Independent Art Voice

FIAC Paris 47th Edition What The Dealers Had To Say

FIAC Paris 2021

FIAC, the International Contemporary Art Fair, one of the seminal, global, annual art events, has celebrated  its 47th edition in Paris. The fair which closed its doors on 24 October, saw outstanding sales across all sectors as gallerists, collectors, institutions, and visitors from worldwide returned to Paris. 

FIAC brought together 171 exhibitors from 25 countries and five continents at the Grand Palais Ephémère, combining the most renowned galleries (General Sector) with emerging talents (Young Galleries Sector). They presented modern works and contemporary creation and design (Design Sector) of the highest quality.

The vibrancy of the 47th edition was felt at all levels of the market

The fair recorded 46,655 visitors in five days. For the convenience of collectors and visitors and to ensure that FIAC met their high expectations, the fair chose to cancel the opening on the evening of the vernissage. FIAC also decided to limit attendance, taking into account the reduced surface area (-30%) of the Grand Palais Ephémère compared to the Grand Palais, FIAC’s historic venue.

Commenting, Jennifer Flay, director of FIAC: “There was a lot of energy, creativity and joy at FIAC. We are delighted that, despite the context, we were able to attract collectors from all continents and foster a strong dynamic for the exhibitors who brought some of their most remarkable works. Again, this year, the galleries highlighted the high standard of discussions they could have with collectors at the fair – an essential part of FIAC’s DNA.

FIAC (International Contemporary Art Fair)
FIAC (International Contemporary Art Fair)

“The cultural ecosystem in France is robust and attractive with its public and private institutions. They provide an unparalleled richness to Paris’ cultural life and an art market experiencing tremendous momentum, as evidenced by the arrival or expansion of major international galleries. More than ever before, Paris and FIAC were the cultural destinations of this autumn!”

The works of Georg Baselitz were particularly popular, coinciding with his retrospective at the Centre Pompidou. His work Bad im Flur (2021) sold for EUR 1.2 million at Thaddaeus Ropac, who also sold Robert Rauschenberg’s Star Grass(1963) for USD 2.8 million and Alex Katz’s Olivia 1 (2021) for USD 600,000. At Chantal Crousel, a powdered charcoal painting by Glenn Ligon was acquired by a private French collection for around USD 500,000, while a sculpture by Pierre Huygues was added to an Asian collection for EUR 275,000.

Figurative painting fared notably well, both for the big names and for the emerging voices in the discipline. At Xavier Hufkens, a painting by Alice Neel sold for EUR 1 million, while Templon sold a work by the American artist Wiley Kehinde for USD 500,000. Hernan Bas’s The Albatross (2021) was sold for between USD 150,000 and 200,000 by Perrotin Gallery, which also sold works by Chen Ke, Jens Fänge, Jean-Michel Othoniel and Yves Laloyin the first hours of the fair.

Jose Martos, president of Martos Gallery, sold almost all of the works in his solo show of Aura Rosenburg to top private collections in the USA, Belgium, and Luxemburg. He acquired a significant work by Keith Haring at the fair for 4 million euros.

Private collectors attended from the United States, the whole of Europe, Japan, Korea, India and Latin America. They included Ron and Mera Rubell, Brad Pitt, Delphine Arnault, Xavier Niel, Heidi Slimane, Martin Margiela, Laurent Dumas, Richard and Barbara Lane, Shalini Passi, Maja Hoffman, Sylvio Perlstein, the Ullens and Maleki families, Cristina Castañer. They joined representatives of major public institutions and private foundations from around the world, including MASP Museu de Arte de São Paulo (Brazil); Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art (South Korea); Louisiana Museum (Denmark); National Museum of Contemporary Art (Greece); Outset Contemporary Art Fund of Israel (Israel); Cy Twombly Foundation (Italy); MAXXI (Italy); Fondazione Prada (Italy); MUDAM (Luxemburg); Outset Netherlands (The Netherlands); Stedelijk Museum (The Netherlands); Zacheta (Poland); Fondation Serralves (Portugal); Serpentine Galleries (UK); Tate (UK); The Courtauld Institute of Art (UK); The Design Museum (UK); Whitechapel Gallery (UK); Multimedia Art Museum (Russia); Amis du Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève (Switzerland); MAMCO (Switzerland); Palais de Lomé (Togo); Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (Turkey).

