What is going on at FIAC in Paris


The Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain has opened the doors to Paris and the whole world, at long last.

This autumn is definitely being the season of art fairs in Europe, from Basel to London, now it’s time for FIAC that is taking place in the temporary Grand Palais Éphémère instead of the usual location, closed for renovation.

At FIAC there are around 160 modern and contemporary art galleries coming from 25 countries and displaying all kind of media: from canvas to photography and from performances to digital art.

This year, the real-life experience is a sign of optimism and restart but is also enriched by the FIAC Online Viewing Rooms where a selection of 50 galleries will exhibit online only. The platform for FIAC OVR is created in collaboration with Artlogic and the aim is to enable the audiences, galleries, and artists to meet and create connections not only during the pandemic but also in the future editions of the fair.

During the week, many cultural events are taking place in Paris alongside the main fair such as the sculpture of the Flying Dragon in Place Vendôme produced by Alexander Calder before his death. This installation signs the opening of the new Gagosian’s gallery in the nearby of Place Vendôme that will open with an exhibition dedicated to the Flying Dragon. The sculpture is made of sheet metal painted in red and represents a giant static toy airplane that transforms when viewed from different angles.

“Flying Dragon” by Alexander Calder (1975) installed in the Place Venôdme. Courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

Another must see at FIAC is Martin Margiela's three skin-toned torsos that are at the center of attention at the Zeno X booth. The famous fashion designer is now represented by this gallery based in Antwerp, Belgium. Let's wait and see what this career witch can mean for Margiela.

Martin Margiela, Torso I, II, III (2018-2021). Photo: Studio Shapiro.

Marfa’ Projects from Beirut is one of the 30 galleries that are participating to FIAC for the first time and it is worth a visit for sure. This gallery in Beirut has been closed until May 2021, after the blasts that destroyed the port district of the city in August 2020.
At FIAC, Marfa' Projects is presenting a series of painting by Omar Fakhoury named “Chairs 1–18” that represent the pictures of abandoned plastic chairs taken by the artist and then reproduced on canvas, that fully reflects the tragedies that Lebanese people are suffering.

Installation view of Marfa’ Projects’s booth at FIAC, 2021. Courtesy of Marfa’ Projects

The last gallery we want to point out, is the Italian Cardi Gallery which is joining FIAC both in presence and online, by developing a dialogue between modern and contemporary artists from 1958 to 2020 with artworks by Piero Manzoni, Dadamiano, Davide Balliano and Bosco Sodi.

Achrome by Piero Manzoni. Courtesy of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome

Paris is buzzing after a rather interesting art season, the city undergone a interesting transformation in the past years so - after the pandemic - is it going to be the new european art capital post Brexit? Only time will tell.

Written by