Paris Follows London with Art Fair
The big money's in Paris this season. Last night, a $24 million painting by Pablo Picasso of his mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, was put on reserve at the VIP preview of the Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain. The FIAC is France's largest art fair, and it follows the Frieze Art Fair in London. The French fair hopes to capitalize on Frieze's momentum, where dealers indicated that sales were up from 2008.
Picasso isn't the only major artist whose work is up for sale at a major price. L+M Arts, from New York, has put Francis Bacon's "Portrait of George Dyer Takling," which is being priced at approximately $40 million, and Fernand Leger's "Le Grand Dejeurner" is being shown by Daniel Malingue for $20 million to $25 million. The fair is already well attended, with Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH, and his ilk already in attendance.
FIAC ends on October 25, 2009 and has more than 200 modern and contemporary art dealers showcasing the work they represent. Most of the exhibits are in the Grand Palais, with another 80 by younger living artists displayed in a temporary structure in the Cour Carree of the Louvre. The art market slump has led to smaller numbers this year, with 40 galleries that participated last year not returning to Paris this year.