Dealer Thaddaeus Ropac Will Use His Biggest Paris Gallery to Stage an Emergency Selling Show of Young Regional Artists to Support the Emerging Art Scene

This September, the gallery will lend its space and sales infrastructure to emerging artists.

Paris Pantin. Photo by Philippe Servent.
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin. Photo by Philippe Servent.

Alarmed by the threat the pandemic poses for the emerging art scene in Europe, the prominent art dealer Thaddaeus Ropac will give over his largest Paris gallery space to host an emergency selling exhibition of 60 young artists from the two countries in an effort to flow money to them and their at-risk galleries.

France’s lockdown has had a devastating impact on its small businesses and young creatives. A damning report by the country’s leading gallery association predicted in April that as many as a third of French galleries could be put out of business by the end of the crisis.

“I was shocked by the news of the number of young galleries that would be in danger of not reopening in the fall,” Ropac tells Artnet News. “I couldn’t believe it.”

So the gallerist got to thinking: “How could we create something which really helps younger colleagues in this period?” 

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin. Photo by Robert Holden.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin. Photo by Robert Holden.

The 60 artists were selected by the emerging artist association Jeune Création. All of the proceeds from the sale of works will go directly to the artists and their galleries.

The move echoes a similar initiative by French dealer Emmanuel Perrotin who is giving over one of his Paris spaces to 26 local galleries once it reopens at the end of May.

Both galleries have been closed since March, making their re-emergence—Ropac is slated to resume operations on May 11—a critical time to make sales to recover from the lost income.

“We are offering them the space, as well as our infrastructure, with all of our sales team helping to sell the works, and we will bring in our collectors,” Ropac says.

The exhibition will be on view from September 12 through 26 in the 21,000-square-foot space in Pantin.

Ropac has also promised to set aside some of the gallery’s own budget to buy works from the exhibition. “I hope people will see it as a strong statement of support,” Ropac says, adding that he hopes the gallery’s collectors will also embrace the opportunity to give a boost to the next generation of artists and dealers.


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