Raise the Flag for FIAC

Published October 20, 2011

 

FIAC’s 38th edition is open through October 23, in the unmatchably grand-for-a-convention-center Grand Palais. The Parisian fair has always lagged behind Frieze—not merely in timing, but because of the presumed conservatism of French collectors. This is still a decisively French affair, and local galleries dominate the fair, but after last year’s strong showing, FIAC has attracted a hot crop of emerging and established New York galleries, among them Matthew Marks, Marian Goodman, Andrew Kreps, and Friedrich Petzel.

All of which makes this an ideal year to be a first-timer at the fair—the cour carrée, the space dedicated to less established galleries, is going through renovations, so young and old find themselves under one roof. In the midst of French elections, this is surely a call for democracy. Here are some fair highlights:

Emmanuel Perrotin is the French art businessman, and he’s got a taste for art superstars: Murakami, Sophie Calle, you name it. Recently he’s signed the young jet-setting artist Yvan Argote (best known for painting over Mondrian works at the Centre Pompidou) to get him some street cred.

Bugada Cargnel is one of Paris’ most watched young galleries these days. A pioneer of the Belleville gallery hub, the disocovers of Cyprien Gaillard (who has a current solo show at the Centre Pompidou as a result of winning last year’s Marcel Duchamp prize) has brought them both hype and respect.

Sfeir-Semler, in both Beirut and Hamburg, is a key proponent of Lebanese art. We don’t mean Abu Dhabi Guggenheim; we mean a generation of subversive, war-inspired multimedia artistes engagés—key figures including Akram Zaatari, Walid Raad, and Rabih Mroué.

Galerist: After the success of the Istanbul biennial in September, the gallery, a newcomer at FIAC, almost feels like a pavilion for Turkish art. With artist such as mentalKLINIK, hijacking local craft, it’s a success well-deserved.

Marian Goodman: Goodman is juggles between both continents’ seniors and juniors: William Kentridge, Steve McQueen, and Rineke Dijstra, seemingly lightyears away, all find a coherent equilibrium in her space. For those in town, her current Gerhard Richter show is also worth a stop.