FIAC Pulls the Plug on Officielle Art Fair, Its Own Satellite

Dealers say attendance was low.

Lisa Cooley at (Off)icielle Courtesy Fiac, photo: Etienne Pottier
Lisa Cooley at (Off)icielle Courtesy Fiac, photo: Etienne Pottier

Paris’s Officielle Art Fair will not take place in 2016, according to an email to exhibitors from Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC) staffers Jennifer Flay and Maxime Hourdequin of Reed Expositions, which organized the fair. Officielle, an official satellite, functioned as a kind of off-site extension of FIAC.

Sales were lackluster, one New York dealer told artnet News, speaking on background.

Reed also recently canceled Paris Photo LA, a satellite to Paris Photo, after three outings, and announced that a planned FIAC Los Angeles wouldn’t happen at all.

“We have failed to create the conditions that could make such an event at the Cité de la Mode et du Design an unconditional success,” Flay and Hourdequin write. The news comes despite a rush of collectors during opening hours last October.

The fair’s sixty-eight exhibitors in 2016 came from as far as Los Angeles and Shanghai, and included New Yorkers such as 11R, Nicelle Beauchene, and Rachel Uffner. About a quarter of the exhibitors were Parisian, including Galerie 8 +4, Houg, Hussenot, and Eva Meyer.

“They did a good job at an interesting venue and had strong galleries,” Nicelle Beauchene told artnet News by phone, “but there was barely anybody there. The collectors didn’t come out for it. I think the venue was the problem. You had to take a boat or public transportation, and it wasn’t in the best neighborhood.”

Another fair, Paris Internationale, had actually sprung up in competition, Beauchene pointed out, drawing dealers and collectors to a more central venue.

“Once Paris Internationale started up, that took people away from Officielle as well,” she said.

Flay and Hourdequin say that they are “currently exploring other opportunities for the event.”


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