Everyone was complaining that there were long lines at the VIP opening on Wednesday morning, so I went on Thursday and walked in calmly at the Grand Palais for the 46 th edition of FIAC (Foire internationale d’art contemporain) organized by Jennifer Flay. I did not make any discoveries but really enjoyed a number of sculptures which represented the best of (mostly) European creation including an amazing early ceramic by Lucio Fontana done in 1951. So here is my virtual shopping list.
It was lovely to find old “friends” again like Tadashi Kawamata‘s, “Destruction” in plywood at Annely Juda Fine Art, Jaume Piensa‘s, “Mar in Green” at Galerie Lelong, and Jean Michel Othoniel‘s numerous works in glass and cobalt at Kukje Gallery and Perrotin.
There was an interesting plywood sculpture by Xavier Veilhan, “Manfredi, 2019” at Perrotin, a Ugo Rondinone multicolor mountain at Esther Schipper gallery, a bronze “Distant Childhood”, 2019 by Camille Henrot at Kamel Mennour, and numerous Antony Gormley sculptures at Thaddaeus Ropac and Galeriecontinua. The first work I spotted was this pink onyx by Anish Kapoor 2018, whose works were everywhere, but this one at Lisson gallery was the most fascinating. Karsten Greve had some fantastic Soulages paintings from 2016, Luico Fontana and Claire Morgan‘s exquisite composition of green flies and birds nest as well as Loïc le Groumellec‘s “Chapel/Reposoir”.
For me FIAC is like wandering around a young Museum of Contemporary art with some immature works (upstairs at the young galleries) and overrated artists. But it remains a very pleasant walk under the skylight of Grand Palais which will move to a temporary location in Champ de Mars in 2020.
I then crossed the street to Petit Palais to see the Yan Pei Ming celebration of Courbet and was really disappointed by the way his paintings were hanging in the middle of the delightful 1900 portraits. I wonder if it’s such a good idea to do these contemporary art mixings with classical art even if they are free and meant to attract the young crowds?
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