History of the site

Originally an integral part of Rennes' central market, the hall occupied by La Criée center d'art contemporain since 1986 is where prices were set for products sold at auctions in the rest of the building. Here's a look back at its History...


The halles centrales building was designed by architect Emmanuel Leray. Inaugurated on April 29, 1923, its name on the pediment still reads « Criée municipale » (municipal fish auction), although the wholesale fish trade, and later the fruit and vegetable trade, ceased in the 1960s. The other parts of the building are still home to a daily food market.


The space occupied by La Criée was transformed into a venue for contemporary art in 1986. It includes two exhibition rooms, one of 135 m² and the other of 25 m², as well as two smaller rooms of 12 m².
The art center was initially administered by a non-profit organization: « La Criée, Halle d'art contemporain ». Directed by Yannick Miloux until the early 1990s, it offered a program of exhibitions, along with the production of works and publications. As a member of the first generation of art centers, it gave pride of place to monographic exhibitions by internationally renowned artists: Dan Graham ((1986)), Erik Dietman ((1986)), Gloria Friedman ((1986)), Antony Gormley ((1987)), François Morellet ((1989)), Présence Panchounette ((1989)), Tania Mouraud ((1990)), Hubert Duprat ((1990)), Rolf Julius ((1990)), Ilya Kabakov ((1992)), and others.



From 1996 onwards, the Frac Bretagne, under the direction of Catherine Elkar, took over and presented exhibitions in the former fish market, based on its own collections or linked to current local and international artistic events.



La Criée center for contemporary art, a cultural facility of the city of Rennes, was founded in 1999. It was directed by Larys Frogier until the end of 2011. He placed La Criée on the international scene through multiple collaborations and a policy of producing works by mid-career and emerging artists (Adel Abdessemed, Ugo Rondinone, Charles Sandison, Paola Pivi, etc.) Its strong links with the University of Rennes 2 enable it to bring together the worlds of research and business, in symposia on subjects that reflect its artistic and critical commitments, such as, in 2009, « Ex-Tensions, créations africaines et postcolonialismes ».



Since September 2012, La Criée has been directed by Sophie Kaplan. Building on the creative support and dissemination missions already developed, she has given the art center a new dynamic, mainly embodied by the introduction of thematic seasons and the companionship with an associate artist.

Open to a wide public, La Criée has become a place where the artistic forms of today and tomorrow are invented and reflected upon, as well as the uses to which these forms are put. Each season, La Criée's programming combines exhibitions, artistic projects and multi-disciplinary events to meet the objectives of exhibition practice, research, international dissemination and long-term local involvement. Experimenting with different ways of meeting and transmitting with the public is at the very heart of all these objectives.


In 2018, La Criée was awarded the « Centre d'art contemporain d'intérêt national » label by the French Ministry of Culture.