Paris v. London at the Artistic Forefront
Another major event on the European art scene is FIAC. Taking place each year in the Tuileries’s Garden in Paris, between the Grand Palais and the Cour Carrée du Louvre, FIAC has become one of the most significant exhibitions for modern, contemporary and cutting-edge art, recognized across Europe.
The growing international popularity of FIAC today rivals that of London’s Frieze, with both Paris and London continuing to compete in drawing the attention of collectors to their wide-scale art galas.
In the context of ‘Paris v. London,’ over the past few years and perhaps due to the Paris terror attacks of 2015, many collectors had shifted their focus, paying more attention to Frieze. However this year, the number of visitors to FIAC increased significantly. This may have been the end result of the controversial outcome of the UK Brexit referendum; two geopolitical disasters accidentally reviving competition between the two key industry events.
And despite this competition, many prestigious galleries actually consider the two fairs as perfectly complementary. World-renowned British and American galleries such as the Gagosian, Victoria Miro, Zwirner, Simon Lee and White Cube consider Parisian FIAC on par with Frieze London, both as highlights within the Autumn European Art Calendar.
This is further reinforced by the recognition that FIAC remains the foremost venue for major Parisian galleries, such as Templon, Ceysson & Benetier, and Thaddaeus Ropac, amongst others.
Some of the highlights of this year’s FIAC were from Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, featuring works by Jack Pierson, Elizabeth Peyton, Robert Mangold, Georg Baselitz, and Tony Cragg, all of which appeared within Grand Palais.
American artist Jack Pierson continued his reflection works, based on the profound questioning of Western culture through short-phrases. His work ‘The Pretty Girls Likes Me 2018’ sold for $185,000.
Georg Baselitz is a German artist known for his Neo-expressionist paintings that had once been denounced by the Nazis and has returned the human figure to a main position in painting. His work ‘Abe 1993′ sold for $518,000 and ’40 Jahre,’ depicting his trademarked upside-down head, sold for $403,000.
Tony Cragg is a British sculptor known for his explorations in the fields of non-traditional materials, including bronze, plastic, and fiberglass. His works seize the moment of movement, with his stainless steel offering, ‘Gate lV 2017’ selling for $317,000.
The Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Pantin also held an impressive show of Minimal Art, entitled, “Monumental Minimal” by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Sol LeWitt during FIAC.
In addition, there was an extensive display of 20 major sculptures and paintings by Flavin and LeWitt that were presented in the former industrial building in Pantin. These retrospective monuments gave rise to the birth of Minimalist Art.
No matter the depiction and no matter the geopolitical consequence, London’s Frieze and FIAC of Paris will stand the test of time as true milestones on the art collector or aficionado’s annual calendar, ever competing, each not to be missed.