As well as from the USA: Artadia; Dia Art Foundation; Guggenheim Museum; Hammer Museum; ICA Boston; Judd Foundation; MCASD; MoMA; National Museum of Women in the Art; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture; Tate Americas Foundation; The Bass; The Jewish Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The New Museum; Ulrich Museum of Art; VIA Art Fund.

Representatives of France’s most important institutions and foundations contributed to the success of FIAC with numerous purchases and the presence of : Amis du Centre Pompidou and Comité d’acquisition ; Palais de Tokyo ; Musée d’art Moderne de Paris ; Fondation Louis Vuitton ; Fondation Cartier ; Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection ; Musée Picasso ; Lafayette Anticipations ; Musée du Louvre ; Musée d’Orsay ; Musée de l’Orangerie ; Jeu de Paume ; Fondation Luma ; Petit Palais ; Musée du Quai Branly ; many Fonds Régionaux d’Art Contemporain (FRAC).

FIAC’s 2021 edition adopted a “hybrid” form for the first time. It took place physically at the Grand Palais Ephémère and online with the second edition of the FIAC Online Viewing Rooms, which continues until midnight tonight (25 October 2021). In total, more than 210 galleries are taking part in the FIAC OVR, which brings together all the galleries from the Grand Palais Ephémère as well as a selection of galleries that exhibit exclusively on the OVR. The platform, powered by Artlogic – the industry leader in digital solutions for the art world – has been designed to create new connections between exhibitors and FIAC’s wide audience of collectors and art lovers.

In parallel with the fair at Grand Palais Ephémère, FIAC organised events across the city. The FIAC Hors Les Murs programme exhibited 25 works and installations in the Tuileries Gardens and an exhibition of works by the young French artist Jean-Claracq (Galerie Sultana) at the Eugène Delacroix Museum. Flying Dragon (1975), Alexander Calder’s monumental work, is on show at Place Vendôme (until 2 January 2022), in partnership with Gagosian and the City of Paris. FIAC’s festival of performances and films, Parades for FIAC, took over several emblematic locations in the capital, including the Centre Pompidou, the Musée du Louvre and the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection.

FIAC (International Contemporary Art Fair)
FIAC (International Contemporary Art Fair)


Hauser & Wirth – London, Somerset, New York, Los Angeles, Hong-Kong, Zurich, Monaco

“So many collectors have made a dedicated trip from across Europe and the US to experience “le grand retour” of FIAC, many more than we expected. This year the interest from French and European Foundations has been powerful. We’ve placed works by Avery Singer, Rashid Johnson, Ed Clark, and Rita Ackermann in the most respected collections. Paris is certainly riding high and as ever, the exhibitions in institutions in the city are simply outstanding.” – Marc Payot, President

Gagosian – Paris, New York, Beverly Hills, London, Hong-Kong, Athens, Rome, Basel

“We are pleased with the results of this year’s fair. We sold to new and existing collectors, including historical works by Helen Frankenthaler and Georg Baselitz, both from the 60s. As well as more recent works by Giuseppe Penone, Takashi Murakami, Tatiana Trouvé, and Ed Ruscha, to name a few, together with Jim Shaw for whom we recently announced representation.

There is tremendous energy and a feeling of optimism in the city of Paris – the cultural capital in Europe – with interest from collectors not only locally but also from overseas.”

Serena Cattaneo Adorno, director of Paris and Le Bourget’s Gagosian Gallery – Xavier Hufkens (Brussels) – Brussels

“At the Grand Palais Ephémère, FIAC has managed to maintain the same buzzing atmosphere we associate with the fair. We have had strong sales throughout the week across multiple generations of artists and estates. At this stage, I think it’s safe to say the recent fairs reconfirmed that their role within the art ecosystem is crucial.”- Xavier Hufkens, Owner and Director

Examples of sold artworks:

