PARIS – “It’s going to be quite fabulous,” declares longtime FIAC director Jennifer Flay of the upcoming 41st edition of the contemporary art fair in Paris. That FIAC is increasingly important to high-profile collectors, curators and dealers is clear from its roster, which is packed with heavy hitters: Gagosian, Thaddaeus Ropac, Hauser & Wirth, Paula Cooper, Annely Juda, Karsten Grève, Waddington-Custot, White Cube, David Zwirner and more. Also among the 191 galleries are Tornabuoni Arte, Zeno X, Cortex Athletico and Esther Schipper. Paris stalwart Yvon Lambert, who is closing his gallery at the end of the year, promises a special FIAC presentation. “In terms of blue-chip contemporary, it’s hard to think of an important gallery that is not showing,” says Flay.

(TOP) BENOIT MARIE, MATHIAS, 2012, FROM CORTEX ATHLETICO GALERIE AT FIAC. COURTESY CORTEX ATHLETICO, BORDEAUX-PARIS.

(THUMBNAIL IMAGE) AI WEIWEI'S IRON TREE INSIDE THE GRAND PALAIS AT FIAC 2013. © MARC DOMAGE.


TORNABUONI ARTE GALLERY OFFERS DADAMAINO'S VOLUME, A 1959 WORK ON CANVAS. COURTESY TORNABUONI ART.

That is not enough for the dynamic Flay, who is launching OFFicielle, a new satellite fair of nearly 50 emerging galleries that will be held at Les Docks-Cité de la Mode et du Design on the Seine. By including galleries outside the usual fair circuit, OFFicielle aims to “broaden the horizons of what one is used to seeing in contemporary art,” she says. Conveniently, a river shuttle will run between the Grand Palais and the Docks. The energy around the fairs is heightened by two coinciding art world events: the launch of the Louis Vuitton museum and the long-awaited reopening of a renovated Musée Picasso. The synergy pleases Flay. “Paris is showing its cultural strength,” she says. “And it’s no accident that it’s happening during FIAC.”

FIAC and OFFicielle: 23–26 October

Jean Bond Rafferty is a Paris-based contributing editor of Town & Country and also writes for the International New York Times.