Both regional and cosmopolitan, Art Paris is a fair that focuses on discovery. It is an unmissable spring event for modern and contemporary art in Paris. The fair is also known for its themed based approach and its commitments that contribute to the originality of this leading spring event and set it apart on the art calendar. Following its themes about commitment and exile in 2023, Art Paris is pleased to unveil its themes and guest curators for 2024.
Fragile Utopias. A Focus on the French Scene by Eric de Chassey
Éric de Chassey, director of the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), teacher at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and exhibition curator, will share his perspective on the French scene with a selection of 20 artists chosen from among the exhibiting galleries on the theme Fragile Utopias. He will also be writing a presentation of each artist’s work.
As Eric de Chassey points out: “The sole function of the visual arts is not one of representation or decoration, they also provide models that can guide our perception, thoughts and actions, in other words they contribute to constructing possible utopias. These utopias may be embodied in any form and with every medium, however in these uncertain times marked by major changes in society and the way we understand the world, they are often of a temporary and precarious nature and as such they are ‘fragile’ utopias.”
Éric de Chassey is the director of the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), a teacher at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and the former director of Villa Médici: The French academy in Rome. His latest publications include: Après la fin. Suspensions et reprises de la peinture dans les années 1960 et 1970 (Klincksieck, 2017) and L’abstraction avec ou sans raisons (Gallimard, 2017). In 2021-2022, he curated a number of exhibitions, such as Le surréalisme dans l’art américain, 1940-1970 (Centre
de la Vieille Charité, Marseille), Napoléon? Encore! (Musée de l’Armée, Paris), Alex Katz. Floating Worlds (Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Pantin), Ettore Spalletti. Il cielo in una stanza (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome) and Le désir de la ligne. Henri Matisse dans les collections Jacques Doucet (Musée Angladon, Avignon). In 2023, his exhibition Repetition can be seen at Centre Pompidou Metz.
Art & Craft by Nicolas Trembley
This theme’s title, curated by art critic and independent exhibition curator Nicolas Trembley, takes its name from the pioneering Arts and Crafts movement that saw the light of day in Great Britain at the end of the 19th century. The theme will address the way in which modern and contemporary artists have taken – and continue to take – the world of crafts (ceramics, glass, tapestry etc) and make it their own, combining in so doing thought and gesture. Around twenty international artists will be chosen from among the exhibiting galleries to comprise a themed tour of the fair. Nicolas Trembley will also write a text with a presentation of each artist’s work.
To quote Nicolas Trembley: “Although it is true that the visual arts at the beginning of the 20th century incorporated practices more often associated with the applied arts, the emergence of a more conceptual form of contemporary art put an end to this historical way of doing things. Since the beginning of the 21st century and the development of a globalised art market that pushes minority practices and groups to the fore, we are witnessing the emergence of artworks whose techniques are traditionally related to artisanship. Furthermore, we are rediscovering works by historical and contemporary artists whose approach borrows from the world of craft.”
Nicolas Trembley is an art critic, exhibition curation and contemporary art advisor who shares his time between Paris and Geneva. He is currently artistic director of the Syz contemporary art collection. He has worked with various cultural institutions, such as the MAMCO (Geneva), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Le Consortium (Dijon) and Musée Guimet (Paris).
One of his interests is in the connections between contemporary art and artisanship. He has organised numerous exhibitions on the subject, notably the touring exhibition Sgrafo vs. fat lava – ceramics and porcelains made in West Germany, 1960-1980, five different exhibitions between 2013 and 2022 exploring the Mingei (folk crafts or art of the people) movement in Japan, Expanded Craft in Vienna and Craft at Galerie Francesca Pia (Zurich) in 2023. His book Keramikos published by Buchhandlung Walther König was awarded the Most Beautiful Swiss Book prize in 2021.
For more information please visit https://www.artparis.com/en