At Paris Internationale, Young Galleries Get an Equal Opportunity

The fair may have moved to a rough new venue, but it pulls off a serious third edition.

Alison Katz, Poster for Paris Internationale. Antenna Space, Shanghai. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo: Skye Arundhati Thomas.
Alison Katz, poster for Paris Internationale. Antenna Space, Shanghai. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo by Skye Arundhati Thomas.

The Paris Internationale fair, now in its third edition, opened yesterday with a radical change in venue. It has moved from a flamboyant 19th-century hotel particulier with marble balustrades to a gritty indoor car park shaped like a screwdriver—a building affectionately known in Paris as “the screw.”

Taking a cue from the venue’s former life as the headquarters of Libération, the newspaper co-founded by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973, the fair also strives for avant-garde thinking.

Maggie Madden, A Great Expanse (2014) at mother's tank station limited, Dublin. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo: Skye Arundhati Thomas.

Maggie Madden, A Great Expanse (2014) at Mother’s Tankstation Limited, Dublin. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo by Skye Arundhati Thomas.

Reimagining the hierarchies that we have grown accustomed to at other fairs, each gallery at Paris Internationale is given the same amount of space. The overall affordability also allows younger galleries to participate, some of whom are only one or two years old, including Marfa’ from Beirut, which is showing strong painting and photography works by Kuwaiti artist Tamara Al Samerraei and Stéphanie Saadé, from Lebanon.

Another exciting young presence is Antenna Space from Shanghai, four years old and participating for the first time in the fair. Along with two Chinese artists, Yu Honglei and Zhou Siwei, the gallery is exhibiting poster and sculptural works by Alison Katz and Nancy Lupo.

Yu Honglei, Farm (2013) at Antenna Space, Shanghai. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo: Skye Arundhati Thomas.

Yu Honglei, Farm (2013) at Antenna Space, Shanghai. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo by Skye Arundhati Thomas.

Along with newer names, there are also several established young galleries from Europe and North America, including Arcadia Missa from London, a second-time participant that’s showing Phoebe Collings-James sculptures and drawings by Penny Goring and a painting by Hamishi Farah.

Penny Goring at Arcadia Missa, London. Maggie Madden, A Great Expanse (2014) at mother's tank station limited, Dublin. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo: Skye Arundhati Thomas.

Phoebe Collings-James at Arcadia Missa, London. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo by Skye Arundhati Thomas.

Also exhibiting are The Sunday Painter, London, with a panel work by Samara Scott, and Carlos/Ishikawa, London, with a solo booth by Steve Bishop.

Samara Scott at the Sunday Painter Gallery, London. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo: Skye Arundhati Thomas.

Samara Scott at The Sunday Painter, London. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo by Skye Arundhati Thomas.

The fair continues its tradition of offering free space to non-for-profit venues, this year showcasing them at the very center of the premises—in the screw-shaped central staircase. The eight nonprofits include a local project titled “The Cheapest University,” which since 2015 has organized conversations to take place in “a modest and loosely pedagogical way.” The group’s lineup for its program at the fair includes Cally Spooner, David Noonan, and Mait-Thu Perret in conversation with Clark House Initiative’s Sumesh Sharma.

Steve Bishop, Hello, How May I Help You? at Carlos/Ishikawa, London. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo: Skye Arundhati Thomas.

Steve Bishop, Hello, How May I Help You? at Carlos/Ishikawa, London. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo by Skye Arundhati Thomas.

In the end, the clean, casual atmosphere and focus on young galleries—not to mention the dramatic views of the Eiffel Tower—makes this fair a must-see for any visitor in Paris for FIAC.

Nicolás Guagnini at Max Mayer, Düsseldorf. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo: Skye Arundhati Thomas.

Nicolás Guagnini at Max Mayer, Düsseldorf. Paris Internationale 2017. Photo by Skye Arundhati Thomas.


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