As Paris+ Opens, France’s Art Market Thrums with Excitement

As the Paris art market prepares for its busiest season with the opening today of the second edition of Paris+ par Art Basel, the local scene is basking in the warm autumn glow of the international art world’s good favor. This, despite the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Gaza, France’s raising its security alert to the highest level following the stabbing of a teacher in the northern part of the country this past Friday, and the Louvre and Versailles being evacuated Saturday out of precaution following bomb and security risks, respectively. klubslot

Still, art world revelers were not deterred from convening at openings over the weekend, including those at two blue-chip galleries’ new French outposts: Mendes Wood DM in the Place des Vosges and Hauser & Wirth’s 19th-century hotel particulier near the Champs Elysées. That these inaugurations—and other gallery opening receptions—took place over the weekend this year, as opposed to during the week as they did last year, is worth noting.

Dealer Nathalie Obadia, whose eponymous gallery recently expanded its Paris footprint, said, as has long been speculated and buoyed by Brexit, Paris may indeed be draining some of Frieze London’s mojo: visitors “are either ignoring Frieze, or only going for one day, and then coming to Paris right away. It shows Frieze is no longer prioritized,” she said. klubslot

While Obadia’s view may be hard to prove, Paris has become a hot destination for collectors, advisers, and others coming from outside Europe, who are attracted to the City of Light’s fast-growing roster of international art galleries, private art foundations, and experimental alternative spaces in walkable distance from its world-class museums, not to mention its luxurious hotels, coveted fashion and design, and gourmet restaurants. The Parisian contemporary art scene is blooming—and the sophomore edition of Paris+ is certainly potent fertilizer. This week will also see several satellite fairs—Paris Internationale, Asia Now, AKAA Art & Design Fair, and the inaugural Design Miami/Paris—crop up across the city.

“With Paris+ everything is more international!” Guillaume Piens, who runs the regional fair Art Paris each spring, told ARTnews in an email. With more and more galleries coming, “this is a major, historic turning point for Paris,” Piens said.

Nevertheless, the second edition of an art fair can be tricky; once the hype of the first act subsides, will the fair be able to stand on its own and have long-term impact on the city’s art scene?

“Last year there was the question of whether the first edition signaled that Paris is back,” said Paris+ director Clément Delépine, referring to the city’s former status as the world’s leading art center. “We’ll need to compare [results] over time to identify a trajectory,” he said from a fair office room on the Champs Elysées. But “if the galleries are bringing the masterpieces they plan to show, it means they’re confident in finding a Paris audience, and in selling them … This is clearly a Parisian moment that, for now, hasn’t run out of steam.”

Obadia said that several clients have confirmed they will be in Paris this week for the fair, which could itself pose a problem on the two VIP days, beginning Wednesday, given that Paris+’s temporary home, the Grand Palais Ephémère, is smaller than the iconic Grand Palais, to which it will return, post-Olympics renovations in 2024. klubslot