Art Paris is a contemporary and emerging art fair now in its 16th edition, the highlight of the electric Paris Art Week. During the inauguration on March 30, President Hollande appeared engaged and animated as he did the rounds of some of the 143 galleries from over 20 countries that come together for this dynamic rendezvous in the enormous main hall of the Grand Palais.
“In 2016, the fair continues to concentrate on parts of Europe” says Director Guillaume Piens,”with the singular art scenes of cities like Marseille, Milan and Zurich, and also looking further afield to places like Azerbaijan, Colombia, and Iran, and of course Korea, this year’s guest of honour.”
Quite a treat this year is the collaboration with the Vienna Angerlehner Museum, Ernst Hilger Gallery that brought Icelandic artist Erró’s Femmes Fatales. Painted in bright, bold colours, Erró gives a Pop twist to the myths of beautiful and deadly superwomen, mashing together timelines and themes, from Joan of Arc to Catwoman.
One of the main draws of Art Paris is its diversity in national origin, ethnicity and gender. Colombian NH Galería presents an exhibition entitled Hálito Divino (divine breath) by Ruby Rumié, which is the product of a workshop held in Cartagena. Divine breath speaks of the trauma of 100 Colombian women who suffered from domestic violence. They ‘exhaled their pain’ into a bespoke container, which was then sealed, as a way of healing evocative on an ex-voto. “The theme of violence against women kept haunting me,” says Ruby, “but I didn’t want to treat it in a repetitive way, with violent images. These womblike urns are echoes of the feminine energy, receptive and nurturing, and of the power of expressing pain as a step to healing.”
The guest of honour at Pierre-Alain Challier gallery was American artist Jan Dilenschneider, presenting a vertical triptych inspired by superstorm Sandy. “I have my studio surrounded by the sea in Connecticut,” says Jan, “and this major hurricane was scary. This great force of nature came through in my painting in the gestures, and colors. I am above all expressionist, and believe that we must cherish and fiercely protect all our freedoms of expression.”
Part of the appeal of an art fair as opposed to a formal art exhibition is that most of the art on display is for sale. It is a great place to start or expand an art collection and makes for an unforgettable souvenir de voyage. The gallery owners and sometimes the artists are present – that invaluable personal touch that makes all the difference. You not only will have a work of art, but also a great story to go with it. There’s no need to break the bank, you can buy your first piece from an emerging artist for a couple of thousand, and your purchase can be shipped anywhere in the world. A word of warning: it’s a lifelong addiction. Once they buy an artwork at a fair, collectors come back year after year.
The thematic sections of Art Paris focus on South Korea, this year’s guest of honour. There are personal exhibitions in the Solo Show section, emerging talents with the Promises section and monumental projections on the façade of Grand Palais. As part of the celebrations of France-Korea year, exhibitions and installations of Korean art will be visible throughout the capital including Standing Man by Chung Hyun, a group of 47 monumental sculptures in the garden of the Palais Royal.
31st March – 3rd April 2016
Métro Franklin-D. -Roosevelt, Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau
Mark your calendars: the next edition of Art Paris will be held March 30 -April 2, 2017