11 Jun FIAC!
Fiac! is one of the most important contemporary art fairs of the moment. The most recognized international galleries present their proposals following the current market trends. I will share with you what I liked the most during my stay in Paris.
We can start with two of the most represented artists at the fair, the couple formed by Ida Turisc and Wilfried Mille, active together since 2000. For their work they take images from the internet and transform them into paintings, exploring as well the reproduction and circulation of the material that we find in the net. Between their works, formed from different “layers of history”, there are portraits and landscapes, such as the magnificent piece Landscape and ultramarine blue and turquoise (2016) presented by the gallery Alfonso Artiaco (Napoli), one of my favourites.
One of the most striking and interesting stands was the Galerie Nagel Draxler (Berlin). The huge installation Fisheries (2016) by the North American artist Mark Dion refers to the super-exploitation of fishing on the planet, using ten large resin fishes hanging from a thread. Dion, known for his works that emulate the wunderkammer or cabinets of wonders, often deals with images related to the sea. In his works he explores (and dissolves) the boundaries between nature and culture.
Other works that we loved a lot are the paintings by Jonathan Meese, DA: DEIN GUATERZ “EVOLUTIONSGEHORSAM” RIECHT (2015) and Hybrid II (2014) by Spanish artist Ángela de la Cruz, both presented by Krinzinger Gallery (Vienna).
The art of Meese, cryptic and ironic, is characterized by its paintings with fluo colours and its energetic style. The work that we show here is part of a series inspired by sports and athletes: Meese sees art as a game.
Angela de la Cruz, on the other hand, manipulates the canvas to bring the painting to the multidimensional characteristics of the sculpture, thus creating hybrids of great beauty and (very!) bright colours.
The gallery with more presence on Instagram was Sadie Coles HQ (London), with works by Urs Fischer. This Swiss artist also focuses his art on the limits of the representation: he works with traditional formats, but reinterpreted from the “postdigital” era. His sculptures or paintings produce to the spectator the optical illusion of being in front of a photograph. Last summer Garage museum in Moscow presented a monographic exhibition that consolidated even more the career of this great artist.
An amazing find was the work by the Romanian artist Mircea Cantor, who is perhaps best known for his video art. The gallery Magazzino Arte Moderna (Rome) presented a work on paper, which like most of his artistic production deals with great timeless – but very current at the same time – topics such as displacements or uncertainty.
The Galleria Continua (with its headquarters in the beautiful village of San Gimigniano) featured an original piece by Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova, Second hand (2015), consisting of a hanged pair of trousers made from tiles. Ceramics is a recurring material in her work, through which she distorts the perception of our daily environment.
Galerie Valois presented the sculpture of the always controversial artist Paul McCarthy White Snow Dwarf (Bashful), a non-completed pink silicone dwarf, with two large phallic shapes on the floor. Starting from a Disney image, McCarthy, as usual, puts the viewer in an uncomfortable, extreme situation. This artist was the author of a controversial installation in the previous edition of Fiac! which had to be withdrawn because of numerous vandalism.
Gagosian did not disappoint with the disturbing hyperrealist sculpture of Duane Hanson Old Couple on a Bench (1994), which as its name indicates represents a couple of retiree tourists from the 90s resting on a bench. In spite of the calm that should transmit, the figures produce an uncomfortable feeling to the spectator: this is, in fact, the aim of Hanson.
And suddenly a giant ticket appeared on one of the walls: it is a tapestry of the artist Gabriel Kuri, Untitled (Caviar House 54), represented by the gallery Kurimanzutto (Mexico City). Kuri starts from conventional situations to transform them into his particular consumption history, the central topic of his work.
The gallery Kaufmann Repetto (Milan and New York) had on sale the work of Pae White Presumptive close (2016), an installation of giant porcelain and gold popcorn hunging from the ceiling by red threads, attracting a large number of Visitors (we among them!).
One of the most outstanding stands was the one of Daniel Templon (Paris), gallery that this 2016 turns 50 years.
This anniversary coincided with the launch of the book Daniel Templon. A history of contemporary art (Flammarion, 2016) by Professor Julie Verlaine. Through the figure of this gallerist we can trace a history of contemporary art from the sixties to nowadays. And it must be said that Templon remains a benchmark in the contemporary art market. On the walls of his space in Fiac! there were works by the Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota and Kehinde Wiley, to whom the Petit Palais dedicated a monographic exhibition coinciding with the fair. I could enjoy his works a couple of years ago in the Brooklyn Museum (NYC), and I am fascinated with his imaginary.
Although the main headquarter of Fiac! is the Grand Palais, during the fair we could visit artistic installations in other parts of the city in the frame of “Hors les murs” program.
The one we liked the most was Ugo Rondinone’s Spring Moon on the Place Vendôme, where large leafless olive trees – almost five meters high – were in dialogue with the classicist buildings around them.
The Jardin des Tuileries also housed a large number of sculptures: our favourites (which we enjoyed on a sunny day!) were Vincent Mauger’s Les Injonctions and Gloria Friedmann’s Attraction Fatale (2007). The latter, according to the artist, is a modern version of Adam and Eve. Friedmann detests the association of women as traitors to humanity, and instead she represents them as a symbol of our world, with a large ball of earth in her hands.
I hope you enjoyed this virtual visit to the fair 🙂