Don’t Miss These 15 Must-See Exhibitions in Paris During FIAC Week

From alternative art fairs to large retrospectives, here is a comprehensive list of what to see around this year's edition of FIAC.

Malick Sidibé Dansez le Twist, (1965). Photo: © Malick Sidibé Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.

The international art world will descend on Paris this week as FIAC is openings its doors from October 19–22. The historic Grand Palais as well as the Petit Palais will both be brimming with modern and contemporary art from a wide selection of established and young galleries. But it doesn’t stop there. As Parisian institutions and foundations gear up to launch concurrent exhibitions, the city will be full of great art to experience. Here is a selection of what’s opening around the art fair that’s not to be missed, ranging from first-ever retrospectives to fleeting public performances, and even some other art fairs that you should catch.

1. Camille Henrot, “Days Are Dogs,” at the Palais de Tokyo

Camille Henrot. Photo: Courtesy Galerie Kamel Mennour.

For its third iteration of its annual Carte Blanche exhibition series, French artist Camille Henrot will present “Days Are Dogs,” an investigation into authority and fiction centered around one of the most fundamental structures of our lives: the days of the week. Each room at the Palais de Tokyo will represent a day, so that the concept makes for seven thematic parts, featuring works by Henrot and other international artists with whom she maintains a dialogue. This successful Carte Blanche program has previously taken on Philippe Parreno in 2015 and Tino Sehgal in 2016, giving the artists the go-ahead to do a huge intervention within the 13,000-square-meter exhibition space.

“Camille Henrot: Days Are Dogs” is on view at the Palais de Tokyo, located at 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, from October 18 until January 7, 2018. Admission is €12.

2. Ali Kazma, “Subterranean,” at Jeu de Paume

Absence, 2011 by Ali Kazma. Courtesy the artist, SKOR, Amsterdam and CBKU, Utrecht ©Ali Kazma

For his solo exhibition Turkish video artist Ali Kazma—who represented Turkey at the 55th Venice Biennale—will have around 20 video works on view, including two new artworks made specifically for the exhibition. Kazma documents human activity, asking fundamental questions about the human condition and its relationship to the economic, industrial, scientific, medical, social, and artistic spheres.

“Ali Kazma: Subterranean” is on view at Jeu de Paume, located at 1 place de la Concorde, from October 17 until January 21, 2018. Admission is €10.

3. “Picasso 1932” at the Picasso Museum

Pablo Picasso, Le Rêve (The Dream) (1932). Private collection, image ©Succession Picasso/DACS 2017.

Pablo Picasso, Le Rêve (The Dream) (1932). Private collection, image ©Succession Picasso/DACS 2017.

Few artists can pull off an exhibition about a single year of their lives that also promises to be riveting, packed, and complex. The exhibition at the Picasso Museum will be dedicated to Pablo Picasso‘s work and archives from January 1 to December 31 in 1932, a so-called “erotic year” for the Spanish painter and sculptor. Perhaps an exhibition has yet to come so close to capturing the very existence of such a multifaceted artist as this one, in such a poetic and simple way.

“Picasso 1932” is on view at the Picasso Museum, located at 5 Rue de Thorigny, from October 10 until February 11, 2018. Admission is €11.

4. Harmony Korine, “Retrospective,” at Centre Pompidou

Harmony Korine in front of his painting Blue Checker (2014). Photo: Gagosian Gallery.

Harmony Korine in front of his painting Blue Checker (2014).
Photo: Gagosian Gallery.

For his first retrospective in France, the filmmaker, painter, and writer known for his iconic and critical portrayal of American youth will have an overview of all of his short films, feature lengths, as well as advertisements and other clips he made over the years, providing a comprehensive examination of the slanted world view that is signature to Korine.

“Harmony Korine Retrospective” is on view at the Centre Pompidou, located at 31 Rue Beaubourg, from October 6 until November 5 2017. Admission is €6.

