The 5 best works of FIAC, from a breathtaking installation by Thomas Bayrle to the art world debut of fashion legend Martin Margiela

Just a few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine such enthusiasm for shopping at a major Parisian art fair, but it’s the atmosphere this year in the crowded aisles of the FIAC, despite the stifling humidity in the temporary exhibition space near the Eiffel Tower.

“How do you like the Covid bath? Asked a VIP insolently, while seriously bemoaning the lack of fresh air in the crowded building on opening day. FIAC does not have the beer garden (with a view of the Eiffel Tower) that the Art Paris fair offered to visitors at the beginning of September, so guests had to sit on the floor wherever they could find a section of wall on which to lean thanks to a draconian. budget for chairs in the few cafes around the fair. On the smaller Paris Internationale across the Seine, located in a 19eA Parisian building from the last century, there was less frenzy to navigate and the works of young or emerging artists could be comfortably seen while enjoying carpeted rooms and stained glass windows.

Nevertheless, after more than a year without face-to-face contact, the crowds at FIAC were not discouraged and neither was Artnet News. There is no shortage of striking works to be enjoyed in person before heading to new homes.

Martin Margiela
Torso I, II, III (2018-2021)
Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp
Price: 40,000 to 50,000 € (46,540 to 58,175 $)

Martin Margiela, Torso I, II, III (2018-2021). Photo: Studio Shapiro.

Martin Margiela’s three skin-colored “torso” sculptures are easily the must-see works of the season at the fair, causing a buzz on the Zeno X stand. Just a few weeks ago, the Antwerp gallery began to represent the artist, who left fashion design in 2009. Today, Margiela is making her debut in the art world with a highly anticipated exhibition at Lafayette Anticipations in Paris.

Hype aside (including an interested Brad Pitt who also stopped by the booth), the works themselves – enigmatically twisted male forms cut in half and placed on plinths – are a satisfying weird and sultry commentary. on body shapes, skin and ideal beauty. The creamy-textured sculptures are more mutant than human. The artist also invites the public to touch the work, reconciling experience and representation.

Tracey Emin
I wanted to feel safe with you (2019)
Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
Price: £ 400,000 ($ 550,040)

Tracey Emin <i>I wanted to feel safe with you</i> (2019).  Courtesy of Xavier Hufkens, Brussels

Tracey Emin I wanted to feel safe with you (2019). Courtesy: the Artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Photo credit: HV-studio, Brussels

If you’re lucky enough to see a painting of Tracey Emin in person, you better grab it. His gestural works come to life. Such an experience is available on Xavier Hufkens’ stand at FIAC, where a large painting entitled I wanted to feel safe with you from 2019 is showing. It was made before Emin was diagnosed with bladder cancer, which required her to take a long hiatus from artistic creation. More recently, she was freed from cancer, but is still struggling with the consequences and only recently returned to the studio.

In the piece shown at the fair, a pregnant woman and a man face each other, both appearing to look down at her full stomach – a prime example of Emin’s ability to create works that candidly glean from her inner world, including personal memories and trauma.

Despite the tribulations of the past few years, Emin opened a major exhibition today, October 23, at the new Munch Museum in Oslo alongside Edvard Munch, who has greatly influenced his practice. She was also asked to install a large bronze sculpture called The mother on Olso Museum Island near the Munch Museum in June 2022, telling reporters that “Munch’s mother died when he was very young, so I want to give him a mother.”

Yves laloy
Untitled (1971)
Perrotin Gallery, World
Price: € 20,000 to € 100,000 ($ 23,273 to $ 116,365)

<i>Untitled</i> by Yves Laloy (1971).  © Photo: Claire Dorn / Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

that of Yves Laloy Untitled (1971). © Photo: Claire Dorn / Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

French painter Yves Laloy, who died in 1999, was greatly admired by surrealist thinker André Breton, but his work was largely ignored by major institutions outside his hometown of Rennes. Laloy’s life story and swashbuckling works are being honored thanks to Perrotin, who is planning a major exhibition scheduled for January 2022 in the gallery’s premises in the Marais in Paris.

Laloy was trained as an architect but turned to art after insulting the local Rennes prefect, which led him to flee the country and cycle across North Africa in the years. 1950. He ended up being jailed in Egypt for espionage, but eventually became a sailor who laughed at the famous: “Stay ashore, never!”

Inspired by native Navajo art and culture, his colorful paintings depict otherworldly creatures and delicately balanced geometric shapes reminiscent of surrealism, though the artist insisted he was guided by spirituality and that he was not affiliated with the surrealist movement. This is surprising considering that his painting made the cover of Breton’s manifesto of 1965, Surrealism and painting, and its inclusion in several surrealist gallery exhibitions in Paris in the mid-20e-century.

Thomas bayrle
Brancacci Chapel (2021)
Neugerriemschneider, Berlin
Price: not disclosed

Installation view: Thomas Bayrle, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, FIAC, 2021 © Thomas Bayrle.  Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider, Berlin.  Photo credit: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Installation view: Thomas Bayrle, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, FIAC, 2021 © Thomas Bayrle. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider, Berlin. Photo credit: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Breathtaking visitors as soon as they enter FIAC, it’s hard not to miss Thomas Bayrle’s immersion Brancacci Chapel, who was created especially for the fair. The acclaimed German pop artist presents new and historic multimedia artwork in a haunting wallpaper installation adorned with canvases inspired by 15th-century art and early Renaissance frescoes.

Using his long-standing interest in ritualized and repetitive form, movement and sound, Bayrle depicts biblical narratives, which become clear as one looks at the installation. They interact with printed patterns based on the artist’s “superform” method of repeating everyday imagery to create a global image. Here he used designs of crushed grapes on the road and their negative shadows become a recurring motif. Throughout, the sound of a roaring car engine can be heard above Edith Piaf’s low voice emanating from a kinetic sculpture in the center of the chapel. In short, Bayrle draws the viewer into the past while keeping him in a strange present. As we walk through the installation, we are suspended in limbo between time and space.

Ana Mazzei
O’Rama drama (2021)
Jaqueline Martins Gallery, Brussels, Sao Paulo
Price: € 40,000 ($ 46,550) for the set; € 4,500 to € 7,500 ($ 5,236 to 8,728) for individual sculptures

Ana Mazzei, <i>O'Rama drama</i> (2021).  Courtesy: Galeria Jaqueline Martins / photo: Emilie Mathé Nicolas

Ana Mazzei, O’Rama drama (2021). Courtesy: Galeria Jaqueline Martins / photo: Emilie Mathé Nicolas

Brazilian artist Ana Mazzei, born in 1980, is rightly noticed at FIAC where her theatrical installation of dreamlike sculptures, O’Rama drama, bow out. Created when the artist was first stranded in Scotland and then in Brazil, Mazzei produced each sculpture separately in mixed painted media. Mostly propped up on stilts resembling puppets, she finally brought them all together like a bunch of actors in an absurd performance at the Galeria Jaqueline Martins booth.

His work, which is part of institutional collections such as Nouveau Musée, Monaco, the Sammlung Philara Collection in Düsseldorf and the Center National des Arts Plastiques in Paris, among others, draws inspiration from his own lexicon of symbols. She then narrates a fictional construction combining art, architecture and landscape specific to each site.

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