Crowds outside the Grand Palais on the public opening of FIAC, October 21, 2011. All photographs for Art Observed on site by Caroline Claisse.
After two days of previews, FIAC opened its doors to the Paris public on Friday, October 21st. Jill Silverman, Director of Paris/Salzburg-based gallery Thaddaeus Ropac, tells Art Observed that the fair presents “a very good cross section of European collectors.” FIAC is one of the most nationally-focused art fairs, boasting a solid 32% of French exhibitors, whereas last week’s Frieze in London had only 25% British galleries. American presence increased this year with several New York galleries making their debut at the fair: Matthew Marks, Eleven Rivington, Andrew Kreps, Michele Maccarone and Friedrich Petzel. After a 30+year absence, Pace Gallery made a comeback to the fair. Works by seasoned veteran Damien Hirst are exhibited at both White Cube and Gagosian. Anish Kapoor also has work spread across the fair, whose gargantuan installation Leviathan filled the entire interior of the Grand Palais earlier this year. Lisson is showing one of his signature colored concave mirrors in fire-engine red; Kamel Mennour has wine-red, Galeria Continua has green, and Kukje/Tina Kim has purple; all have different price tags. Sales have been strong thusfar; Pace Gallery’s Arne Glimcher told Artinfo, “We had sales right off the bat, it was really fascinating. I hadn’t anticipated this kind of rush, especially in this economy, where Europe is not in as good of shape as America. But I think we have the right artists.” He added, “FIAC is certainly an enormous cut above Frieze.”
Michelangelo Pistoletto, Two Less One (2011) at Galleria Continua
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