In Paris, a Gallery Weekend to see art close to home

“Lemontree” (2021), by Hugues Reip, at the Laurent Godin gallery.

A gallery is much more than a page in the thick catalog of an art fair, more than an Instagram account that you scroll through from your sofa. It is a place of exhibition, a spirit; better: a personality. This is the credo of the Paris Gallery Weekend, whose tenth edition, organized from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 May, invites you to discover around a hundred galleries in the Ile-de-France region.

On the eve of Pentecost, which could empty the capital of its collectors without attracting foreign buyers, the moment is not ideal. Several signs, among the most important of the place, pass their turn – but remain open Friday and Saturday. “This type of event could be a window for the very general public on our profession, or a bridge with the international, but it seems to me that we are more in between ourselves”regrets Stéphane Corréard, co-founder of Loeve & Co, who no longer participates after an unsuccessful attempt.

Despite these defections, it will take the calf to survey a Parisian geography in full expansion, which radiates from the Marais to Romainville (Seine-Saint-Denis), via avenue Matignon, the artery of the golden triangle so popular with market leaders. “What we want is to offer people who have their habits in certain galleries to change paths and discover others”, confides Marion Papillon, President of the Professional Committee of Art Galleries.

“An alternative to the monoculture of fairs”

The objective is also to reinvigorate business, which is not proportional to the growing appeal of the Parisian market. “The situation is paradoxical, even the dynamic galleries are not reassured”laments Marion Papillon, who recalls: “The slack periods are now longer and the spring recovery is long overdue. » Above all, collectors have resumed their good old habits: traveling around the world and shopping in salons.

To encourage them to reconnect with the virtues of proximity, a mantra of the Covid-19 years, the Gallery Weekend asked several figures from the art world to deliver their favorites on its website. Martin Bethenod, the former director of the Bourse de commerce, confides a weakness for the exhibition of Trisha Donnelly at Air de Paris, while welcoming “a collective action that provides an alternative to the monoculture of fairs by mixing genres and generations”.

The operation follows the stratigraphy of the French market. The heavyweights are few in number, like David Zwirner, who exhibits the appropriationist artist Sherrie Levine, de Lelong, Max Hetzler or Daniel Templon. At the other end of the chain, we find young galleries like Lara Sedbon, who has just opened its doors on rue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth, in the 3earrondissement, or Anne-Laure Buffard, a gallery owner in an apartment who, for the occasion, occupies a space on rue Chapon, in the same arrondissement.

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