What You Need to Know: With all eyes on Paris’s art scene, a brand-new entrant, Offscreen, will hold its inaugural edition this week at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, a grand 19th-century townhouse mere minutes from the Arc de Triomphe. Offscreen centers on a curated collection of artist-proposed works and projects that are supported by both local and international galleries. Emphasizing the regal venue, Offscreen is presented as an unfolding tour through the historic residence, with the art thoughtfully installed amidst the opulent setting. U.K. artist Anthony McCall is this edition’s special guest, with an entire floor dedicated to his minimal light projections. Yet, with all the works on view available for purchase, Offscreen exists “at the crossroads between a curated selection of artists and an art fair,” and promises to be an event not quite like any other.
Why We Like It: While Offscreen is not specifically constrained by medium, it focuses on the dichotomy between still and moving images—and an impressive array of media is represented, including immersive light installations, video, photography, digital works, and more. Featured artists include the French photographer Suzanne Lafont, whose work explores the limitations of visual representation, and Beninese multimedia artist Roméo Mivekannin, who interrogates Western depictions of African peoples. By doing away with traditional art-fair tropes like booths and gallery delineations, Offscreen’s overarching curation offers an intriguing and experiential way to view and learn about new art. Bolstered by its location within the sumptuous Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, the event comes off more like a premier institutional exhibition.
According to the Organizers: “Offscreen is a one-of-a-kind art event, the ‘off-screen’ of fairs and art shows, completely outside of existing models. It is a radical approach based on a curation of works, and therefore of artists, supported by major galleries and displayed in a single place for a short time. The notion of booth disappears, and thus Offscreen offers an aesthetic approach which is closer to visiting an exhibition. Offscreen originates from the strong desire to get back to basics—the artists and their works—with a strong focus on galleries that support their artists and bring them to the public, to us, often taking risks on a daily basis. Our ambition is to make Offscreen and its unique format a recurring event, at different times of the year in France and abroad.” —Jean-Daniel Compain and Julien Frydman, cofounders of Offscreen
See featured works below.