Art Basel promises French focus for new Paris fair
The Parisian art world was shocked in January when it was announced that Art Basel, the world’s biggest fair organizer, would replace the long-running FIAC (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain) this autumn.
The Swiss giant, part-owned by billionaire investor James Murdoch, already has fairs in Basel, Miami and Hong Kong under its own brand.
Its takeover reflects a recent boom in the French capital’s standing as a center for the arts thanks to the opening of major new museums, as well as dealers shifting away from Brexit-impacted London. But local French galleries feared they would lose the guaranteed slots they had at FIAC.
Apparently keen to reassure locals, Art Basel said the new fair would have French management, led by Clement Delepine, who ran the Paris Internationale contemporary art fair, alongside a former head of Christie’s France and a former deputy director of FIAC.
Its selection committee will include 10 galleries -- four French and four international.
Like FIAC, Paris + by Art Basel will be held at the Grand Palais near the Champs-Elysees in October.