The FIAC (international contemporary art fair) will open its doors on 26 October next for five days. The 2006 version of the Paris event is particularly selective and glamour. "Glamour", it is a word appropriate to the current market of contemporary art, guided by most present marketing strategies in the context of speculation for the artists to fashion. Glamour too, because the event is more eccentric in a cold halle of the porte de Versailles. It found its place in the heart of the Paris of legend and history, one that attracts tourists: the Grand Palace and square Court of Louvre. Under the canopy of the Expo building are shown the contemporary safe values and modern works, while under a transparent tent, within the architecture of the largest museum in the world, it promotes design and avant-garde art.
The new organization of the FIAC, which seeks to give the event nor regional, and international relevance was designed by Jennifer Flay, ex-galeriste, now artistic director of the FIAC and Martin Bethenod, Commissioner-General, former Director of the fine arts at the Ministry of Culture. Places are more cramped than those of the Park of the exhibitions. So, it took "skim" the participation of the French galleries, while trying to attract foreign galleries 169 participating to the FIAC in 2006 instead of 220 in 2005 for 18,000 m2 instead of 25,000 m2 which made the malcontents, but also allowed the birth of alternative fairs open to the same date.
The most important is "Show Off", 28 exhibitors, who will be the Elysee Palace and the Grand Palais, à l'espace Cardin. She was born between other known French professional initiative, Eric Dupont, denied to the FIAC this year, which said: "what I am interested as Gallery, it is said, not the trends of the market.". In the Belleville neighbourhood, "Slick" (bright English) presents 22 participants for works sold absolutely less than 30,000 euros. Finally, the door of the Chapel, "Diva" offers in the hotel Kube Rooms only video installations. Cleverly, the organizers of fairs "satellites" and the FIAC organized to offer shuttles and some coordination.
This multiplication of the offer is also one of the distinctive signs of the market of contemporary art of today. Interest in the current creation took an unprecedented global scale. This market is like an ogre, which constantly feeds on news. They are many this year in Paris. Thus, if trading of current art, American leaders chose participate two weeks earlier at the Frieze Art Fair in London, found however some large galleries, such as Michael Werner in Cologne and New York, who had deserted Paris since 1992.
It is the relocation of the fair at the Grand Palais that attracted this painting specialist. Its stalls are still notable because it establishes bridges between different periods in the art of the 20th century, often against the current of the modes. Thus he exhibited since long Picabia, although before that galleries to fashion, as Hauser & Wirth London, return to the market of the Dada painter. It will outline four of its "Pocket tables" of the end of the 1930s showing dancers Spanish and other topics of flamenco, to sell between 75,000 and 90,000 euros. Close to its contemporary painters of choice, such as Jorg Immendorff or Markus Lupertz, it will also expose paintings of the last period of modern German Otto ten. "After the 1930s, it performs very illustrative works that are understated because they do not fit in the Dada movement," said the dealer. It offers these painted landscapes of small format to the dramatic aspect for about 500,000 euros.
Paradoxically, the novelty is also rediscovering contemporary classics. Thus, at Denise René, art dealer in Paris since 1945 and high priestess of kinetic art, there will be one of the "in" topics of the moment. The movement, now rediscovered and defended by the young artists, highlights of forgotten his great master: Vasarely (1908-1997). Its rating should significantly go up in the next few years. "Since two years already, prices are more important." "This great artist sort of purgatory", note the Director of the Gallery, Catherine Gallois. "But it is difficult to find works of quality," she added. Bloated production of the last period of his life is less interesting. It will for example be "Epsylon", of the years 1958-1962, "a work of research" formed of curves and Black circles on a white background, leading to an optical illusion. Sale to 170,000 euros.
In the range of innovations, the French art dealer leader of the young generation, Emmanuel Perrotin, presents in its space of the recent production of the very media Japanese artist Takashi Murakami Marsh. 25 tables to sell between 60,000 and 1.2 million euros. But on its stand, also found his new recruit, the Belgian Wim Delvoye, which exposes Shanghai to New York. He resumed his way the principles of the "ready made" Duchamp. Thus, he made a truck 2.5 metres to Gothic decor richly combination wide stainless steel. An anachronistic vision. The daily by the luxury... This single copy is sold for 130,000 euros.
Finally, it is Jocelyn Wolff, French art dealer installed in the 19th arrondissement, the gallery was only two years of existence. It shows among other a painter barely thirty years old and just out of high school of art of the Villa Arson in Nice, Gregory Forstner. He has never exhibited in a fair but one of his paintings is already part of the collections of the Museum of modern art of the city of Paris and others will be the Mamac Museum of Nice next year. It must be said that its verve is part of a current popular at this time: the figurative painting. At the FIAC, Jocelyn Wolff shows a triptych of the artist of the series of "Mélancoliques." It's three large canvases (162 130 cm) to sell for 30,000 euros, constituting a small nightmare Portrait Gallery. Deformed and caricatural faces painted in an expressionist style and inspired medical images of the 16th and 17th century. Some sort of vanity that show the man under the more grotesque appearance.
The FIAC and its satellite fairs open their doors in a euphoric atmosphere leaving however crab-wise a few concerns. "There is a demand strong and difficult to satisfy customers around the world who buy works to put them on their walls but cannot ignore the phenomenon of speculation," concludes Emmanuel Perrotin, adding: "obviously can be worried when, like me, have been significant investments. However, in the short term, except external incident to the art market, the efforts made to renew the image of the great French fair should bear fruit.