Birth of a Giant: Paris+ par Art Basel

Birth of a Giant: Paris+ par Art Basel

The first edition of Paris+ par Art Basel art fair wrapped up on Sunday, bringing together 156 galleries from 30 countries and attracting more than 40,000 visitors, according to a statement, including leading private collectors, museum directors, and high-level patrons.

View of the Grand Palais Éphémère © Sylvia Edwards Davis

The highly anticipated fair is firmly set to become the flagship event on the cultural calendar, coinciding with the main exhibitions by the city’s leading museums that are customarily launched for the rentrée culturelle period every autumn.

© Courtesy of Paris+ par Art Basel

Paris+ par Art Basel 2022 © Paris+ par Art Basel

Prepared in record time with only nine months of lead time, the event slotted into the space previously occupied by FIAC. The inaugural Paris edition of the global juggernaut that is Art Basel, extended beyond the Grand Palais Éphémère (a temporary structure on the Champ de Mars to be used until 2024 while the majestic original undergoes renovation) through a dynamic program of collaborations with Paris’s cultural institutions and its city-wide sector Sites, which presented over 20 publicly accessible works and interventions in unique settings throughout the city.

French President Emmanuel Macron at the opening © Paris+ par Art Basel

While Paris is universally recognized as a capital of culture, a place at the main table of contemporary art had so far eluded the city, if compared to London, Berlin, or New York. At the inauguration ceremony, President of France Emmanuel Macron congratulated Art Basel on having ‘reinvented a true international contemporary art fair in Paris’, while Paris+ par Art Basel Director Clément Delépine said the debut represents a true inflection point for the arts community in France, and celebrated the excitement in the halls and throughout Paris as ‘a testament to the city’s renewed momentum’.

© Sylvia Edwards Davis

Thomas Schütte, Männerkopf, Gallery Peter Freeman © Sylvia Edwards Davis

‘Paris is booming’, gallery owner Kamel Mennour said to Reuters. Mennour, who reportedly sold two sculptures by Alberto Giacometti for a combined $4.2 million, added that while Paris already has a lot of energy, working with Art Basel created momentum, and attracted a new type of public, coming from America and Asia.

“Phone User 4,” by Judish Hopf for Paris+ Sites section © Paris+ par Art Basel

Judging from reports on this record-setting debut, the new art fair is here to stay. Mark your calendars for next year, Paris+ par Art Basel will be back on October 19-22, 2023.

Lead photo credit : PARIS+ by Art Basel October 2022 © Sylvia Edwards Davis

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Sylvia Edwards Davis is a writer and correspondent based in France with a focus on business and culture. A member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia scans the cultural landscape to bring you the most relevant highlights on current events, art exhibitions, museums and festivals.

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