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Paris + by Art Basel: second edition!
paris-par-art-basel-deuxieme-edition - ARTACTIF
December 2023 | Reading time: 17 Min | 0 Comment(s)

About Paris + by Art Basel, the new international contemporary art fair taking place in Paris from 20 to 22 October.

In the 'contemporary art market' category, all eyes are currently on the second edition of Paris + by Art Basel, which will take place from 20 to 22 October throughout the French capital, not to mention the many peripheral events planned. For this month's Connaissance des arts magazine, there's no doubt about it, given the success of its grand premiere last year: the fair that replaced the FIAC (Foire internationale d'art contemporain, which ran from 1974 to 2022) has succeeded in its gamble. Journalist Marie Maertens points to the fact that this year, for the first time, the formula has attracted the historic art galleries Blum & Poe and Richard Nagy, as well as younger galleries such as Document, Gianni Manhattan and Smac Gallery. Even if the growing internationalisation of the event raises the question of the place left to French art galleries...

Paris+ by Art Basel, which will continue to be held at the Grand Palais Éphémère this autumn until the Grand Palais is completed in 2024, is now THE fair for modern and contemporary art. Its ambition, as stated on its website, is "to create bridges with other cultural industries in order to build an emblematic fair that respects the identity of Paris and its cultural scene". According to its director, Clément Delépine, "Paris + is a laboratory of ideas within the MCH group. We are building a model that puts the city in the spotlight and is unique. We are also promoting the Emergence sector, which is at the heart of the fair, because we want to support young galleries in transition. Our Conversations programme draws on a wide range of creative fields, and our off-site activities are open to all local residents.

We all remember that the news hit the contemporary art world like a bombshell when it was made official on 26 January 2022. What had long seemed unfeasible and even virtually unthinkable had now happened: the bloody and damaging battle between two contemporary art fairs was over! For the record, two international modern and contemporary art fairs were being held simultaneously in Paris, bringing together 244 galleries but giving too contrasting a picture of today's artistic production. The FIAC was a good illustration of recent art, but lacked any major modern works for sale. And Art Paris, set up in 1999 by art dealers unhappy with the FIAC, suffered from a confused display and a selection that was a little too indulgent.

In his article for AOC in February 2022, sociologist Alain Quemin explained that it was "the Swiss group MCH, owner of the world's leading contemporary art fair, Art Basel, and its two associated events Art Basel Miami Beach and Art Basel Hong Kong, that the Réunion des musées nationaux had chosen over the RX group. The RX group, which owns the FIAC, had become largely inseparable from Paris. The aim was to allocate a seven-year rental slot for the prestigious Grand Palais site, and for the Grand Palais Ephémère while it was closed until 2024. Until then, FIAC seemed to have virtually become the owner of the October rental slot, which was not open to competition. In its self-confidence, the event seemed to have forgotten that the Réunion des musées nationaux was under no obligation to reserve the space which, in reality, conferred most of its value on the event and the brand. The proof: FIAC is dead. Long live Paris + by Art Basel...

No fewer than one hundred and fifty-four art galleries from thirty-four countries have been announced this year, including sixteen new exhibitors. For Marie Maertens, the offering is more varied than ever. "By welcoming the most important international names as well as some very young galleries, Paris + makes it possible to nurture fruitful dialogues about the works", the journalist notes in the words of Marc Payot, president of the Hauser & Wirth art gallery, which is also inaugurating a huge branch in the French capital. The gallery owners appreciate the quality of the exchanges with the collectors and curators who visit the Paris fairs. Hauser & Wirth chose to present works for sale by a wide range of the artists it represents, including Camille Henrot and Paul McCarthy, while Blum & Poe focused on a solo show by visual artist Lonnie Holley. While the Jan Mot art gallery will be exhibiting Lili Dujourie, a major Belgian artist who is still too little known internationally, alongside works by Lawrence Weiner and Francis Alÿs, the Perrotin gallery will be presenting a monumental entry into its stable by the Franco-Swiss artist Julian Charrière, with an exhibition of his four-metre-long gravure evoking an oil field in California.

There will be plenty of new discoveries to be made, with artists such as Charlotte Dualé, PM8 and Loreto Martinez Troncoso, who have emerged from the young contemporary art scene, but the works of art for sale at the fair will never be far removed from those of the expected big names, such as Jean Dubuffet, Agnes Martin, Robert Rauschenberg, De Wein Valentine, John Baldessari, Jenny Holzer and others: you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to admiring and buying works of art! What's more, the hors les mur programme developed by Paris + not only gives local residents and the curious free access to works of art, but also enables the exhibiting galleries to present spectacular formats. Urs Fischer's immense wave, a five-metre-high aluminium sculpture, came aground on Place Vendôme, while Sheila Hicks's monumental work turned the square in front of the Institut de France towards unknown horizons...


Valerie SussetArticle written by Valibri en Roulotte

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