5. Oscar Tuazon, Katinka Bock, and more at FIAC Hors Les Murs

FIAC’s “Beyond the Walls” program features art in public spaces or institutions, admission-free. This year, Oscar Tuazon will install a large sculptural installation at the iconic Place Vendôme, and Katinka Bock’s ceramic and bronze works will populate the Musée Delacroix. Trisha Brown Dance Company will perform several times throughout the fair, both at Petit Palais and Musée de l’Orangerie. Ubuweb founder Kenneth Goldsmith will deliver a lecture on Sunday, October 5 in memory of poet and artist David Antin, who died last year.

FIAC Hors Les Murs program is free and takes place throughout the fair’s duration at several public sites.

6. “Being Modern: MoMA in Paris” at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

Paul Signac. Opus 217. (1890). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller, 1991

This cross-Atlantic collaboration is rather unprecedented: The Fondation Louis Vuitton and the Museum of Modern Art join forces to review the MoMA collection, for the first time ever on French soil. From early works of modern art to digital and new media art, the exhibition will present over 200 artworks, including important American pieces that have never been exhibited before in the country, like Andy Warhol‘s Campbell’s Soup Cans or Felix Gonzalez Torres’s stacked candy sculpture, “(Untitled) USA Today.”

“Being Modern: MoMa in Paris” is on view at Fondation Louis Vuitton, located at 8 Avenue de Mahatma Ghandi, from October 11 until March 5, 2018. Admission is €9.

7. Paul Gaugin, “The Alchemist,” at Grand Palais

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Vase avec Léda et le cygne Winter 1887-1888. Courtesy Collection particulière.

Located right next door to the fair, this retrospective entitled “The Alchemist” will consider multidisciplinary works by the artist who was mostly known only for his exotic paintings and will include his vast repertoire of ceramics, sculpture, graphic, and decorative arts, and even his rarely exhibited friezes.

“Gaugin the Alchemist” is on view at the Grand Palais, located at 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, from October 11 until January 22, 2018. Admission is €14.

8. Continua Sphères ENSEMBLE celebrates its 10th edition

Douglas Gordon, I had nowhere to go (2016). Courtesy of Galerie Eva Presenhuber.

Some 20 galleries and institutions from five continents come together to showcase over 30 artists, including Berlin’s (and now also London-based) König Galerie or Beijing’s M Woods. It is the 10th anniversary of this exhibition, which sets itself out to “draw up an exhaustive panorama of contemporary world art.” Exhibiting artists include Doulas Gordon, Ai Weiwei, Mark Dion, and Anish Kapoor, to name only a few.

“Continua Sphères” is on view at CENTQUATRE-PARIS, located at 5 Rue Curial, from September 16 until November 19. Admission is €9.

9. “Andres Serrano,” at Petit Palais

Andres Serrano, Untitled X-1, 3, 2 (triptych) (Torture), 2015. Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery.

Andres Serrano, Untitled X-1, 3, 2 (triptych) (Torture), 2015. Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery.

The art world iconoclast will present some forty works within the permanent collection of the Petit Palais. The artworks in the museum’s collection date back to the early 20th century, amassed at the time of Paris’s Salon days. Serrano’s provocative photographs will be layered against this prestigious collection and will surely offer a refreshing new way to encounter such classic works.

“Andres Serrano” is on view at the Petit Palais, located at Avenue Winston Churchill, from October 7 until January 14, 2018. Admission is €11.

10. “Women House” at Monnaie de Paris

Mona Hatoum's Grater Divide (2002), featured on the IAIA website.

Mona Hatoum’s Grater Divide (2002), featured on the IAIA website.

For much of art history, the public realm and art itself was relegated to men, while women remained invisible and bound to the home and domestic work. For this show, some 39 female artists explore the notions of female gender and its relation to the domestic space through time. The exhibition presents younger names like Mexican artist Pia Camil alongside several famous works by Louise Bourgeois, Niki de Saint Phalle, Mona Hatoum, and Rachel Whiteread.

