Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Israel-Palestinian territories: can there be an end to the historic conflict?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Zambian President Michael Sata dies aged 77

Read more

FOCUS

Lebanon: Syrian civil war spillover heightens tensions in Tripoli

Read more

ENCORE!

Art show: From Frank Gehry's glass sails to Paul McCarthy's sex toys

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US midterms: The battle for Colorado

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Dominique Strauss-Kahn reacts to suicide of his business partner

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The robot workforce is coming

Read more

WEB NEWS

Video highlights problem of street harassment in New York

Read more

DEBATE

The battle for Kobane: Peshmerga, FSA join fight against IS group

Read more

Culture

Paris contemporary art fair starts upbeat despite crisis

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-21

Art dealers and galleries have been doing brisk business since the French contemporary art fair FIAC kicked off at the Grand Palais hall in Paris Thursday, despite the grim economic outlook, participants have said.

AFP - Paris' top contemporary art fair the FIAC got off to an upbeat start on Thursday with galleries and dealers betting on brisk business despite the grim economic outlook.

One of Europe's top art fairs, held on the heels of London's Frieze last week, the FIAC brings together works from 168 galleries for four days under the ornate glass-and-iron vaults of the Grand Palais exhibition hall.

New York's Pace Gallery, one of 27 US outfits present, said the business outlook was good. "We have sold a lot of works," its director Arne Glimcher told AFP. "We are feeling no impact from the financial crisis."

Paris gallery Emmanuel Perrotin told AFP at the fair's pre-launch on Wednesday it had already sold a work by the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami for "between two and three million" euros.

"I am surprised by visitors' enthusiasm and curiosity, given the dark and depressing economic mood," Paris gallery owner Kamel Mennour told AFP.

Canadian collector Francois Odermatt was showing off a blue sculpture by Britain's Anish Kapoor to a group of friends. "I brought the same one in red at the Basel fair this year," he quipped.

"People are fed up of waking up in the morning to see that the stock market has fallen yet again! At least when you buy an artwork, you get some enjoyment out of it, some pleasure."

For his father, the former Paris gallery owner Herve Odermatt, China is playing a key role in keeping the art market afloat.

"There are more and more millionaires in China. You might have a luxury car, or diamonds -- if you don't have art on your walls, you're seen as a peasant!"

After France's 54 galleries, the United States has FIAC's largest foreign contingent, ahead of Germany with 21 galleries, Italy with 12, Belgium with 11, Britain with 10 and Switzerland with nine.

FIAC director Jennifer Flay said there was "a big buzz" ahead of this year's edition.

"Since 2008 when the world economy trembled, FIAC has stood up extremely well," she told AFP. "People are expecting strong business here."

At its peak in 2007 the global art market was worth around 65 billion dollars (48 billion euros), double the figure from five years earlier, according to the research firm Arts economics.

Prices slumped by as much as 50 percent during the financial crisis as works were unable to find buyers.

But the contemporary art market bounced back in 2010, when the world's largest auction house, London-based Christie's, saw its sales of contemporary art jump almost 150 percent over the previous year.

Early signs for 2011 suggest the market remains buoyant, although observers are waiting for the outcome of the modern art auctions held each autumn in New York for a firmer picture.

"The FIAC is a good barometer, but we'll have a better overall view after the New York auctions next month," said Guillaume Cerruti, vice-president of Sotheby's Europe.

 

Date created : 2011-10-21

  • CONTEMPORARY ART

    Paris celebrates tenth year of ‘all-nighter’ art party

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Grapefruit in Toulouse – A celebration of performance art

    Read more

  • ART

    France's modern art museum opens regional offshoot

    Read more

COMMENT(S)