Taking place from 19 – 22 October 2023, Paris+ par Art Basel will be a highlight of this year’s art calendar. Art historian and broadcaster Flora Vesterberg attends the fair’s preview and shares the must-see exhibitions and artists.
Paris+ par Art Basel is returning for its second year, and being held at Grand Palais Éphémère, beneath the Eiffel Tower. Clément Delépine, Director of Paris+ par Art Basel, has invited 154 galleries from 33 countries to exhibit a diverse array of solo and group presentations.
Gallery highlights include Victoria Miro, Gagosian and Blum & Poe, as well as the emerging contemporary art gallery, Emalin. This year’s public programme is spread across iconic locations, including works from Urs Fischer on Place Vendôme, plus Daniel Buren and Michelangelo Pistoletto at Palais d’Iéna, curated by Matthieu Poirier.
Stop at the neo-brasserie Cloche for coffee and brunch on the way to Picasso – Endlessly Drawing at Centre Pompidou: the exhibition focuses on Picasso’s works on paper and journal entries, showcased alongside his famous masterpieces. Continue to Le Marais to visit a series of evocative photographs at the exhibition Irving Penn: The Bath, taking place at Thaddaeus Ropac, and be sure to stop by the David Zwirner gallery to see the vivid colours of paintings by Swedish artist Mamma Anderson in her showcase: Mamma Anderson: Adieu Maria Magdalena.
A must-see, major retrospective is the newly-opened Mark Rothko at Fondation Louis Vuitton. Curated by the Fondation’s artistic director, Suzanne Pagé, and Rothko’s son, Christopher, it is an evocative and intimate chronological view of Rothko’s career, taking us from his early figurative work to his definitive examples of abstract expression. For lunch – and a place to discuss what you’ve seen so far – the petit violet artichoke salad at Brasserie L’Emil is delicious, and the space is dreamy too; softly-lit with chic interiors.
Post lunch, at Musée Rodin, you’ll find the iconic British sculptor Antony Gormley’s exhibition Critical Mass. His sculptures, which are focused on the human form and its relationship to space, are interwoven with those of the museum’s namesake, French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The verdant sculpture garden here was featured during Carla Bruni’s cameo as a tour guide in the movie Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen. For more beautiful architecture, don’t miss the Bourse de Commerce Pinault Collection. The former stock exchange was reimagined by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, with a focus on the skylight. Their collection of contemporary art across Venice and Paris is unparalleled.
As the light fades, an early evening walk through Jardin du Luxembourg should be followed by dinner amidst the modern elegance of Bar des Prés by chef Cyril Lignac, sister to Bar des Prés in London’s Mayfair. The restaurant, designed by Studio KO offers French charm alongside a Japanese sensibility and is an ideal spot to end your day.
Where to Stay in Paris
The opulent Le Meurice offers heavenly views across the Jardin des Tuileries and the Seine towards the Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais Éphémère. The hotel is an official hotel partner of Paris+ par Art Basel, and its location is ideal for strolling the gardens and visiting neighbouring museums such as Jeu de Paume and Musée de l’Orangerie. It’s also got a strong connection with art: its mirrored restaurant, Restaurant Le Dalí, was designed by Philippe Starck and reflects the hotel’s own collection of modern and contemporary art, and, if that isn’t enough, it’s also the place that Pablo Picasso celebrated his wedding.
Lead Image: Musée Rodin. Courtesy: Agence Photographique du Musee Rodin / Jerome Manoukian
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