The Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC) opens in Paris on October 17. Founded in 1974, the international art fair brings together modern and contemporary galleries, and takes places in the Grand Palais des Champs Élysées, where the Avenue Winston Churchill becomes a pedestrian corridor that allows access between FIAC and Hors Les Murs (satellite projects that give contemporary artists the opportunity to engage with the wider community and produce site-specific installations). If you just happen to be in Paris around this time, get yourself to FIAC—rumor has it that this might be the last year it’s hosted in the Grand Palais, which will soon undergo renovation. Meanwhile, Paris in October is alive with art throughout the city. Below, the not-to-miss fall shows from a Paris native.
Le Corbusier’s Studio Apartment
I have to admit this is not really on the way to anything (it’s located south of the Bois de Boulogne, the large public park west of the city’s 16th arrondissement), but it’s a true gem and a must to visit. This was Le Corbusier’s own apartment. It is now run by the Fondation Le Corbusier, which reopened in 2018 after a two-year renovation. A real highlight is the kitchen, which was designed by his student at the time, Charlotte Perriand. During the week of the fair the American interdisciplinary artists Gerard & Kelly, drawing inspiration from the space, will perform dances in the apartment.
Charlotte Perriand at the Fondation Louis vuitton
A short ten minutes’ walk across the Bois de Boulogne from Le Corbusier’s apartment, the Louis Vuitton Foundation will dedicate a monumental show to the late architect and designer Charlotte Perriand. Believing that “the art of dwelling is the art of living,” Perriand invites us to rethink the role of art in society.
bacon at the pompidou
Switching gears to central Paris, this exhibition looks at works produced by the painter Francis Bacon in the last two decades of his career and focuses on the literary influences—T. S. Eliot, Joseph Conrad, Aeschylus—that stimulated him.
Josh Sperling at Galerie Perrotin
Close by, in the Marais, Josh Sperling (an ex assistant of KAWS, the American artist also known as Brian Donnelly) is turning heads with his 3-D canvases, which may make him the hot young thing next week in Paris.
Zwirner Takes Paris
Sharing this neighborhood is also David Zwirner’s new Paris gallery—Zwirner’s second location in Europe. It opens in the old space of veteran dealer Yvon Lambert and features the work of Raymond Pettibon.
As you are riding along the Seine on electric scooters, which you can pick up around the city, don’t miss Yayoi Kusama’s installation at the Place Vendôme.
Other galleries worth seeing: Urs Fischer at Gagosian; Ugo Rondinone at Kamel Mennour; Chorus, a group show organized with Bill Powers at Almine Rech; and Georg Baselitz at Thaddaeus Ropac, in the Paris suburb of Pantin.
Once you’re art-ed out
- Walk in the gardens of the Musée Rodin.
- Get a Cedric Grolet patisserie inside Le Meurice, conveniently close to FIAC. The pastries are not only delicious, they are works of art in themselves.
- Lunch at Monsieur Bleu inside the Palais de Tokyo, facing the Eiffel Tower. It’s a great opportunity to visit this comparatively new museum. Also, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, which is next door, will be opening an exhibition by French-German gestural abstract painter Hans Hartung.
- Dinner at Le Voltaire, unless it’s already taken over by a gallery. This is a Paris institution and has been known as the secret canteen for artists and academics.
- Spend Sunday at Paul Bert Serpette, the flagship flea market within the wider Marché aux Puces. Make sure to have lunch at Ma Cocotte and order the chicken!
The Bibliothèque Nationale de France, in the 2nd arrondissement, just reopened to the public after 10 years of renovations. The library has sensational reading halls if you are in need of quiet time!
Laura de Gunzburg is AIR MAIL’s Editor at Large