“Women House” is on view at Monnaie de Paris, located at 11 quai de Conti, from October 20 until January 28, 2018. Admission is €12.

11. Malick Sidibé, “Mali Twist,” at Fondation Cartier

Malick Sidibé, A moi seul, (1978). Photo ©Malick Sidibé, courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.

With the solo exhibition “Mali Twist,” Fondation Cartier brings together an important collection of black-and-white images by the late Mali-born photographer, who captured the spirit of youth throughout Mali’s capital Bamako from the 1960s onward. This is the second exhibition that the Fondation has presented by the artist: Back in 1995, they presented the first solo exhibition by Sidibé outside of Africa.

Malick Sidibé, Mali Twist” is on view at Fondation Cartier, located 261 Boulevard Raspail, from October 20 until February 25, 2018. Admission is €12.

12. Artur Lescher at the Palais d’Iéna

3D Representation for the exhibition by Artur Lescher at the Palais d’Iéna Credit: Studio Artur Lescher and Rodrigo Carvalho Pereira

Exhibiting for the first time in France, Lescher’s solo show “Porticus” will set the Brazilian artist’s spatially focused sculptures against the expansive corridors of Palais d’Iena, built by French architect Auguste Perret at the end of the 1930s. Lescher is known for his architectural installations, powerful yet minimal and deeply considerate of their surroundings.

Artur Lescher, Porticus” is on view at the ESEC, located at the Palais d’Iena at 9 place d’Iéna, from October 17 until October 25. Admission is free.

13. Don’t Miss the Other Fairs

Installation view of Athena Papadopoulos’s exhibition “Smurfette” at Emalin London, 2017. Courtesy the gallery.

Installation view of Athena Papadopoulos’s exhibition “Smurfette” at Emalin London, 2017. The gallery will be showing the artist for this year’s edition of Paris Internationale. Courtesy the gallery.

Beyond FIAC, there are three other fairs around the city doing things differently and worthy of attention. The Outsider Art Fair promises just what its name suggests: an overview of important outsider art, folk art, art brut, and self-taught artists. Paris Internationale is the perfect contrast to the blue-chip FIAC, focusing instead on a young generation of artists and galleries with promising programs, like Emalin from London or Tanya Leighton from Berlin. Bringing in perspectives from the Far East, Asia Now Paris is self-described as a “boutique fair,” now in its third edition.

The Outsider Art Fair is located at Hotel Du Duc and takes place from October 19-22; Admission costs €25. Asia Now Paris is located at 9 avenue Hoche and takes place between October 18-22. Paris Internationale is located at 11, Rue Beranger and takes place October 18–22.

14. Myriam Mihindou Performance at La Colonie

Myriam Mihindou, Sous Les Ailes de Nos Pères. Courtesy Galerie Maïa Muller

Last year, artist Kader Attia co-founded the project La Colonie near Gard du Nord, a multi-floor cultural space that sets itself out to be a forum to explore issues surrounding decolonization, migrants, racism, and politics. During FIAC, La Colonie will host a performance by Mihindou, titled “The Wings of my Father.” The Franco-Gabonese artist is known for her video works, sculptures, and performances.

The Colonie is located at 128, rue La Fayette. The performance of Myriam Mihindou begins at 19h for a duration of 30 minutes. Admission is free.

15. Per Kirkeby at Beaux Arts

Per Kirkeby at MAGASIN, Grenoble Contemporary Art Center. Credit: Egon von Fürstenberg.

Danish artist Per Kirkeby‘s brick sculptures will be on view as a single body of work for the first time ever, within the iconic glass courtyard of the Palais des Études. This unprecedented project “Brick Sculpture (1966-2016)” will bring together 12 pieces, including a monumental construction, a group of three floor sculptures, and an original series of eight steles, providing an impressive review of these seminal works.

“Per Kirkeby, Brick Sculpture (1966-2016)” is on view at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, located at 13 quai Malaquais, from October 20–December 22, and opens Thursday, October 19th at 6:30 pm.


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