Art Paris 2024: How did it go?

[12 Apr 2024]

The 26th edition of Art Paris closed its doors on Sunday April 7 after welcoming nearly 70,000 visitors to the ‘ephemeral’ Grand Palais. Next year (spring 2025) this major Modern & Contemporary art fair will return to the renovated Grand Palais.

Despite a lower attendance compared with the 2023 edition (notably due to the Paris marathon), and slow buying at the opening following the general tepidity of the overall art market so far this year, the fair concluded with a convincingly positive outcome. Sales accelerated over the last two days of the show, with French collectors and institutions particularly active. The Art Paris organizers also said there was a 10% increase in the number of professionals and collectors who came from 32 countries (mainly European).

Photo Art Paris 2024 © Marc Domage

Figures for Art Paris 2024: 70,000 visitors, 136 exhibiting galleries from 25 countries, 40% foreign participation, 60% French galleries, nearly a thousand artists, 18 solo shows.

Opinions converge regarding the successful move upmarket of Art Paris. According to the latest press release from the fair’s organizers, the latest edition was “hailed by all the press and visitors as the most successful vintage in its history”. The communiqué goes on to say that the fair “is still gaining momentum, without necessarily losing its regional and cosmopolitan DNA made of discoveries and curiosity, and is also becoming the rallying point of the French scene in a Paris undergoing an artistic renaissance”.

The art press has highlighted the high quality of the exhibitors and works presented, noting the presence of essential artists, both Modern and Contemporary, the appeal of the solo exhibitions allowing an in-depth discovery of the work of around twenty famous and emerging artists, the fair’s commitment to young talents, via its Promesses section entirely dedicated to galleries less than six years old and to ‘emerging creation’. Each gallery in the Promesses sector had the opportunity to showcase up to three artists, and their participation costs were covered up to 45% by the fair.

Continua gallery’s booth. Photo Art Paris 2024 © Marc Domage

Another gamble that paid off was the special focus on artists from the French scene via the route Fragile utopias orchestrated by Éric de Chassey, director of the National Institute of Art History (INHA). Fragile utopias offered a vision of the French scene through 21 selected artists, both historical (Vieira Da Silva, Juliette Roche, Sonia Delaunay, etc.) and contemporary (Yto Barrada, Nathalie du Pasquier, Raphaël Zarka, Sara Jerôme, etc.). Contemporary artist Nathalie Du Pasquier (represented by the Yvon Lambert gallery) won the first BNP Paribas Banque Privée prize, worth 30,000 euros. This prize rewards the unique path of a female artist, still insufficiently recognized in France, whose hybrid and multidisciplinary practice today finds a strong echo among the younger generation of contemporary artists.

Crafts (as in Arts & Crafts) were also given pride of place within the Contemporary scene, thanks to the route titled “Arts and Craft” proposed by Nicolas Trembley, highlighting works in materials such as ceramics, glass or textiles which are arousing new interest from collectors at all levels. A highly varied selection of such works was presented by galleries ranging from Magdalena Abakanowicz (Michel Saltoun gallery) to Dewar & Gicquel (Lovenbruck gallery).

Joseph Grau-Garriga (1929-2011). Tierras del Sur, 1971. Textiles. Claude Bernard Gallery – Art & Craft Tour. Photo Art Paris 2024 © Marc Domage

In all, the 26th edition of Art Paris managed to support the French scene admirably via a majority of French exhibitors and strong support for artists from the local art scene (but not only), always aiming to highlight the diversity of creation and promote a spirit of discovery.