A painting by Alice Neel sold for approximately USD 1 million
A painting by Alice Neel sold for approximately USD 800,000
A sculpture by Lynda Benglis sold for approximately USD 700,000
A sculpture by Antony Gormley sold for approximately GBP 400,000
A sculpture by Louise Bourgeois sold for about USD 400,000
Perrotin – Paris, Hong-Kong, New York, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai

“Our teams are particularly pleased to return to FIAC after not attending for two years. Our stand bustled with visitors and collectors alike who arrived in great numbers from the very first minutes of the fair. By the morning, we had already sold several works by Hernan Bas, Chen Ke, Jens Fänge, Jean-Michel Othoniel (for about EUR 110 000) and Yves Laloy. Hernan Bas’s The Albatross, 2021, sold for between USD 150,000 and 200,000. The inclusion of Yves Laloy has aroused a lot of interest; we have a lot of demand for this artist, who we will be exhibiting in January 2022 at the gallery in Paris. We are very pleased that these works are joining some very fine collections.”- Emmanuel Perrotin, Founder and Director

Almine Rech – Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Shanghai

“It was a highly anticipated edition. Our sales were outstanding, notably, the works of the new artists we started selling recently, who did very well. We met new collectors and more Americans than expected. A great success!”- Nicolas de Cherisey – Directeur Almine Rech Bruxelles

Neugerriemschneider- Berlin

“We’re delighted to be at FIAC again and we’re happy with the visibility that we obtained for the artist that we’re showing this year, Thomas Bayrle. We saw a lot of international collectors, but there’s also a strong European showing: Germans, Italians, Belgians, etc.”- Burkhard Riemschneider, Founder

Guillermo de Osma – Madrid

“This edition went very well. Christo’s works were wonderfully received, and several pieces were sold, most of them to private individuals. Despite the circumstances of the pandemic, we were pleasantly surprised to see so many international collectors and visitors at the fair.”- Guillermo de Osma, Founder and Director

Raffaella Cortese – Milan

“We had a good fair this year; there was a great energy. Amongst the many sales we made, we sold Double Hex, 2004by Kiki Smith on the first day of the fair and a work by Silvia Bächli to a French private Foundation.”- Nicla Calegari, Director

Tomio Koyama – Tokyo

“We had some brilliant sales to both local and international collectors, and we were lucky to meet many new collectors. We sold several pieces, including sculptures by Sopheap Pich and paintings by Hiroshi Sugito and Xu Ning, for around EUR 80 000. Sales were outstanding, even better than in regular years: we can feel that people are excited about encountering new artists.”- Kana Miyazawa, Associate

Nathalie Obadia – Paris, Brussels

“This edition went very well for us with sustained and dynamic sales throughout the fair. All the artists on the stand were sold at least once.

We sold several editions of Laure Prouvost’s tapestries between EUR 90,000 and 120,000. We also sold very large works by Benoit Maire, sculptures by Guillaume Leblon, Antoine Renard and Wang Keping and several editions of Valérie Belin’s latest series Modern Royals, 2020.

Most of the works, even the huge ones, were sold to private individuals, mainly from Europe and the United States.”- Pauline Chiche, Director

Templon – Paris, Brussels

“We are pleased with the sales this year. Among them: a work by Omar Ba for EUR 115,000, a work by Wiley Kehinde for $500,000, a work by Jim Dine for $300,000, a work by Frank Stella for $250,000 and a work by Chiharu Shiota for EUR 100,000.”- Anne-Claudie Coric, Executive Director

Max Hetzler – Berlin, Paris, London

“We are delighted with this edition of FIAC, which got off to a very good start right from the opening. We sold a work by William N. Copley to a private museum in Germany and a work by Edmund de Waal to a Dutch museum. We had great success with the French artists we presented, such as Tursic & Mille, whose four large paintings were sold. The fair was very dynamic with the presence of many European, but also a lot of American and Lebanese collectors.”- Samia Saouma, Partner, Senior Director

Skarstedt- New York, London, Paris

“We are delighted to have participated in this edition of FIAC, which coincided with the opening of our new gallery in Paris. The works we presented (notably a Baselitz painting from the 1981 Drinkers series, in parallel with his retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, the recent appointment of David Salle and an iconic work from Cindy Sherman’s Fairy Tales series) were very well received. We had good sales and an international audience, with Americans present on the first day.

