Why Art Basel Arrived in Paris

A sign for Paris+, par Art Basel in Paris

In January, Art Basel confirmed rumors that it would open a new fair in the French capital. Finally, a new exhibition called Paris+, Art Basel, is finally in Paris.

Paris+ opened for VIPs on Wednesday and will last until Sunday, October 23, on October 19. Hundreds of galleries from all over the world are on sale; some of them also appeared at the Frieze London exhibition just a week before.

What is Paris+, par Art Basel?

Paris+, par Art Basel is the fourth event of its kind in the portfolio of Art Basel, the world’s largest art fair. Undoubtedly, you can expect big sales and even bigger crowds, as has been happening with other Art Basel publications in Hong Kong, Miami Beach, and the Swiss city of Basel for a long time.

The opening of the new Art Basel 2022 exhibition in the French capital takes place due to the fact that many market participants are switching their attention from London to Paris. Brexit, which came into force at the beginning of 2020, has become a determining factor. The pandemic has also contributed to this shift. Dealer Marian Goodman, who has also run the Parisian space for more than 25 years, said the same thing when she closed her London gallery that year. Also add to the above the changing international consensus about the Paris scene.

Other major fairs in Paris

There are other major fairs in Paris. This is FIAC, a fair that regularly attracts mega galleries, has been running for almost 50 years and is usually held in the fall. But this year it may not happen. However, apart from this, there are no other art fairs on such a scale as Art Basel.

Nevertheless, there are interesting, cutting-edge projects for small galleries such as Paris Internationale. This is a traveling exhibition dedicated mainly to young spaces.

This time the Paris International Exhibition will coincide with Art Basel. There is also the Art Paris Fair, which takes place in spring, and Paris Photo in November, also in the Grand Palace of Ephemera.

The status of FIAC this year remains unclear, because Art Basel has actually taken away its venue. FIAC regularly takes place in the Grand Palace, which is now closed for reconstruction. This year it was expected to take place in October in the temporary building of the Grand Palais Éphémère.

Who runs Paris+?

When Art Basel 2022 announced the name of its exhibition, it also announced its top management: Clement Delepin is its director, Virginie Aubert is its general manager, and Maxim Hurdeken is its deputy director. A selection committee of seven people works at the fair. It consists of 7 dealers.

Other Art Basel publications tend to attract collectors, dealers, curators, critics, consultants and artists from all over the world, so you can expect this edition to be the same. In addition, Art Basel events regularly collect the biggest sales of all art fairs in the world. Whether the Paris Fair will continue these purchases worth millions of dollars will be a good test of the market value of the French art scene and its ability to attract collectors willing to spend a lot of money.

Title Paris+, par Art Basel

The concise name of the fair “diffusion line a la couture house”, to put it mildly, is puzzling, and it becomes even more strange due to the fact that none of the other Art Basel publications has such fancy names. There is no official version of why Art Basel went down this path. But when the name was announced, the global director of the fair stated that the Paris edition benefits from Paris’ unprecedented heritage as a cultural capital.

In addition, Art Basel has previously stated that Paris+ will try to emphasize the dynamic dialogue between its cultural industries — from fashion and design to cinema and music, as well as how contemporary art is inextricably linked with them.

It seems that this will not manifest itself at the stands of the fair. A series of talks organized by the curatorial duo Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teysou will include such conversations as “Sex and Art along the Seine” and “Dandyism in the 21st Century?”, the last of which will feature playwright Jeremy O. Harris.


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