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Special Edition: FIAC #1
by ArtSlant Team


Faire la fête and walk the banks of the Seine with Briony Lewis

It’s that time of year again. As the Grand Palais opens its doors to host the 40th annual Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, thousands of amateurs d’art, gallery owners and dealers flock to the cultural centre to gawp, gasp and gander. And this year promises even more as FIAC celebrates its 40th anniversary and welcomes 184 galleries from twenty-five countries.

FIAC describes itself as “an opportunity to discover an exceptional artistic programme in Paris and in France.” Like James Thompson, who wrote of a similar sentiment in our FIAC special last year, I can’t help but get that same pang of irritation at the insistence upon French art and dealers – which is surely contradictory to the purpose of an international art fair – but hey, what do I know. Perhaps we should let it slide and instead faire la fête whilst toasting to French ingenuity...

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James Loks talks to Berlin gallerists at FIAC

Over the past fifteen years Berlin has carved itself a niche as the most vibrant artistic city in Europe, a place to find both galleries and working artists of all ilk. It has become synonymous with the type of creative energy that seems to push forward, always seeking new boundaries and forms. As such it makes an interesting contrast with Paris, a city that has previously taken this role but is now perhaps too stable, too comfortable, and maybe too expensive, to compete.

In a way, within this context, it isn't surprising that FIAC has become a major commercial outlet for Berlin based galleries to showcase some of their talent, the two cities joining into a kind of symbiotic relationship. Before FIAC gets going we took the time to talk to some Berlin galleries – Peres Projects, Nagel Draxler, Eigen + Art, and Żak Branicka – about their relationship with the fair, and the comparison between the two cities...

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On the eve of FIAC I managed to catch Marianne Paul-Boncour for a chat in what was probably the loudest workers cafe in eastern Paris. We struggled to be heard over the radio, the rattling of cups and glasses and the shrillest of barmaids, while simultaneously squinting into a setting sun. Despite these challenges we managed to talk about painting, New York City, France and FIAC...

JL: How do you assess the situation in France for artists at the moment?

MPB: It's a big question. And difficult to speak about it because I'm inside it. The thing is that everything changes very quickly...

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Korakrit Arunanondchai, Untitled (History painting),  2013, Denim, bleach, laser print, fire, stretcher bars, 218 x 162 cm; Courtesy of the Artist & C L E A R I N G, Brooklyn/Brussels..

Sam Falls, Untitled (large fruit piece 4), 2013, acrylic on archival pigment print, 80 x 64 in; © Sam Falls, Courtesy Balice Hertling.

Linder, People We Know, 2007, collage, 23.6 x 21.4 cm; Courtesy of the artist and dépendance, Brussels.

Robert Overby, Clap, 1975, Oil on ACX plywood, 65 x 48 inches, 165.1 x 121.92 centimeters, © The Estate of Robert Overby, Courtesy Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles..



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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 10/24/13

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