The annual international contemporary art fair (FIAC) opened its doors on 18 October at the Grand Palais, and marked the beginning of Parisians celebrations, offering to its visitors a rather pleasing edition.
Overview of what has marked us…
First of all, don’t be intimidated by figures, which can make you dizzy: 193 galleries from 27 different countries and inaccessible prices for ordinary people, as this sublime Joan Miro’s bronze sculpture Oiseau Solaire, sold by the Lelong gallery (Paris) for 6 million euros according to the Quotidien de l’Art. The major international galleries have done all that they can, offering for some, magnificent stands like the Marian Goodman gallery and Templon Gallery. The Americans, still tenors of the market, are back. Many Brazilians and South Americans in this 45th edition, that even exposes a Peruvian gallery, the «80 m2 Livia Benavides» gallery (Lima), in a wonderful geometric scenography.
Favorite of this edition: The Parades For Fiac festival, at the intersection of music, contemporary dance, performance, theater and poetry, and dedicated to performative practices and dialogue between disciplines in contemporary art which continues to attract its audience.
With their installation To Whom It May Concern, the duo Elmgreen & Dragset presents one hundred grounded sea stars on the la place Vendôme, in Paris. ©François Guillot/Agence France-Presse
Let’s have a look at the parallel fairs …
The Fiac is indeed a series of events, conferences, dinners, and previews. For about fifteen years, “satellite” fairs have been involved. And in the game of “Off” fairs, Parisians and the foreign public have something to get lost.
Mansions are assaulted. In the area of Monceau, Asia Now houses more than 30 galleries from China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, but also the Philippines or Thailand, for a more convincing second edition. Without offering an exhaustive panorama of Asian creation, the visit is still instructive. Tayeba Begum Lipi’s razor-sharp underwear, who lives in Bangladesh and symbolizes woman conditions by these dangerous objects. But the best paintings of the fair go to the Filipino painter Gaston Damag. He brings out the ancient sculpture of his country, but in the state in which it is today: counterfeit, misunderstood, an object of tourism consumption.
Nearby, rue de Vigny, we discover Paris Internationale, a third fragile edition, but which has the merit of honoring “non-profit” areas and artists run spaces. But our real “crush” is for Bagus Pandega’s digital work at Roh Projects.
The Opera area is occupied by the fourth edition of the Outsider Art Fair. We would like to welcome a progress, but this version is reminiscent of the previous one where the best is next to the mediocre.
How not to stop at Private Choices? A high-quality selection performed by the collector Nadia Candet, with pieces presented by Jeanne Susplugas or Boris Chouvellon.
.Private Choices © MF
In the Marais, the YIA (Young International Art Fair) keep going its dangerous fall into nothingness. You have to cling to find pieces drowning in a maze of mediocrity. However, some pieces can be kept: Leo Dorfner‘s works, or stands from the Geneva gallery Annalix Forever and the young Parisian Segolene Brosselette.
And finally, the very last one: Welcome Art Fair, which was born in 2018 in the Marais and launched by the gallerist Olivier Robert, who pretends to “innovate”. Impossible to understand what is this innovation, this novelty. He claims intimacy (20 galleries) and enabling experimentation while emphasizing the plurality of artistic approaches that galleries support. But the one that replaces the sadly missing Variation Art Fair, which had the merit of exclusively showing digital art and video, fails to achieve its goals. However, this first edition still offers museum-quality pieces like those of Léa Le Bricomte.
By Madeleine Filippi