February 23, 2019

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In Paris, the Art Scene Is Happening. London Had Better Look Out.

In Paris, the Art Scene Is Happening. London Had Better Look Out.
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At the other end of the price spectrum, on view in a bathroom, 650mAh, a nonprofit based in Hove, England, was showing works by Hendrickje Schimmel, a Dutch contemporary artist who works in London. Ms. Schimmel makes pieces that “exist somewhere between sculpture and product,” questioning the preconceptions of the fashion industry. Unwearable shoe sculptures found no early takers, but an altered found cotton shirt sold for €300.

Meanwhile, around the corner at Asia Now, in another chic residential setting, visitors were putting on headsets to experience the 2018 virtual reality piece “Happily Contained” by the young Chinese digital artist Miao Ying. One of an edition of three, this all-enveloping nightmare of 21st century consumerism was presented by the Paris-based DSLcollection. Another was available, priced at €45,000, from MadeIn Gallery, Shanghai, one of more than 40 Asian and Western galleries at the fair.

Also on display were lyrical collages incorporating vintage photographs by the New York-based Filipino artist Pinky Urmaza. Eight of these were presented by the Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery of the Philippines. Priced at €650 to €790, they quickly sold out.

The sense that there’s plenty happening in the Paris art scene was further reinforced on Thursday with almost 130 art and design dealerships exhibiting at FIAC Week’s annual “Gallery Night.” Freedman Fitzpatrick, a Los Angeles gallery that opened near the Hotel de Ville in February, was showing politically charged sculptures by the young New York artist Diamond Stingily.

“We wanted to have a second gallery in Europe, and we do have a lot of clients in this region,” said Robbie Fitzpatrick, a co-founder of the dealership, which was also exhibiting in the first-floor younger galleries section of FIAC. “Paris is a global hub.”

Once Britain, and London, formally leave the European Union next March, Paris looks likely to become an increasingly compelling destination in the art world. It certainly will if Mr. Macron has anything to do with it.

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