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11th Edition of Artparis Welcomed 43.000 Visitors

PARIS.- The 11th edition of artparis welcomed 43.000 visitors, hosted 115 modern and contemporary art galleries and prompted numerous sales,
thereby confirming its importance as the first artistic fair of the spring season.

With 43 000 visitors, the number of art aficionados who attended artparis between
March 18 and 23, 2009, represented an increase of 8% over the previous year. On March 18, the day of the opening, almost 14 000 art lovers visited the Grand Palais.

Faithful art collectors and new aficionados:
On the opening day, art collectors gathered round Florence and Daniel Guerlain for the presentation of the Prix de la Fondation Guerlain de dessin contemporain (The Guerlain Foundation Prize for Contemporary Drawing), which was awarded to the Chilean artist Sandra Vasquez de la Horra. The artist’s work was also exhibited at the stall of the David Nolan art gallery, from New York. During the art fair, a diner - organised by the ADIAF (the Association for the Influence of French Art) in honour of artparis- brought together numerous French art collectors.

Madame Christine Albanel, the current Minister for Culture and Communication, attended the official opening ceremony. All visitors, whether casual appreciators of art or true specialists, collectors, directors and curators of museums and art foundations, were impressed by the quality of the exhibitors, the variety of works of art on display and the care with which they had been presented.

The fact that former French culture ministers such as Jack Lang, Jacques Toubon, Jean-Jacques Aillagon or Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres all visited the art fair suggests that artparis is well integrated in the French artistic scene.

Although, artparis has now become one of the long-awaited landmarks of the art market, this year also attracted numerous aficionados that the exhibitors had never seen before. If the economic context at the beginning of this year may have slowed down the market, however, the numerous sales realised have confirmed the exceptional position of artparis, which appears as the first fair in the annual calendar of art fairs in France.

As Henri Jobbé-Duval, the artistic director of the art fair, observed: “At a time when many art fairs have to face the dire consequences of the financial crisis, artparis has successfully showed its maturity and its ability to adapt to the new rules of the game. The market clearly indicates that works of art have to be estimated at the lowest price given that purchasing decisions take more time these days. It is no longer a question of speculation but rather a matter of assessing the intrinsic value of a work of art.”

The success of this eleventh edition can be attributed to the tremendous variety of exhibitors and to a selection which appealed both to expert as well as casual visitors: 14 countries were represented through 115 art galleries among which 32 came to exhibit their works at artparis for the first time this year. In addition, a growing place has been devoted to the young emerging contemporary art scene. The visitors who were eager to find the key artistic movements which punctuated the history of art between the XXth and the XXIst centuries found themselves rubbing shoulders with those who were keen to discover the latest talents of the contemporary art scene.

The arrival at artparis of young and daring art galleries in addition with famous galleries that are already firmly rooted in the French commercial art scene has allowed visitors to appreciate the atmosphere of the fair, which remained faithful to its tradition of satisfying expert buyers while encouraging others to start collecting.

Renowned artists are still highly popular at artparis
Although contemporary art occupied a much more important place this year in comparison with previous editions, art galleries exhibiting renowned artists are still highly popular. Modern Art and Traditional Contemporary Art dealers have also experienced good sales.

The Galerie Oniris, a specialist of Geometric Abstraction, sold numerous works signed by François Morellet, Aurélie Nemours or Véra Molnar. The juxtaposition of the works of Hans Hartung and those of Roberto Matta proved to be very successful at the stall of Carole Brimaud. At the Galerie Sophie Scheidecker, Narrative Figuration confirmed its appeal; while the Galerie Les Yeux Fertiles was equally successful in parting with a painting by Erro from 1958. While she was well aware that buyers had fixed a price limit this year that was lower than in 2008, Sonia Zannettacci managed to tempt buyers with the works of Niki de Saint Phalle and that of Jan Voss, an artist whose work - in particular a large painting - was also sold by the Galerie Lelong. By exhibiting a series of drawings in sharp contrast with the monumental sculpture of Jaume Plensa, displayed outside, opposite the entrance of The Grand Palais, the Galerie Lelong aroused the curiosity of many a visitor, especially with the works on paper of Ernest Pignon Ernest. In addition, the Galerie Rive Gauche devoted a solo exhibition to Mel Ramos, a choice which clearly paid off as three large canvases joined private collections. The work of this artist was also showcased by the Galerie Trigano, which parted with three prints of a pop sculpture. Lelia Mordoch displayed the works of the cinetic artist Rafael Soto who aroused much interest. As for Daniel Templon, he sold works by Jean-Michel Alberola, Jim Dine and Gérard Garouste. François Ditesheim, who is a regular visitor of major international art fairs, did very well this year by selling, among other items, a work of Zoran Music. On the opening night, Charlotte Moser attracted a buyer for a large canvas by Marcel Desgrandchamps. As for Bernard Ceysson, he was approached by several collectors of Claude Viallat, to whom he sold several paintings by that artist. Many visitors went to admire Claudine Papillon’s stall where the gigantic photograph of a shoe dissected by Patrick Tosani’s camera was displayed. The unusual works of art of Joana Vasconcelos exhibited at the stall of the Galerie Nathalie Obadia have drawn the attention of sellers, while the sculpture of Michael de Lucia also captured the public’s attention.

