alexandrine Dhainaut
Critique d’art et de cinéma, commissaire d’exposition indépendante
Burkhard Meltzer
Historien de l’art et du design
Keren Detton
Directrice du Frac Frac Grand Large — Hauts-de-France, Dunkerque
Michel Dupuy
Artiste faisant parti du duo Dector & Dupuy


Jean-Baptiste Tivolle
Keren Detton


Frac Grand-Large -- Hauts-de-France
503 avenue des Bancs de Flandres
59140 Dunkerque, France

T: +33 (0)3 28 65 84 20

Opening hours

10AM-6PM / 11AM-7PM (SUMMER)
10AM-6PM / 11AM-7PM (SUMMER)
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