Art fairs

Design dealers are back in the Fiac fold

The established Modern and contemporary Parisian fair revives a section last seen in 2009

By Gareth Harris

The 44th edition of the Fiac fair (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain) in Paris this autumn (19-22 October) will include five design dealers, relaunching a section last seen at Fiac in 2009. The Modern and contemporary art fair at the Grand Palais is due to include 192 galleries, compared to 186 last year, with the largest contingent—more than a quarter—coming from France. The five design dealers, all Paris-based, are Jousse Entreprise, kreo, Laffanour Galerie Downtown Paris, Eric Philippe, and Patrick Seguin.

Eric Philippe says that he last participated in 2009. “The space in the Grand Palais is limited and there was then a demand from Modern and contemporary galleries as Fiac is a major fair. There is a real connection between Modern and contemporary art and design, as many clients collect both,” he tells The Art Newspaper. He plans to show a selection of pieces designed between 1940 and 1960 by US, French, Italian and Scandinavian architects and designers. "It is important to remember that Fiac was one of the first international contemporary art fairs to open a section for selected design galleries [in 2004] and since then, it has been developed [in fairs] around the world," says Hélin Serre, the director of Laffanour Galerie Downtown Paris. 

Michael Werner, Chantal Crousel and Massimo de Carlo will be among the 106 dealers in the main Nave area of the fair. Key US dealers taking part this year include Barbara Gladstone and Paula Cooper. Reena Spaulings Fine Art of New York and Istanbul’s Rodeo are among the galleries showing in the Salon d’Honneur, an exhibition area on the first floor of the Grand Palais. The organisers also say that 40 galleries are new to the fair including Queer Thoughts of New York.

A section of the fair which launched last year, On Site, also forms part of this year’s edition. Around 40 sculptures and installations will be shown in the Petit Palais opposite and on the pedestrianised Avenue Winston Churchill. The US artist Oscar Tuazon will present a project on the Place Vendôme as part of the fair's Hors les Murs programme.

Meanwhile, the historic Grand Palais in Paris will close for more than two years from 2020, causing upheaval in the art fair calendar with three major fairs—Fiac, Paris Photo and La Biennale Paris—forced to relocate to temporary locations. 

The government cultural body, Réunion des musées nationaux (RMN), which runs the Grand Palais, says that the refurbishment of the turn-of-the-century venue is due to begin late 2020. The overhaul will result in “exceptional high-quality, generous exhibition spaces to accommodate our partners and visitors”, Sylvie Hubac, president of the RMN, said earlier this year.