Art ParisArt Fair celebrates its 20th edition


Since it started 1999, Art Paris Art Fair has become the most important art fest of the Paris springtime. Organized in the 6,000 m2 of the Grand Palais in the heart of Paris to promote Post-War and Contemporary art, this year the Art Paris Art Fair has invited 142 international galleries with 23 countries represented, including galleries from first-time countries like Portugal, Russia, Canada, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. For this 20th edition, the Fair’s organizers have introduced a number of initiatives that will ensure visitors discover new work by new artists: one such initiative is the decision to invite a record number of solo shows – 36 in total – which allow deeper comprehension of artists’ work – The solo shows represent a strong commitment from the fair’s organizers, especially for a commercial art fair of this magnitude. The fair is therefore pursuing its mission of supporting the French art scene while exploring foreign creation with audacity.

Swiss creation is centre-stage

Initially (1999 to 2005) just an “Off” providing support for French galleries during the FIAC, as of 2006 Art Paris emancipated itself from the FIAC and took up residence at the Grand Palais every spring. In 2011, Guillaume Piens – former director of the Paris Photo fair – was called in to conduct a complete overhaul. The fair was renamed Art Paris Art Fair and adopted a new artistic and strategic direction. The new artistic director committed to “a regional exploration of European art scenes” while remaining open to the world. In the past, Art Paris Art Fair has invited galleries from Russia, China, Southeast Asia and South Korea (among many other countries), and each year the fair successfully creates an event within the event that honours the creativity of a particular continent or country. This year, the focus will be on Switzerland (last year it was Africa) with a dense selection from hundreds of Modern, Contemporary and emerging artists. This rediscovery of the Swiss scene has been organized and curated by the art historian Karine Tissot who worked for many years at the Geneva Art & History Museum and and then the Geneva Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art (MAMCO). Among the 13 Swiss galleries (from Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich and Neuchatel), the Ditesheim & Maffei Gallery is setting up a stand featuring work by a number of Switzerland’s best-known artists from Giacometti to Thomas Huber, from Louis Soutter to Jean Tinguely. The Rosa Turetsky Gallery has decided to confront artists it represents from different generations, from Pierrette Bloch to Sandrine Pelletier. The Racz Duflon gallery is showing work by six young artists including Simon Deppierraz, huber.huber and Elisabeth Llach. The Andres Thalmann Gallery will juxtapose its Swiss artists (Katja Loher, Guido Baselgia, Barbara Ellmerer) with the French artist Claude Viallat. The Fair will also be showcasing the latest acquisitions by the Collection d’Art Helvetia, one of the largest collections of Contemporary Swiss art, with more than 1700 works by 400 artists.

20 artists for 20 years

To mark its 20th anniversary, Art Paris Art Fair has asked François Piron, curator and art critic, editor and teacher at the National School of Fine Arts in Lyon, to select 20 French artists who may be considered “independent” or “on the fringes of the dominant trends”. An analytical text accompanies the critic’s subjective choice. By bringing 20 French artists to the fore, François Piron is supporting France’s Contemporary art market which certainly needs visibility in the context of such an international event as this. The artists selected all have singular career paths and their work is as diverse as Frédéric PARDO’s psychedelic creations (Loevenbruck Gallery), Hessie’s feminist embroidery and collages (Arnaud Lefebvre Gallery), BLEK LE RAT’s stencils (Gallery Angelo Basso), Geneviève ASSE’s blue monochromes (Gallery Oniris Florent Paumelle) and Vincent GICQUEL’s comic-tragic paintings (Thomas Bernard Cortex Athletico Gallery).

The Fair also has a “Promesses” section that highlights 12 young galleries under six years old, each allowed to show work by a maximum of three artists. The “L’art est vivant” prize will be awarded to one of the emerging artists in this sector.


Professional afternoon: Wednesday, April 4 (14:00 – 18:00)
Vernissage: Wednesday, April 4 (18:00 – 22:00)

Opening hours:
Thursday, April 5 from 11:30 to 20
Friday, April 6 from 11:30 to 21
Saturday, April 7 from 11:30 to 20:00
Sunday, April 8 from 11:30 to 19:00