“We are very pleased to have had the privilege of exhibiting Eric Fischl’s sculpture Tumbling Woman in the Tuileries Gardens as part of FIAC Hors Les Murs, in a fruitful dialogue with Maillol’s La Rivière, both conceived as pacifist monuments. This sculpture was presented alongside Eric Fischl’s recent paintings, presented under ‘My Old Neighbourhood’ in our new Parisian space, on view until 4 December. “- Maria Cifuentes, Senior Director

Chantal Crousel – Paris

“We are very pleased with the sales we made at FIAC, having had a solid start at the private opening. We met a lot of foreign collectors, especially Americans. A French private collection acquired a work by Glenn Ligon for around €500,000, and a sculpture by Pierre Huyghe went to an Asian collection.”- Chantal Crousel, Founder

Applicat-Prazan – Paris

“We are very pleased with this edition of FIAC. We made outstanding sales on our stand and at our gallery. Notable were the sales of two paintings for more than EUR 1 million. We welcomed French, Swiss and Middle Eastern collectors. It was wonderful to regain some of the reality of the market.”

Franck Prazan, Founder

Martos Gallery – New York

“We have sold almost all the works of the solo show of Aura Rosenburg, more than ten works have joined highly regarded private collections, including the collection of Maya Hoffman, but also American, Belgian and Luxemburg collections. We are delighted to have chosen to participate at FIAC, we made almost USD 400 000.” – Jose Martos, President

Pietro Sparta – Chagny

“It was a very successful fair, we were surprised by the number of collectors present, there was a great dynamic! It was the best FIAC yet for us. We sold works, ranging from EUR 10 000 to 280 000, and not only to Europeans, but also Americans. A highlight for the gallery: meeting a number of new collectors.”

Ceysson & Bénétière – Paris, Luxemburg, Saint-Étienne, New York, Lyon

“This first edition at the Grand Palais Ephémère aligned perfectly with our expectations. We were able to continue our in-depth work on the supports/surfaces movement and we sold many works to several French private collections, foundations, and many Belgian collections. We sold about fifty works, in the price range of EUR 15,000 euros to 150,000.” – Loïc Bénétière et François Ceysson, Founders

Catherine Issert- Saint-Paul

“Our assessment of FIAC is very positive. We sold a lot throughout the week, with works ranging from €2,500 to €30,000. We presented a bold selection of works by several artists – Xavier Theunis, Claude Viallat, Cécile Bart, etc – which was very well received. We sold a lot to French private collectors.” – Catherine Issert, Founder and Director

Cécile Fakhoury – Paris, Abidjan, Dakar

“This year’s edition of FIAC was a real success. For our second physical participation (third if we count last year’s digital edition), we felt a great energy of recovery and attracted a brilliant selection of contemporary African art collectors. 6 paintings out of 8 were sold on Wednesday for prices between EUR 35 000 and 50 000.

We are also delighted to see the diversity of our collectors reflected in an event as prestigious as the FIAC: three paintings were sold to African collectors; the others will stay in Paris or Europe. Coinciding with the opening of our Paris branch at 29 avenue Matignon, which will be a permanent meeting place for our European collectors, this very strong edition of FIAC confirms that Paris is regaining an important place in the international art market.” – Cécile Fakhoury, Founder

In Situ – fabienne leclerc – Paris

“We are very pleased with the reception of the stand, we met a lot of people, especially foreigners that we didn’t’ know before. We had a great press coverage. We sold the works of the artist trio Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian including O’ You People and Alluvium (2021); as well as several of their sculptures, paintings and smaller works on paper. We have a lot of demand for commissions. The works sold were between EUR 9,000 euros and 69,000. We made contact with French people along with people from all over Europe, Latin America, the East and Asia. The immersive booth also allowed us to make contact with many foreign institutions and gave the artists significant visibility with French and international curators.” – Fabienne Leclerc, Founder

