PARIS, Oct. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The international Art Basel organization (owned by MCH Group) is about to open its first Paris+ art fair (20-23 October), which replaces the FIAC. This change follows a wave of new gallery openings in the French capital, including Skarstedt, David Zwirner, and Peter Kilchmann, as well as the addition of new branches for Gagosian and Continua, and the inauguration of the Pinault Collection at the former Bourse de Commerce (Trade Exchange). Taken together, these developments clearly illustrate Paris’s ambitions to recover a dominant position in the global art market in the post-Covid and post-Brexit eras.
“Because of its history, Paris will always remain a center for Modern and Impressionist art; but the French capital must today forge a place for itself in Contemporary art and, indeed, in Ultra-Contemporary art, or risk missing the digital train altogether“, says thierry Ehrmann, CEO of Artmarket.com and founder of Artprice.
“The efforts deployed by the United States after WWII demonstrated the influence a strong market can have in stimulating artistic creativity and giving it international visibility. This is why we are very proud with Artmarket.com to support the ADIAF ((Association for the International Dissemination of French Art) and the Marcel Duchamp prize“.
A complacent Parisian market
Over the past twenty years, fine art auction turnover has progressed at the same rate in France as in the rest of the world, both in terms of the volume of transactions and auction turnover. But if we focus solely on the Contemporary Art segment (artists born after 1945), we see that Paris generated 3.2% of global auction turnover in 2000, but only 2.6% in 2021 and only 1.8% in H1 2022.
Contemporary Art auction turnover per city: 2000 vs. 2021
New York: $59 million in 2000 – $955 million in 2021
Hong Kong: $558,000 – $700 million in 2021
London: $13 million in 2000 – $432 million in 2021
Paris: $3 million in 2000 – $73 million in 2021
It is this context that prompted the RMN (Réunion des Musées Nationaux) to launch a call-for-tender to rent its Grand-Palais for a new Contemporary Art Fair in Paris. Previously granted to the FIAC for almost half a century, it has now been granted to the MCH group for the next seven years. The innovative proposals of the “Art Basel” fairs, organized by the MCH Group in Basel, Miami and Hong Kong, should revitalize a Parisian marketplace that has become a little too complacent. So instead of the 48th edition of the FIAC, the City of Light is about to discover the “grand premiere” of Paris+.
The Marcel Duchamp Prize awarded to…
The month of October is of considerable importance for the Parisian art market with numerous events profiting from the magnetic pull of its major Contemporary art fair. It also provides an excellent opportunity for the ADIAF to award the Marcel Duchamp prize to one of the four artists shortlisted this year: Giulia Andreani, Iván Argote, Philippe Decrauzat, and Mimosa Echard. Artprice is proud to support this initiative and congratulates the 2022 winner, Mimosa Echard.
During the week of 17-23 October, Artprice has identified no less than twenty Fine Art auction sales in the French capital. Christie’s will be hosting two major sessions there (“Modern Art” and “Avant-Garde(s)”), and will also be dispersing the magnificent African collection of Béatrice and Patrick Caput.
Sotheby’s, for its part, has chosen to host its major Fine Art sales the following week (24-26 October), considering Paris+ and the tumult that will accompany it as a perfect springboard.
“Phillips will not be opening an auction room soon in France“
The world’s third-largest auction house, by Fine Art turnover, has confirmed it does not intend to host sales in the French capital. For the time being, Phillips is concentrating on the New York – London – Hong Kong dynamic for its high-end sales in its specialty fields: Contemporary and Post-War art (along with watches, jewelry, and design).
Bonhams, on the other hand, is following a completely different expansion strategy with the acquisition of Cornette de Saint-Cyr, active in both France and Belgium. Without overshadowing the French capital, Brussels offers a fairly natural development opportunity for many players in the Parisian art market. The Templon, Obadia, and Almine Rech galleries have gradually set up there, while others prefer Geneva or Luxembourg: two cities with free ports.
Operation “Contemporary Art and NFTs”
The MCH Group has made Contemporary art the principal locomotive of its Art Basel editions by selecting only the most prestigious local and international galleries and creating synergies with the world of fashion and technology (hence the “+” sign in the name of the fair). The Tezos Blockchain – of French origin – has also become one of Art Basel’s main partners.
As we mentioned, Paris is indeed struggling to assert itself on the Contemporary and Ultra-Contemporary art market. Its best three auction results above $20 million in the first half of 2022 were for Old and Modern works:
- Woman Walking [I] by Alberto Giacometti, from the Givenchy Collection
- Basket of Wild Strawberries attributed to Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin by the Cabinet Turquin
- A Nude Man with two Figures reattributed by Christie’s to Michelangelo
In H1 2022, the best French result for a Contemporary work (i.e. one created by an artist born after 1945) capped at $1 million, a threshold that, this year, has already been crossed 47 times in Hong Kong, 51 times in London and 71 times in New York.
Artprice by Artmarket’s latest Ultra-Contemporary Art Market Report highlights the difficulties France faces when it comes to nurturing its own Contemporary art scene. For example, in 2021, paintings by Claire Tabouret – the most successful French artist under 40 at auction – were sold in London (49% of her auction turnover), New York (30%), and Hong Kong (20%).
Paris+ by Art Basel, therefore, has a mission to put the French capital back at the heart of the international Contemporary art market, while embracing its history and its specificity.
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