9 Shows to See in Paris During FIAC, From Spotlights on Rising Stars to a Tribute to the Woman Who Broke Modernism’s Glass Ceiling

Check out must-see shows in Paris during FIAC art fair at the Grand Palais.

Katinka Bock poses in front of her sculpture Rauschen at Lafayette Anticipations. Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images.

There’s plenty to look forward to when the Paris art fair FIAC returns to the Grand Palais next week. Attractions include not just the big fair itself, but a plethora of other events coinciding with it in the City of Lights in October.

One conspicuous new arrival in Paris will definitely be a talking point: Jeff Koons’s gift to Paris, Bouquet of Tulips. Collectors and curators will, no doubt, be making a detour to the Petit Palais to see the work deserves the critical brickbats it has so far received. The US artist’s multicolored monument was unveiled earlier this month.

Another addition to the Paris scene can be found on the outskirts of the city. Called Komunuma, after the Esperanto word for community, it is a new arts quarter in a former factory in the north of Paris. Housing commercial galleries, artists’ studios, and a vast exhibition hall, Komunuma is the brainchild of eight Paris dealers and institutions. To coincide with FIAC week, it will be presenting its inaugural shows. Time will tell whether collectors will flock to a venue beyond Paris’s ring road, the Boulevard Périphérique.

What is certain is that during FIAC week there is plenty to see and discover across the French capital. Check out our highlights below.

Charlotte Perriand at Fondation Louis Vuitton
October 2, 2019 to 24 February 24, 2020

Charlotte Perriand sur la « Chaise longue basculante, B306 » (1928-1929) – Le Corbusier, P. Jeanneret, C. Perriand, vers 1928 © F.L.C. / ADAGP, Paris 2019 © AChP

Charlotte Perriand models Chaise longue basculante, B306  (1928-1929) Le Corbusier, P. Jeanneret, C. Perriand, around 1928 © F.L.C. / ADAGP, Paris 2019 © AChP

A photograph of the designer Charlotte Perriand reclining on a tubular steel and leather chaise lounge is a defining image of 1920s modernity. This vast exhibition, filling 11 galleries and four floors of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, celebrates Perriand’s many achievements and long career. The woman who broke the glass ceiling of modern interior design had an eventful career. She escaped France in 1940 by heading east, briefly working as the official adviser on industrial design to the Japanese government. That commission was cut shot by the war, but she went on to land plumb jobs afterwards, including designing for Air France. Around 200 of Perriand’s designs are on show along with a similar number by her collaborators and contemporaries, who included Le Corbusier.

Fondation Louis Vuitton is located at 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris.

Mickalene Thomas at Galerie Nathalie Obadia
September 25 – November 16, 2019

<i>October 1977</i> (2019). Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels, and Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

October 1977 (2019). Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels, and Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

New York-based artist Mickalene Thomas’s new paintings and collages at Galerie Nathalie Obadia attempt to diversify the representation of African-American women in art and pop culture. Her exhibition “Jet: beautés du mois” tries to reclaim the subjects of the pinup calendar (specifically ones from 1970s-era issues of Jet Magazine) by layering them with silkscreen printing, enamel, and rhinestones to partially obscure their bodies.

Galerie Nathalie Obadia is located at 3 rue du Cloître Saint-Merri 75004, Paris.

Jesse Darling at Sultana
October 13 – November 23, 2019

Courtesy Sultana.

For the artist’s second solo exhibition at the Parisian gallery, Darling will present an array of sculptural work. Darling explores themes of power, healing, otherness, the body, and disability. Their Paris exhibition includes works first shown in their Tate Britain solo show “The Ballad of St. Jerome” last year, along with a delicate, eloquent sculpture of wilted flowers.

Sultana is located at rue Ramponeau, 75020, Paris.


Katinka Bock at Lafayette Anticipations
October 9, 2019 – January 5, 2020

© Pierre Antoine / Lafayette Anticipations, 2019

© Pierre Antoine / Lafayette Anticipations, 2019

Despite the fact that Katinka Bock’s been exhibiting at institutions worldwide, the show currently on view at Lafayette Anticipations is the artist first major exhibition in Paris, where she is partly based. The German sculptor recovered large amounts of copper from an historic domed building in Hanover to create her monumental new work. Each piece contains the traces of history, including dents from bomb shrapnel, decades upon decades of scratches from birds, and the patina of pollution. Most striking of all is a delicately floating, copper-plated sculpture in the atrium, which hangs like a massive chrysalis.

