Sitting in the Eurostar yesterday morning on my way to Paris for the second time in the last few weeks, I was wondering: “Why have I not posted more lately?” The answer is in the pudding! It will be my second time in Paris since Frieze Art Fair with a short trip to the Dublin in the mix.
The first trip to Paris was to go to FIAC, the Paris international contemporary art fair. It was taking place in the grandiose Grand Palais a week after Frieze. The competition between the two fairs to attract worldly art collectors is fierce although they were for a long time not playing in the same fields. Frieze was more contemporary, edgier, while FIAC tended to be more conservative with modern art as its core offering. This year, FIAC contemporary section felt similar to Frieze while the modern art section might not have been as compelling as Frieze Masters. I was asked by an art dealer who could not make the trip to London “Is it true that Frieze Masters could overthrow Maastritcht?”. I don’t know the answer but that kind of statements show that the Londoners may not feel like they are competing with the Parisians anymore.
I ventured into the off shows. Art Elysees, Design Elysees, Slick Art Fair, Cutlog and YIA. I went to Cutlog for the ARTE/cutlog award as it brought fond memories of Oliver Bragg receiving it last year for his exhibition The Super Collider Will Eat Your Brain and its centerpice the Yeti.
As a whole, I was very impressed by the quality of YIA that is very nicely curated, pleasant to visit and has a great selection of works, I discovered the works of Mark Jenkins represented by Patricia Dorffman and Saar Moussa by Galerie M&T de la Châtre.
I attended a lecture with a panel composed of major figures of the French art movement Figuration narrative. The question submitted to the panel was why the French market is not booming like others and his losing shares. The answers were fascinating from an historical point of view. The now famous fact that in 1964 the American artist Robert Rauschenberg received the prize for foreign artist at the Venice Biennale was insightfully discussed by people who attended the event. It is deemed to be the event that showed the rise of Pop Art and more to the point the prominence of the United States and New York on the art market. BUT how I felt anglocized! The causes were debated but no solutions put forward, I could not help but fuming in my chair thinking that it was 50 years ago!! In the meantime, the London art scene appeared, Hong Kong and Beijing have become major art market places! Do we really need to ponder on what happened in the 1960’s and how we did not react then?
I also met with an artist whose studio i am visiting this week. More to come on this subject matter…
Overall, it was quite fascinating not to take part in the fairs but visit them. It makes the all concept of fairtigue reach new heights. Visiting Frieze and FIAC back to back is exhausting no matter how much you love art and if you comply to the VIP programmes you have two incredibly intense weeks. I bought an artwork at Frieze but could not really be clear about what I would like to get in Paris if i could. Artissima in Turin two weeks later? Is it really sustainable? Can these fairs all pretend to the international status they claim or does the multiplication of the fairs worldwide make them actually more local? I guess I could explore that question in a dedicated post.
Back in London we kept ourselves quite busy at Galerie E.G.P!
– We launched #EGPruns for Refuge
– We worked towards the opening of Rachel Rom’s exhibition
– We are trying to put together the PAM Night
– We are working towards Andy Flett’s exhibition
– And Art Paris Art Fair
– We have planned meetings with publishers
– And have met with a framer to try and find the best way to exhibit both Andy Flett’s portraits and Igor Josifov’s burned drawings.