Solo exhibitions were particularly appreciated, such as the saturated Deprogramming drawings by Jean Olivier Hucleux exhibited by the Galerie Guillaume, or like the stained glass and iconoclastic sculptures by Philippe Perrin on display at Bob Benamou’s stall, or the homage paid by the Galerie Tessa Herold to François Dufrêne. In addition, the exhibition devoted to Vivien Isnard at the Galerie Sapone drew a great deal of attention, so did the solo exhibition of the young Catalan photographer Aleix Plademunt whose work was presented by Olivier Waltman, a newcomer to artparis. Claude Bernard had rather courageously dedicated a solo exhibition to the young painter Ronan Barrot, which turned out to be a very good idea indeed since all the works on display found buyers.

A breeding-ground for talented young artists:
The exhibitors who celebrated contemporary art were heartily welcomed by the public. The Galerie Metropolis sold a great number of drawings by Fabien Verschaere, but also many of Romain Bernini’s, a lesser-known artist. Caroline Schirman and Esther de Beaucé unveiled the works of Cléa Coudsi, Eric Herbin, and Nicolas Buffe, while exhibiting one of the latest paintings by Jeanne Susplugas. Olivier Robert presented the highly regarded ceramics of Clémence Van Lunen, and the paintings of Anne-Laure Sacriste, who was also the recipient of the Prix du catalogue d’artiste awarded by the Maison Henriot. Marion Meyer also presented her new line-up of contemporary artists. Her stall, showcasing Pascale Rémita and Werner Büttner, also offered a place of honour to Mélodie Mousset. The Galerie Louise Alexander sold three editions of Pascal Haudressy’s shark along with works by Sabine Pigalle. The Galerie Laurence Esnol achieved great success with the paintings of the American artist H.Craig Hanna. As for Eric Dupont, he was particularly proud to display the paintings of his favourite artist Damien Cabanes and that of his new debut artist Marine Joatton, both of whom caught the eyes of several collectors. The Galerie Dukan & Hourdequin sold all the paintings by Nicholas di Genova on display, while the Galerie Forsblom, from Helsinki, exhibited emerging young Finnish artists, such as the young female painter Kukka Paavilainen or the sculptor Tommi Toija. For his part, Laurent Godin, met many admirers of the Swedish painter Henrik Samuelsson whose work he has exhibited in his Parisian art gallery since 2007.

On the Chinese art scene
The Ifa Gallery, which had travelled all the way from Shanghai, seduced the collectors with a selection of paintings by Fan Jiupeng. The Galerie Guy Pieters found buyers for all the photos by Zhao Bandi. The Yu Gallery, from Paris, also aroused great interest among the collectors of contemporary Chinese photography and sold several works by Li Wei and Liu Jin. Xin Dong Cheng, from Beijing, who was one of the first art dealers to bridge the gap between Chinese and French arts, sold sculptures in polished steel by Shi Jiamin as well as a diptych by the photographer Zuo Xiao Zu Zhou.

Photography, a growing trend
Addressing a public eager to be initiated to the world of collecting, while adapting to the present economic situation by offering very reasonable prices, all the young galleries specialised in contemporary photography sold a great number of photographs. Art galleries not principally devoted to photography equally found many buyers for their photographs.

Several regular exhibitors at artparis, have achieved great success, such as the CM Art gallery with Mona Breede’s views of Shanghai; Acte 2 with the photographs of Gisèle Bündchen by Michel Comte; the Galerie Camera Obscura with the portrait of Natalia by Paolo Roversi; Philippe Chaume with Floriane de Lassée’s megalopolises; Esther Woederhoff with the works of Nikolas Tantsukes; and the Galerie de l’Instant with celebrity photos by Dominic Tarlé.

The Galerie Rabouan-Moussion was also highly appreciated, with the photos of the Dutch artist Erwin Olaf, as was Françoise Paviot with the works of Barbara Steinman and Dieter Appelt. It was equally a success story for Patrice Trigano and the photographs of Françoise Huguier, the Galerie RX and the photographs of Georges Rousse, Claire Gastaud and the photographs of Nils Udo, and Guy Bärtschi, a newcomer at artparis, who exhibited Marina Abramovic and Nan Goldin among others. The great number of works sold during the fair confirmed the public’s considerable interest in photography.

The events at artparis 09.
This year artparis has launched thematic exhibitions addressed to a wider audience, such as the exhibition devoted to comics by Jean Marc Thévenet, or the confrontation between Street art and Figuration Libre set up by Serge Malik. The public showed a huge interest for both series of events, which testified of the opening of artparis to all forms of art.

As for the Nuits d’artparis, they were devoted to the celebration of art under the stars seen through the magnificent glass roof of the Grand Palais.

As Caroline Clough Lacoste, director of artparis, observed: “There is no doubt that the atmosphere of artparis 09 was marked by the tremendous energy of gallery owners, the curiosity of visitors, the exciting presence of the artists at the stalls, and up to the very last moment, sales were being finalised at the stands.”

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April 1, 2009

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