5 Questions for Art Advisor and Collector Patricia Marshall About How Paris’s Art Market Can Reach the Next Level

The influential art insider muses on the investments needed—and ingredients already in place—across the French cultural scene.

Patricia Marshall. Courtesy of Patricia Marshall.

This article is part of the Artnet Intelligence Report Year Ahead 2024. Through in-depth analysis of last year’s market performance, the new edition paints a data-driven picture of the art world today, from the latest auction results to the artists and artworks leading the conversation.


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What three words describe the state of Paris’s art market?

Booming. Energized. Refreshing.

What was the most surprising development in the Parisian art market in 2023?
The opening of international galleries in Paris such as Mendes Wood DM and Hauser & Wirth is helping to revitalize the city and place it once again at the heart of the global art market. This dynamic was initiated in 2022 with the arrival of Paris+ par Art Basel, replacing FIAC. Museums have presented major exhibitions in recent months (Rothko, Mike Kelley, Van Gogh, Nicolas de Staël), helping to raise the city’s profile internationally. Auction houses also achieved good results in the fields of design and contemporary art.

What needs to change for Paris’s art market to reach the next level?

Paris needs to be able to sell works of greater value. French collectors must also support this renewed interest by opening their collections to an international public. International galleries, museums, and collectors need to give more support to the French art scene, and it’s essential that galleries setting up in Paris represent more French artists, who have somehow been isolated from the international market. Finally, the private sector must increasingly support the public institutions that contribute to France’s influence in the cultural scene.

Paris+ par Art Basel has reignited the Parisian art market. This year, the fair will relocate to the recently renovated Grand Palais. Courtesy of Paris+ par Art Basel.

Paris+ par Art Basel has reignited the Parisian art market. This year, the fair will relocate to the recently renovated Grand Palais. Courtesy of Paris+ par Art Basel.

What do you make of the continued narrative that Paris is poised to overtake London in the art market hierarchy?
Tax-wise, France has the lowest VAT in Europe, which is a great advantage for Europeans buying in Paris. London is very isolated but has a large international audience that travels there because of the language. Frieze London and Paris+ are taking place one after the other. In the future, galleries and collectors are likely to make a choice between the two. Paris is waking up and trying to get back to what it was at the turn of the 20th century, with many international artists coming to work here. I think Paris, with the reopening of the Grand Palais and the 2024 Olympic Games, has all the ingredients to be at the forefront.

What do you hope to see more of in Paris in 2024?

I hope collectors will reconsider the use of a good art advisor. Unfortunately in France, collectors always think that having an advisor is a tax on top of the price already negotiated. I have been trained since the ’90s in the United States, where collectors see the advantage of having a professional to protect them from their impulses, help them get priority on works in galleries, and give them real advice. I also hope that with all this new energy happening in France, some very good French artists will be more supported by French institutions and galleries and, of course, be recognized on the international scene.


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