A Paris art-fair decoder

Which Fall Fair is right for you?

Each October brings an action-packed week of art fairs and many of our clients ask for help choosing which fairs to attend.

Consider this your Paris art-fair decoder -- a lighthearted Q&A to help you decide which fair is the best match for you.


You love name recognition and seeing artists, gallerists and collectors who are on the international art fair circuit. You like recognizing works you've seen in museums and art magazines. The ones that make headlines when they sell at auction. You love to see so much art, among crowds of fellow-admirers, so much art it sets your brain on fire. In a good way.

For certain, you're headed to FIAC, the Foire internationale d'art contemporain.


You're interested in the next big thing, up-and-coming artists with an edge. Those represented by galleries willing to take a chance on less well-known names, new techniques and new visions. You want to buy but your budget has fewer zeros than would get you a Jeff Koons. You trust your own inner art critic, you know what you like, or you will know it when you see it. You don't need the marketplace to tell you what to buy. You should visit...

Attitude (previously SLICK). It's held right next to FIAC at the Pont Alexandre III, and it's a smaller fair featuring French and European galleries.


You can't not go. You want to have an opinion on the newest fair in town, one that extends the imprimateur of the grand-daddy of Paris art fairs, FIAC. You want to see all the galleries that are almost FIAC-worthy (as determined by the major art world players that comprise the FIAC selection committee)... but not quite. Yet. You like a fair set in a contemporary space, a manageable amount of galleries showing works that pass a critical threshold.

You need to cross the Seine with us and come to (Off)icielle!


You love the Marais and want to see art throughout the neighbourhood. Less white cubes and more in situ art installations. The chance to visit works in museums like the Musée Picasso, Archives Nationales and Musée de la Chasse et Nature. All on one entrance ticket. You like the idea of youth and vigor and the chance to discover a new gallery from... Prague. You want a bigger, more spread out fair with a bit more of an international flavour. This year, you should try...

YIA, the Young International Art Fair much of which is being held in Carreau du Temple.


You want to explore how digital techniques and media are influencing all artists. You're entranced by works that illuminate the ways in which digital technologies and the internet are changing our lives. You find works that need to be plugged in the obvious next step in the evolution of art. It makes sense to you when you see a flashcode beside each artwork. You should attend...

Variations. It used to be called ShowOff, and it's a fair dedicated to digital art and its influence.


If after all your indoor fair festivities, you're ready to get moving outside, don't miss the outdoor sculptures from Place Vendome to Tuilieries to Jardin des Plantes, installed by select galleries under the auspices of FIAC Hors des Murs.


Don't want to commit, just want an evening stroll with great art? Thursday night is Nocturne des Galeries, the night when many Paris galleries stay open late and many are also launching their new shows. Pick the Marais, Saint Germain, Matignon -- you name it, it'll be a great night for art.