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Contemporary Art Does Some Brisk Business at FIAC

Some 214 galleries from 26 countries—including 54 first-time exhibitors—were represented at this year’s Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, or FIAC, the annual Paris contemporary art fair, held this year from Oct. 6-10 at the Porte de Versailles exhibition complex on the southern edge of Paris. The fair attracted visitors the likes of Sharon Stone and Beyoncé

PARIS—Some 214 galleries from 26 countries—including 54 first-time exhibitors—were represented at this year’s Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, or FIAC, the annual Paris contemporary art fair, held this year from Oct. 6-10 at the Porte de Versailles exhibition complex on the southern edge of Paris. The fair attracted visitors the likes of Sharon Stone and Beyoncé Knowles, with overall attendance recorded at 83,000, a tad above last year’s total of 81,721 (see ANL, 11/9/04).

Paris veteran Galerie Lelong, showing works by Karel Appel and Pierre Alechinsky, reported its best FIAC in several years, and Paris dealer Daniel Templon called it his best since 1989. New York’s Luxe Gallery enjoyed brisk business, as did Baronian-Francey and Rodolphe Janssen from Brussels. Works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Emil Nolde helped the Henze & Ketterer gallery, Wichtrach/Bern, post sales of more than €2.4 million ($2.9 million).

A one-man show of Georg Baselitz’s work at Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris/ Salzburg, generated individual sales of up to €225,000 ($270,000); and another one on Paul Rebeyrolle at Claude Bernard, Paris, brought prices up to €130,000 ($156,000). Galerie de France, Paris, sold a work by Zhang Xiaogang to a U.S. collector for €200,000 ($240,000) and one by Martial Raysse to a French corporate buyer for €230,000 ($276,000).

Sales in the middle range included €45,000 ($54,000) for Kader Attia’s installation Childhood #1 at Kamel Mennour, Paris; €30,000 ($36,000) for Gilles Barbier’s Prince des ventres at Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris; and €15,000 ($18,000) for both Philippe Favier’s Géographie des gauchers, at Guy Bärtschi, Geneva, and a Leapfrog video by Marie Sue at Rabouan Moussion, Paris, where all nine Antarctic videos presented in portholes, by Moscow’s Alexandre Ponomarev, went for €6,500 ($7,800) each. Meanwhile Art & Public, Geneva, sold all 1,000 of their Tableaux Chinois (Chinese paintings) by Raphaël Julliard. They were priced at €100 ($120) each.

The next FIAC (Oct. 26-30) will remain at Porte de Versailles, despite the hopes of many that it might return to the freshly renovated Grand Palais, where it was held until 1993. FIAC is now too big for the Palais, but organizers say it will serve as an auxiliary venue during next year’s event, though they have yet to specify what for.

SIMON HEWITT

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