Laurent Godin- Paris

“We were very pleased to sell Sven’t Jolle’s ‘Out of touch’ installation in the Jardin des Tuileries to a major French collector for around €50,000. We also have sold historical works – Haim Steinbach, for example – and more contemporary works, such as Portemanteaux by Delphine Coindet. Our commitment to French artists is at the heart of our approach with the core of our clientele also being Parisian. There is a real synergy around the exhibitions that are being held at the moment: the atmosphere is much better than in London or Basel, which is a destination fair. – Laurent Godin, Founder

Magnin-A – Paris

“We are very pleased with this edition of FIAC. We sold our whole booth twice. There were many collectors who we noted were mostly French and American. We also made many contacts with new collectors and professionals.” – Marie-Charlotte Pagnol, Magnin-A

Anne Barrault – Paris

“Many works were reserved by French institutions and foreign collectors. During the fair, we welcomed a range of diverse and prestigious visitors. The circulation in the Grand Palais Ephémère is very fluid. The Eiffel sector is very well thought through and makes the galleries stand out. The passage from one sector to another and access to the galleries is very easy. This makes for a dynamic path and means that the spaces complement each other.” – Anne Barrault, Founder and Director

Kreo Gallery – Paris

“The fair went very well, it was great. Parisians, Londoners, and international visitors turned up for the fair. We met a lot of Americans there. We benefited from a very strong dynamism in Paris, with exhibitions of exceptional quality, which helped attract the American collectors. We changed our booth several times and sold several historical or vintage pieces, between EUR 20 000 and 50 0000 “.Clémence Krzentowski – Founder and Director

LAFFANOUR – Galerie Downtown – Paris

“At FIAC, we noticed a much more international reception than in Basel. Our regular customers showed up for us and we also met new ones. The environment was bustling, allowing us to maintain sales of our historical artists, in a rising market. We are also very happy with the sales of one of our contemporary artists, Richard Texier. We sold several pieces between EUR 15,000 and 60,000.” – Hélin Serre – Director

Sultana – Paris

“We are very pleased with the fair, it’s a first time for us and all goals have been fulfilled for the artist we represent, Paul Maheke. We managed to reach both a private and institutional audience, and we sold almost everything for prices between €5000 and €10,000. We were able to put the artist in touch with new institutional partners and a new audience. Our visitors were real art lovers, mostly French-speaking, but that suits us very well. They showed up each day of the fair.- Guillaume Sultana, Director

HIGH ART – Paris, Arles

“This edition of FIAC was very positive in general. The attendance of the fair was very good, and many collectors and institutions showed up, mostly American and European. We put the emphasis on an artist we have just started to represent who made a strong impression with the power and depth of her work – Bracha L. Ettinger, whose two works we sold on the stand.

FIAC also draws in international visitors to the galleries, shown in our Max Hooper Schneider exhibition, which opened this week. FIAC also confirmed the new attractiveness of Paris, which is once again a popular destination for foreigners.” Philippe Joppin – Director


“For our first participation at FIAC, we have been delighted to present two important historical Romanian artists: Ana Lupas and Mircea Spataru. As the two artists were an integral part of the avant-garde movement of the ’70s and ’80s, the sensibility of their artworks and the outstanding approach to materials and mediums (textile, drawing, porcelain) sprang a lot of interest to the public. We were fascinated by the curiosity of the visitors, and their engagement with the artists’ works. A constant enthusiasm for the artists’ practice pervaded throughout the fair and we received wonderful feedback. Also in terms of sales the fair was very good for us, as we managed to place our artists’ works in very good private collections and also we are in advanced discussion with an important museum for Mircea Spataru’s works.” – Suzana Vasilescu, Founder and Director

Dastan’s Basement – Tehran

“Exhibiting in FIAC for the second time in front of the Paris audience among so many great galleries has been amazing. We are super proud of the works that the artists Hoda Kashiha and Farrokh Mahdavi had prepared for the show. We appreciate all the support and attention we have received from the FIAC team as well as from the international collectors and media.”

Hormoz Hematian, Founder and Director, Jocelyn Wolff- Paris

“We are very pleased with this edition of FIAC, we made good sales! We felt a great dynamic recovering from the pandemic, we met many collectors and private institutions, from the United States and Colombia for example. It was the first time in several months that we found collectors who came from so far away!” – Martina Panelli, Director

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