Started in the 1960s, the Collection Lambert represents the taste, aspirations and passions of its collector. An art dealer since the time he started his collection, Yvon Lambert fought against the academicism of French painting and its refusal to acknowledge that after the war, the world’s center of creation was no longer Paris, despite its prior artistic glory, but rather a triumphal America. Minimalism, conceptual art and land art form the pillars of the collection. In the 1980s, the art dealer-collector focused on new, more figurative painting. In the 1990s, he devoted his collection to photography. Since the 1990s, videos, installations and paintings have made up most of his purchases. In this way, the collection has continued to grow and maintain its focus on young, forward-looking artists.
The artists represented in the collection, with ensembles that are in many cases unmatched by other French collections, are many and varied, with names including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Miquel Barceló, Sol LeWitt, Robert Ryman, Lawrence Weiner, Nan Goldin, Andres Serrano, Christian Boltanski, Daniel Buren, Douglas Gordon, Cy Twombly, Niele Toroni, Bertand Lavier, Claire Fontaine, Miroslaw Balka, Adel Abdessemed, and Francesco Vezzoli.
An exhibition made up of a rotating cast of works from the permanent stock runs on a continual basis in the Hôtel de Caumont, with a focus on certain movements or artists that are especially well represented in the Collection. Alongside this, temporary exhibitions are held twice per year in the Hôtel de Montfaucon.