With Paris contemporary-art scene continuing to gain momentum, expectations are high for this yea’s Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC), which runs form October 21 through 24. Now helmed by the tireless Jennifer Flay, who had served as artistic director for the last six editions, the 37-year-old fair had 640 applicants vying for the 194 booths at the Grand Palais and satellite venues, stiff competition that should produce very high standards. “We built the fair on founding principles that remain unchanged” a generalist character and openness to different artistic practices. But there has also been a steadily reinforced selectivity through he years,” says Flay.
A slew of significant newcomers are joining the fair. After a test run in the Projet Moderne section of postwar masterpieces last year, the mulitinational Gogosian Gallery makes its first full appearance, joining fellow FIAC debutants Blum and Poe, of Los angeles; Berlin’s Max Hetzler; New York’s Lehmann Maupin; and London’s Victoria Miro. Miro’s booth will be dedicated to Yayoi Kusama (whose sculptures will also appear in the nearby Tuileries), one of many solo shows, including Alighiero e Boetti at Barbara Gladstone, of New York; Taub Auerbach at Oslo’s Standard; and Jesus Raphael Soto at Natalie Seroussi, of Paris. David Zwirner Gallery, of new York, has devoted its stand to recent works by multimedia artist Adel Abdesseme. New works by Subodh Gupta and Thomas Houseago are in the Tuileries, where Galerie Patrick Seguin, of Paris, is installing the fair’s star design exhibit: Jean Prouve’s Ferembal House, originally built in Nancy in 1948.
Among the 72 French exhibitors are FIAC veterans Thaddaeus Robpac, Yvon Lambert, and Jerome de Noirmont, who is showing a unique Pierre et Silles photo-painting of a trussed Audrey Tautou, inspired by Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Frederic Giroux, of Paris, Mai 36, of Surich, and Esther Schipper, of Berlin, are joining forces to show a selection of works by the alternative 1969-94 Totonto collective General Idea in advance of a full retrospective at the Musee d’Art Moderne next year. Also keep an eye out for Michael Craig-Martin’s custom booth for Claudine Papillon.
The Musee du Louvre’s Cour Caree again plays host to emerging galleries. They all risk being trumpeted by a single work: Barry X Ball’s Sleeping Hermaphrodite, a black marble replica of the Louvre’s famous Roman sculpture that the artist crafted, in close consultation with the museum’s experts, for New York gallery Salon 94’s presentation. Nonetheless, don’t miss Jens Wolf’s new retro acrylics at Aline Vidal, On Kawara’s conceptual books at Micheline Szwajcer, or Antwerp, and MFC-Michele Didier, of Brussels, and Vincent Ganivet’s large sculptures made from terra cotta blocks at the booth of Galerie West, from The Hague, Netherlands.