A multifaceted FIAC 2017

No stranger to change, Fiac is constantly reinventing itself, with monumental pieces and live performance making it onto this year’s program. We take a look at what’s on and what’s new in 2017.

Mirroring the goals set by its director Jennifer Flay and her team, Fiac is on the move. Last year, certain big French and international galleries were refused spots at the show, including Praz-Delavallade, Suzanne Tarasiève, and Laurent Godin, which is back in a big way this year. Fiac wasn’t exactly flavor of the month. “Unless you’ve got a billion-dollar turnover or you’re a new kid on the block, galleries like us get pushed out,“ explain Claudine Papillon and Suzanne Tarasiève. The stark reality is that Fiac needs to attract star galleries like Perrotin, Marian Goodman and Gagosian to keep pace with big fielders like Art Basel and Frieze, or major league players in Miami and Hong Kong. It’s also got to keep emerging galleries in the pipeline to make good its claim to be a honeypot for new talent.

No wonder Fiac 2017 is looking revitalized, refreshed and rebooted, with a program to match: 193 galleries, 40 new exhibitors, including 11 French and 26 German galleries, and no fewer than 30 countries will be represented, including Kosovo, Norway, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt and Portugal. After hitting its financial targets, with 34 American galleries in attendance this year, Fiac decided to broaden its horizons to cross a new cultural boundary.

First, the show lacked large-scale sculptural pieces, a problem it began to remedy last year with On Site, which is back at the Petit Palais, where works by Laurent Grasso, Enrique Ramirez, Joel Shapiro, Antoni Tàpies, Wang Wei and Erwin Wurm will be on display. The Salon Jean Perrin, a recently revamped exhibition space in the Grand Palais, will be presenting galleries including Imane Farès, Selma Feriani, Christophe Gaillard, Kisterem, Richard Saltoun, Semiose and Nadja Vilenne, which put the spotlight on “living” established artists. The range may not be as wide as “Unlimited” in Basel, but they’re trying.


FIAC 2017 Grand Palais

Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008, Paris Phone : 01 44 13 17 17 www.fiac.com
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Lastly, design is back big time. After years of success at the Carré du Louvre, its new quarters at the Grand Palais are lined with blue-chip galleries like Kreo, Jousse Entreprise, Laffanour Galerie Downtown/Paris, Éric Philippe and Patrick Seguin – all premium Paris names.

And there’s more good news: the Hors les Murs program is now bigger and better, with another edition of Parades for Fiac, launched last year, in the running. A festival dedicated to performative practices, it explores the intersection between music, contemporary dance, performance and poetry, presented in venues close to the Grand Palais – the Louvre, the Palais de la Découverte, and now also the Centre Pompidou.

With stands and works of the highest quality, its place among the best fairs in the world is guaranteed. So should Fiac be introducing the public to the performing arts? Is that its role? That’s the question.

October 19 to 22.
Noon to 8pm (7pm Saturday and Sunday). €37. Fiac Catalogue €35.

More information in our October issue.

By Anne Kerner. Photos : Laffanour-Galerie Downtown / Galerie Almine Rech / Galerie David Zwirner / Karma International - Published the

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