Lafayette Anticipations is located at Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette 9, rue du Plâtre F-75004 Paris.


Glenn Brown at Musée National Eugène Delacroix
October 9 – December 9

Glenn Brown, <i>Noachis Terra </i> (2019). Photo StudioPoe, copyright Glenn Brown, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin | Paris | London.

Glenn Brown, Noachis Terra (2019). Photo StudioPoe, copyright Glenn Brown, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin | Paris | London.

The UK artist Glenn Brown is presenting new works at the lush setting of the Musée Delacroix as part of FIAC’s Hors Les Murs program. Brown’s sinuous drawings, paintings, and sculptures are inspired by historic art as much as contemporary popular culture. Here, Brown is presenting a large sculpture and drawings inspired directly by this museum’s namesake.

The Musée National Eugène Delacroix is located at 6 rue de Fürstenberg, 75006 Paris.


Tony Oursler at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
October 15 – October 20

Tony Oursler, Eclipse. Photo courtesy Fondation Cartier.

Tony Oursler, Eclipse. Photo courtesy Fondation Cartier.

As part of the exhibition “Trees” at the Fondation Carier, the acclaimed video artist Tony Oursler is exhibiting a new site-specific video installation in the institution’s garden. For Eclipse, Oursler will bring the surrounding trees to life by projecting images of performers onto them at dusk, creating an enchanted forest where the trees become a center for dissent, and onlookers are invited to contemplate the relationships between technology and nature.

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is located at 261 boulevard Raspail F-75014 Paris.


Kiki Smith at Monnaie de Paris
October 18 – February 9, 2020

Photograph by Richard Max-Tremblay. Copyright Kiki Smith, courtesy Pace Gallery.

Kiki Smith Rapture (2001). Photograph by Richard Max-Tremblay. Copyright Kiki Smith, courtesy Pace Gallery.

Jeff Koons isn’t the only major US sculptor making their presence felt in Paris this fall. Kiki Smith gets her first major survey in the French capital. Two of Smith’s sculptures will stand in the courtyards of the Monnaie de Paris. Around 100 works in a variety of media will fill two floors of the former mint turned art center that overlooks the Seine. Smith, who started out making models for her father, the sculptor Tony Smith, first came to prominence in the 1980s with feminist artworks commenting on the female figure and women’s relationships with the natural world. Her works here range from the miniature to the monumental.

Monnaie de Paris is located at 11 Quai de Conti, 75006 Paris.


“Future, Former, Fugitive” at Palais de Tokyo
October 16 – January 5, 2020

Palais de Tokyo, Paris, courtesy of the Palais de Tokyo.

Palais de Tokyo, Paris, courtesy of the Palais de Tokyo.

This group exhibition with a difference aims to show the diversity of French artists, many of whom you have probably never heard about before. Curators from the Palais de Tokyo have ventured beyond established names and art market darlings to reveal the “vast and complex surface of the French landscape.” Artist with “atypical trajectories” include rising stars such as Mali Arun, who won the Grand Prix du Salon de Montrouge last year, and Linda Sanchez, the winner of the 2018 Prix des Amis du Palais de Tokyo. More established artists include Marc Camille Chaimowicz.

Palais de Tokyo is located at 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris.


Prix Marcel Duchamp at Centre Pompidou
October 9 – January 6, 2020

Prix Marcel Duchamp nominees: Les nommés (de gauche à droite) : Marguerite Humeau, Wilfried Mille, Ida Tursic, Éric Baudelaire, Katinka Bock.

Prix Marcel Duchamp nominees (left to right): Marguerite Humeau, Wilfried Mille, Ida Tursic, Éric Baudelaire, and Katinka Bock.

Works by nominees of France’s most prestigious contemporary art prize are on show in the Centre Pompidou’s gallery 4. This year’s shortlist includes Eric Baudelaire, Katinka Bock (who also has a show on at Galeries Lafayettes), Marguerite Humeau, and collaborative duo Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille. The winner, which will be announced on October 14, will receive a cash prize of €35,000 ($38,000) and will join such illustrious previous winners Cyprien Gaillard, Kader Attia, and Tatiana Trouvé.

Center Pompidou is located at Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004, Paris.

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