From April 5th to April 8th 2018, in the nave of the Grand Palais in Paris, took place the 20th edition of Art Paris Art Fair. Art-Trope explored is 142 galleries from 23 countries. French Artists were in the spotlight under the artistic direction of curator François Piron. According to certain participants, despite the growing quality of the Art, the Art fair struggles to convince an international audience.
France and Switzerland under the spotlight at Art Paris Art Fair
The 20th edition of Art Paris Art Fair entrusted curator François Piron with its artistic direction. “We asked [him] to have a subjective perspective on the French Art scene by doing a selection among the projects of participating galleries and by writing a compelling analysis. At a time when France is economically getting back on track, it was important to us to highlight our Art scene dynamism” said Guillaume Piens, the General Curator of the fair, to The Good Life. Holding a diploma from the University of Haute-Bretagne (Rennes 2), and head of the post-graduate program of the Lyon National Superior School of Fine Arts, François Piron was also in charge of the Spanish pavilion at the Venice Biennial in 2011 and the Dutch pavilion in 2013. Even though the emphasis was laid on French Artists, Switzerland was the guest of honor of the 2018 exhibition. As a result, 14 galleries represented the country and confirm the fair’s goal to put European regions in the spotlight.
An eclectic Art fair for a non so electric atmosphere
The Art fair is an invitation to explore Modern and Contemporary Art. Its eclectic program purposely “links, subdues and fixes the memory lapses from post-war to contemporary Artists” as explained by Laurent Boudier, Art critique for Télérama. Emerging galleries also have their spot and are limited to the presentation of three Artists to preserve the quality of the curation. Among them, there is the Parisian gallery entitled H Gallery which opened two years ago and presented in its selection Marie Havel, awarded with the 2017 DDessin award. Facing a bunker ruin, the Artist built a canvas with moss. Galleries Claude Bernard and T&L proposed Artist Leonardo Ceromini with his stunning play on colors. Art-Trope also had the pleasure to rediscover one of Miguel Chevalier’s Artworks we already saw on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition Artists and Robots at the Grand Palais. Despite the diversity of the exhibitors, the crowd was not as present as for the FIAC. “It is harder to recreate a fair with a bad reputation than create a new fair, and it was difficult to convince Parisian galleries to come back” said Guillaume Piens, director of Art Paris to The Art Newspaper.
Art Paris Art Fair’s difficulty to attract an international audience
Several exhibitors acknowledged the progress made in terms of curation quality by the Art fair for the past few years. Director of Daniel Templon gallery Anne-Claudie Coric said to The Art Newspaper: “I don’t know if it’s improving, but the artistic direction is better.” However, some participants have a much more reserved opinion. It is the case for gallerist Thomas Bernard who participated for the first time to the Art fair. He confided in The Art Newspaper: “FIAC has consistent quality with different formats whereas here there’s unequal quality and fewer different formats.” The international dimension is less highlighted than the FIAC which can be the result of the absence of the main Parisian galleries such as Perrotin and Gagosian. However, France’s relative economic improvement and the trust from investors as for President Emmanuel Macron are reasons to be optimistic. Also, the international attendance was impacted by strikes in the transportation sector whether it is in the air or on the ground which are currently shaking France.
Read our article about photographer and Art-Trope Artist Arié Botbol here.