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Buyers Flock to FIAC At New Paris Venue

The 33rd edition of FIAC (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain), the Paris contemporary art fair (Oct. 26-30), was a major success, following a change of venue that invigorated sales. As of this year, FIAC has permanently moved to the center of Paris at two locations: the Cour Carrée, the Louvre museum; and the Grand Palais,

PARIS—The 33rd edition of FIAC (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain), the Paris contemporary art fair (Oct. 26-30), was a major success, following a change of venue that invigorated sales. As of this year, FIAC has permanently moved to the center of Paris at two locations: the Cour Carrée, the Louvre museum; and the Grand Palais, its home until 1994.

The prestigious central locations attracted nearly 88,000 visitors, up five percent from last year. The selection of 168 galleries included 77 French and 91 foreign exhibitors. The sites were extremely crowded, especially over the weekend, with both filled to maximum capacity.

For several years, since the Grand Palais closed for renovation in 1994, the fair was held on the southern border of the city in a large convention center at the Porte de Versailles (ANL, 10/28/03, p. 3). The new locations are separated by the Tuileries Gardens, which also inspired an outdoor exhibition in the gardens, with 15 sculptures along the path, including works by Tony Cragg, Richard Long and David Mach as part of the show.

$2M for an Yves Klein Picture

Galleries report bustling sales, one of the most important at Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne/Zug, which sold a painting by Yves Klein (1928-62) for $2 million. (An exhibition of Klein’s work is on view at the Georges Pompidou Center, Paris, through Feb. 2007.)

Other reported sales include a Pierre Soulages painting at €600,000 ($756,000), by Karsten Greve, Cologne/Paris/Milan/St. Moritz; and a sculpture by Jeff Koons from his “Equilibrium” series, sold for an undisclosed price by Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris.

In all, de Noirmont says, he sold 45 works, including: photographs by Pierre et Gilles; a drawing by Jean-Michel Basquiat; a painting by French artist Fabrice Hyber for €150,000 ($189,000); 20 works by Benjamin Sabatier for about €2,500, or $3,100, each; and several works by sculptor Mach for prices ranging from €50,000/200,000 ($63,000/252,000).

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris/Salzburg, announced solid success with its solo show of sculptures by Cragg, including the sale of the work displayed outdoors in the Tuileries Gardens.

Paris dealer Daniel Templon, who showed works by Jim Dine, reports the sale of two Dine paintings in the first half hour of the fair for about $150,000/200,000 each; and works by French painters Gérard Garouste and Philippe Cognée at €85,000/95,000 and €18,000/45,000, respectively. Both Templon and de Noirmont report that works on offer began selling vigorously within moments of the fair’s opening.

Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris/Miami, says he sold a work by Wim Delvoye, adding that he doubled his sales total from last year. Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris, long absent from the fair and displaying works by Tacita Dean, Giuseppe Penone and Thomas Struth, among others, also confirms strong sales, as did the international gallery Hauser & Wirth, Zurich/London. Galerie Vedovi, Brussels/Paris, sold a painting by Basquiat for around $1 million as well.

The Cour Carrée, at the Louvre, held in a large inflatable structure, featured both the design section of the fair and newer, more contemporary galleries, including Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin; and Paris’ gb agency and Jocelyn Wolff.

There were several smaller art fairs, timed to coincide with FIAC. Participating galleries at these shows also noted high attendance and interest: Show Off, which included several galleries that had not been accepted for FIAC (such as Magda Danysz, Eric Dupont, Les Filles du Calvaire and Baudoin Lebon) and was held at the Espace Pierre Cardin near the Place de la Concorde; Diva, a digital and video art fair that included an homage to Matthew Barney and featured such galleries as New York’s Elga Wimmer and Moscow’s Arka Gallery, held at the Kube hotel, Paris; and Slick, the first Paris fair dedicated solely to video art.

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