By the close of FIAC on Sunday evening, some 68,000+ visitors had come through the fair. These attendance figures represent a 6% increase from the previous year, reports the New York Times. Housed this year in the exuberant Grand Palais, the fair showed strong sales from the get go. Despite the global economic downtown of recent years, the atmosphere was effervescent. French, American, and German galleries dominated the space (55, 26, and 21, respectively), but participants from Brazil, Turkey, and South Africa showed a strong presence at the fair for the first time. New York newcomers Matthew Marks, Eleven Rivington, Andrew Kreps, Michele Maccarone and Friedrich Petzel did well, and Pace Gallery made a comeback after a long absence. Compared to Frieze the week before in London, many fair-goers felt that the Parisian fair was riskier in content, creating a more exciting and eclectic display of artworks.
More text and images after the jump…
The fair’s proceedings began with a bit of drama as dealers grumbled over the admittance of big-hitting collectors such as François Pinault and Bernard Arnault before installation was completed. Some smaller galleries were annoyed at their placement on the upper floor of the fair, as space was cramped and it involved a climb, but concerns subsided as sales poured in.
Gallerists Philomene Magers and Monika Sprüth shared their thoughts with Art Observed on the fair this year: “We first participated at FIAC in 2009 and have watched the fair grow substantially in its importance to the international art world. We’re very impressed with the quality of collectors at the fair who are very knowledgeable and considered in their approach to contemporary art.” The gallery, Sprüth Magers, did well this year, selling work by Andreas Gursky, Rosemarie Trockel, Barbara Kruger, Fischli & Weiss, Louise Lawler, and Cyprien Gaillard.
Anne-Claudie Coric, Director of Daniel Templon Gallery shared: “The fair went really well for us. We have been participating in FIAC since 1974 and it is the best edition in quality, attendance and sales since 1989.” They sold five sculptures by young Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, five paintings by French painter Philippe Cognee, an installation by Brazilian artist Tunga, among many other works by artists including Norbert Bisky, Gerard Garouste, Oda Jaune, Jonathan Meese, and Jan Fabre. It was the gallery’s first time showing American painter Kehinde Wiley at FIAC; his painting also sold quickly.”
On Saturday, October 22, the winner of the Marcel Duchamp Prize was announced: Romanian-born artist Mircea Cantor. Initiated in 2000, the prize honors contemporary artists who are citizens or residents of France. Along with €35,000, Cantor received a solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou’s 315 Space, a gallery dedicated to younger international artists. Born in 1977 in Oradea, Romania, Cantor rose to the international art scene through his involvement with Cluj-based gallery Plan B. It is fitting that he should receive the prize named after Marcel Duchamp because Cantor cites the iconic artist as a major inspiration. Cantor is represented in Paris by Yvon Lambert Gallery; he lives and works in Paris and Cluj.
Artist Mircea Cantor, via Walker Art Center.
Helen Marten’s work La-Z-boy, on view at FIAC 2011. Image via Artribune.
The Lafayette Prize honoring emerging artists and galleries went to Helen Marten, whose solo show at Berlin-based Johann König was completely sold on the first day t0 collector Guillaume Houzé of the Galeries Lafayette department store fortune. Born in Macclesfield, UK, in 1985, Marten lives and works in London. This is the second consecutive year a German gallery has won; last year Frankfurt-based gallery Neue Alte Brücke took the prize with a solo show from Scotland-born London-based artist Morag Keil.
Artist Helen Marten, image via Artforum.
Also Thursday evening was a collateral event, Galleries Night Out. Circa ninety Parisian galleries around the city, as well as several well-established institutions, kept their doors open to 10pm or later. Art Observed was on site for openings at Galerie Chantal Crousel and Emmanuel Perrotin, as well as for a special performance at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. At Emmanuel Perrotin, works by Takashi Murakami, Xavier Veilhan, and Wim Delvoye were displayed; at Chantal Crousel were works by Thomas Hirschhorn and Wolfgang Tillmans. At Thaddaeus Ropac, dancers Hervé Robbe and Johana Lemarchand moved gracefully, mirroring motions in the Alex Katz paintings in the background. The music, composed by Romain Kronenberg and performed by Rémy Aurine-Belloch on electric guitar recreated the hypnotic sound of a human heart beat.
Adjacent to the Grand Palais lies the Jardin des Tuileries, spotted with sculptures by internationally renowned artists including Urs Fischer, Antony Gormley, and Navid Nuur. Other extensions of the fair were to be found in Jardin des Plantes, the Museum of Natural History, Auditorium of the Grand Palais and the Louvre.
– J. Lindblad
Fair Site [FIAC]
Euro Flails but Art Fair Flourishes [NYT]
Shopping Spree: How to Spend a Million Dollars at Paris’s FIAC Art Fair [Artinfo]
Lessons From An Art Fair As FIAC 2011 Opens In Paris [Forbes]
Rendez-vous in Paris [e-flux]
Marcel Duchamp Prize Award Winner to be Announced at FIAC [FlashArt]