Art Paris 2020: An Ode to Resilience

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Art Paris 2020: An Ode to Resilience
As I approached the Grand Palais yesterday, home to the 2020 edition of Art Paris, I felt elated. Elated that this year’s edition, originally slated for last April, was finally going ahead in person. Elated to see people queuing up to partake in the first big international contemporary art event in six months. Elated to have a chance to discover how artists, and the gallerists who represent them, would tackle the elephant in the room: Covid-19. Befittingly, the leitmotif of the fair is “résistance,” not as a political manifesto but as a rallying cry. Colourful exhibitions at the Grand Palais. Photo credit © Sarah Bartesaghi Truong It is true that Parisian galleries, collectively, have been extremely resilient. They were the first to open their doors to visitors, as soon as lockdown was lifted and before museums did. Capitalizing on the renewed interest from Parisians, many have since embarked on a monthly Sunday opening program, involving both the Marais and Saint Germain des Près districts. Traditionally, Art Paris has focused on the French contemporary art scene, with a sprinkle of foreign galleries– mainly European and some from Asia. This year’s edition is no exception, and it is reassuring to see galleries hailing from as far away as South Korea. Marie Claire Mitout Les Plus Belles Heures, Galerie Claire Gastaud. Photo credit © Sarah Bartesaghi Truong With a reduced number of exhibitors (down from 150 to 112), booths are more spacious and airy, allowing for improved visitor experience. While a whole section of the fair is dedicated to bright young gallerists, the kind that normally would stick to smaller regional fairs, the lightness of the international art fair calendar has also encouraged heavyweights in the sector, like Perrotin, to exhibit at Art Paris this year. For collectors and amateurs alike, this feels like a gift. The first impression stepping under the magnificent skylights of the Grand Palais is one of brightness. It is not just the glorious September sunshine, but more that a plethora of artists share a craving for bright colors, as if intent on lifting the viewer’s spirit (or maybe their own?) From Hockney-inspired vignettes by young French artist Marie Claire Mitout, her visual diary like a breath of fresh air in the current morose mood, to the fire-lit skies Adam Bogey recreates using pastel, a traditional, almost forgotten medium rendered modern by the use of excessive, almost unnatural hues.

Lead photo credit : Liu Bolin, in the City - Instant Noodles. Courtesy of Galerie Paris Bejing.

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Sarah Bartesaghi Truong has lived, studied and worked in Milan, Paris and London. Her lifelong passion for art in all its forms and her entrepreneurial dreams were the catalyst for a career change: she left the world of investment banking to go back to school, at the Sotheby’s Institute of London. Ten years ago, she moved back to Paris, the ideal location for an art-lover. As an Italian in Paris, she decided she would keep playing the tourist in her adoptive home town, always on the lookout for the many wonders the French capital has to offer to the curious explorer. VeniVidiParis, the company she founded, plans curated itineraries in the French capital and its vicinity for travellers wishing to discover the city’s vibrant art scene, but not only. Take a look at her recent discoveries on her Instagram feed, @venividiparis, or contact her at [email protected] for help planning your next Parisian vacation.


  • Sarah Bartesaghi Truong
    2020-09-17 10:43:21
    Sarah Bartesaghi Truong
    Thank you Lilianne, looking forward to your DM, and will check you out on IG! Take care, Sarah


  • Lilianne Milgrom
    2020-09-17 06:55:51
    Lilianne Milgrom
    I really enjoyed your article and particularly being introduced to the Miaz brothers. I am a Paris-born artist and author living in Washington DC. I will reach out to you on IG!