The Prominent American Design Gallery Friedman Benda Is Expanding, Opening Its First International Outpost in Paris


Design gallery Friedman Benda will open a new space in Paris in the beginning of 2024, its first international branch in addition to current locations in New York and Los Angeles.

The opening of the new space will be a follow-up to the gallery’s participation in the inaugural edition of Design Miami/Paris from October 17 (preview day) to October 22 at L’Hôtel de Maisons in the French capital. The show will be running concurrently with the sophomore edition of Paris+ par Art Basel.

The gallery’s Paris outpost is the latest addition in a wave of international galleries opening new outposts in the French capital as the city’s art market continues to grow in the wake of Brexit.

“We have watched the city grow in strength and attractiveness for the art market for years,” Friedman Benda’s founding partners Marc Benda and Jennifer Olshin said. “Important factors are both the strength of the local market and the international reach of Paris, the vibrant gallery and collector scene and the continued growth of institutions.”

The gallery, which has names like Etore Sottsass and Daniel Arsham on its roster, has appointed 20th century design expert and former art advisor Astrid Malingreau to be its director for the Paris gallery. “Any moment is a good moment to open in Paris,” Benda and Olshin noted.

Friedman Benda

Najla El Zein, Distortion, 06 (2017), Edition of 5, will go on show at Design Miami/Paris debut in October. Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Najla El Zein. Photography by Damien Arlettaz.

Opening an outpost in Paris also makes sense, the dealers said, because they work with many studios that are European and British; many of their clients, both private and institutional, are based in France and the rest of Europe.

The two are confident the market in France has not yet peaked. “The market is strong, with a steadily increasing global audience. Over the past few years, there has been a shift and younger collectors have become more assertive in our market. Through the fairs at TEFAF Maastricht and at Design Miami/Basel, we have met new clients every year, and many European collectors visit New York regularly,” they said.

Benda and Olshin emphasized that the Paris gallery will not be a replication of the gallery’s U.S. locations. “This is not meant to be an outpost, but a gallery programming its own identity,” the dealers said. The Paris gallery will be inaugurated with a “cycle of curated group shows.”

In the months leading up to the opening of the Paris gallery, Friedman Benda will be making its debut at Frieze Masters in London next month before heading to Design Miami/Paris. The gallery will be presenting early work by Ettore Sottsass, priced between $20,000 and $250,000, at Frieze Masters, while showcasing works priced from $15,000 to $125,000 by a range of studios at Design Miami/Paris. “This booth is meant to introduce our program to a wider audience in Paris,” the gallerists noted.

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