The Ins and Outs of the Parisian Art Scene

17 December 2021

MELISSA REGAN

The true span of the art community goes far beyond Musee D’Orsay, Musee Rodin, the Louvre or the Musee Picasso; not to mention those museums a bit more off the beaten path such as L’Orangerie, Musee de la Chasse, Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo. Paris is filled with a prolific contemporary scene that spans through temporary exhibitions and institutions such as Foundation Cartier and Pinault’s foundation at la Bourse de Commerce as well as privately held galleries throughout the city. If you haven’t heard about Perrotin, Almine Rech,Thaddaeus Ropac, or Kamel Mennour, you are missing out, and that is just scratching the surface.

Paris hosts a multitude of cutting edge exhibitions and galleries. These world renowned artists are shown within the Paris based locations as well as at the major global art fairs including; FIAC, London Frieze, Art Basel, and TEFAF, just to mention a few. 

Especially in more recent years, it seems to be that there is a gallery on every corner, and each offering a unique selection of carefully curated works. 

Paris being a base in a culture of art has been something that is long considered common knowledge, but there is a new leaf turning in the city’s art scene. The capital is stapled in historical art, whether that be baroque or rococo, it has always been the main foundation. As time has passed, conceptual and contemporary art has become more normalized, credited to many different frontiersmen, such as Sophie Calle or Henri Cartier Bresson. With pioneers like this, breaking through barriers of what constitutes art, a gateway to the new scene of art to be welcomed

Is Paris the new London? 

A new wave of inspiration has begun in Paris, not only for artists, but for curators and connoisseurs alike. As Jennifer Flay, the director of Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC), asked in an interview for The Guardian: “If our generation did not reinvigorate the French art market, what would we be leaving to the younger people?” FIAC has truly shaken things up for the art community globally. There are many very highly renowned art fairs across the world that contribute not only to the area that they are held in, but also international impact. 

France is now becoming a reflection of what it used to be, where artists, creatives, and more were drawn, creating the foundation of the art culture that is present in Paris today. 

London, known for its art gallery scene, and plethora of high society auctions, has been thought of as the European center for gallery and curation culture for some time now. Exclusive highbrow auctions like Sotheby’s and Christie’s are in part, why the art scene developed so well in London. 

While this may have been the case, many galleries in London, and around the world are opening new spaces in Paris, and the art world in general has started the shift. As stated in an article and interview of Ben Brown for The New York Times: “Paris is certainly being perceived again as a place to do business by international art dealers. TheLondon and Hong Kong-based gallerist Ben Brown of Ben Brown Fine Arts was one of 18 first time exhibitors at the fair. ‘It feels good here in Paris,’ said Mr. Brown, who was offering an array of classic blue-chip works from the 1960s by Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein. ‘We’re in for a rough time in England.’(NY Times)” Whether attributed to Brexit, or any other discrepancies, the shift can’t be ignored, and is by no means a passing phase. 

Some high profile galleries such as Skarstedt, Mariane Ibrahim and Gagosian have already decided to make the move and be ahead of the ever-advancing curve. 

Not to Mention the emerging artists on the scene that are typically represented by independent curators who put on pop-up exhibitions throughout the city. These new and emerging artists, and even curators are a rather large contribution to the continued growth of Paris as a mainstay in art gallery and curation culture. In this very prominent art community, MR Agency Real Estate is honored and uniquely adept to serve our prospective clients in an exciting new chapter that awaits you in Paris. 

Thinking of opening your first gallery in Paris? 

For those who are looking to follow suit in setting up in Paris, we have a multicultural and international team, with hands on experience in the art industry, that is more than willing to assist you in any of your needs. Whether you speak French, English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic or Russian, we can work hand in hand with you in your spoken language. 

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