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Art Paris 2021, regional and cosmopolitan at the same time

First fair to inaugurate the ephemeral Grand Palais designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte on the Champ-de-Mars lawn, Art Paris opens its 23e edition which brings together 140 modern and contemporary art galleries. Guillaume Piens took over the artistic direction of the fair in 2012, with the desire to leave “Highways of contemporary art to explore the national and departmental”.

If it has long been shunned if not despised by the jet-set and the upper fringe of the international art market, the outbreak of the pandemic has made this winning formula: being one of the few fairs that were physically held in 2020, in September, it saw the arrival of prestigious gallery owners frustrated at not being able to exhibit elsewhere, including Emmanuel Perrotin, who met a third of new clients there among his buyers. He is therefore renewing the experience this year, joined by many of his counterparts. It seems that Art Paris, the fair that it was fashionable to hate, has crossed the glass ceiling.

“Prestigious galleries”

“We benefit from several favorable factors, Guillaume Piens analysis. First of all, this new, spectacular place, which we are the first fair to use, embodies the renewal of Paris, we can even speak of a renaissance, both in terms of the market and of the cultural offer and, quite simply, of reputation. Then, we welcome the arrival of prestigious galleries, Thaddaeus Ropac, Kamel Mennour, Massimo de Carlo, Continua, Almine Rech, Frank Elbaz… I am also delighted with the return of dealers who have been absent for a long time, such as Galerie Lelong or Suzanne Tarasieve . And this without sacrificing our openness to less visible galleries, emerging or located in the provinces. “

Guillaume Piens, artistic director of Art Paris: “We suffer less than our colleagues oriented towards international collectors from travel restrictions”

There are about fifteen of these, and their presence is significant: Art Paris is the only fair that gives them national and international visibility, responding to Guillaume Piens’ desire to meet both regional and cosmopolitan. Because there are also exhibitors from far away: a Guatemalan, a Uruguayan, a Colombian, a Korean… The proportion is 30% foreign galleries and 70% French, which is the reverse of the FIAC.

” This mixture, pleads Guillaume Piens, allows us to escape formatting and show our visitors things they can’t see elsewhere. And we suffer less than our colleagues oriented towards international collectors, Asian or American for example, from travel restrictions. Our foreign visitors come more from border countries, such as Switzerland or Belgium. “

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