140 galleries from all over the world have come to present their leading artists at the Art Paris 2021

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A painting from the theme "Portraiture and figuration, A look at the French scene"

140 galleries from different countries around the world have come together to present their leading artists to art professionals and also the general public. This Paris art show is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with contemporary creations and the art market itself.

Guillaume Piens, Commissioner General for the Arts in Paris, describes the event both for insiders in the art world and for the general public who might come to see the art exhibition. He also highlights a new phenomenon – the presence of large overseas galleries, mainly Anglo-Saxon galleries, which used to travel to London but now turn to Paris.

The guest curator offered a personalized selection on the topic. This year’s theme was “Portrait and Figure, a Look at the French Scene”. According to 2021 guest curator Herve Mikaeloff, the focus of this Paris art show on the subject of portraits was in line with our time, a time that reflects uncertainty for artists, and a time of introspection for them and for their work. He also believes that Paris art shows today have taken on much more importance due to the current context.

After lengthy periods of closure due to the pandemic, art professionals at the art exhibit in Paris expressed joy at being able to physically exhibit their artists again.

Françoise Besson, a French gallery owner, was attending Art Paris this year. She says it was very important for everyone to return to Paris in order to re-establish ties with both Parisian and European collectors. She also considers it important to be in the Grand Palais Éphémère, which means renewal to her.

The event building

The Ephemera Grand Palace was designed by the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. This is a temporary building on the Champ de Mars. The timber frame makes it more sustainable and reflects our times. The wood used for the construction comes from sustainable forests.

The wood used for the construction comes from sustainable forests. The transparent fabric is visible from the outside. It is made of mineral and petroleum-based polymers. And therefore, it generates 90% less energy in the manufacturing process than glass. It is also fully recyclable.

The building was designed to host major Paris art shows, usually held in the Grand Palace, while the iconic building is being renovated. It is a modular building that can be used in a variety of configurations. That is why it is expected to be used for many different functions in the future.

Artists from all over the world and Parisian art galleries came in large numbers to show their work, especially their creations, created during the most difficult periods of the last few years.

One such participant of the Paris art show is the Polish graffiti artist Tomek Baran. During the pandemic, the cycle of his life that he calls “Strings”, he created a series of paintings.

Tomek Baran | Untitled, from the cycle Strings (2020)

Three of his works can be seen at Art Paris 2021. The artist is currently working on the completion of the remaining six episodes. He believes that it is beneficial for people to see the work with their own eyes, and not on Instagram or the Internet.

Françoise Besson shares this feeling. She explains that we realized how important art is, how important it is to share, meet, see work. According to her, at Art Paris, there really is a desire to welcome art lovers, the entire public and enjoy everything that the artists have prepared.

Jean-Michel Basquiat & Private Jet, 1983 Gelatin silver print Tirage argentique unique 25,4 x 20,3 cm 2020 THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS, INC. / LICENSED BY ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK. PHOTO COURTESY OF JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY AND HEDGES PROJECT

A total of 19 countries were represented, including. More than ever, the Art Paris event has rejected boundaries and invited us to inaugurate. There were about twenty one-man shows scattered here. These private exhibitions have shed light on the talent of the invited artists. Among them were:

  • a rare selection of Polaroids and black-and-white photographs of Andy Warhol at the Galerie Italienne;
  • a private exhibition dedicated to Mozambican artist Gonçal Mabunde;
  • Caroline Smulders Art Gallery, famous for its arms and ammunition thrones;
  • a tribute to Iranian artist Moja Assefja at Galerie Tanit, whose abstract painting celebrates gesticulation.

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