The Paris Biennale has been a highlight of the French capital’s art market calendar for more than half a century and attracts art lovers from all around the world. Take a look below at eight exhibitions chosen by our specialists that you should not miss.
Grand Palais, Paris
Musée de la Chasse & la Nature
Chefs-d’œuvre de la collection Mellon – Country Life / Masterpieces from the Mellon Collection
Exhibition from 4 September to 2 December
The Museum of Hunting and Nature explores different aspects of the relationship between man and animals and the countryside. The Country Life – Masterpiece from the Mellon collection exhibition looks back on a moment of Western civilization linked to the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle classes.
Mélanges – Provenant des Collections du Comte et de la Comtesse de Viel Castel
Exhibition from 7–11 September
Auction on 12 September 2:30pm
This collection of works of art and furniture from a French private collection belonged to a family with a deep connection to French culture and a passion for fine art. Assembled over time, the collection includes sober mahogany furniture, whose design suggests a particular English influence that prevailed in the late 18th century, alongside old masters, works of art, and contemporary works. 18th-century furniture is represented by a pair of architectural Louis XVI cabinets by Leleu, while the fantasies of the 19th century are embodied in elephant potpourris, large Sèvres candelabras and gilded bronze typical of Rothschild taste. Old masters and 19th-century paintings are presented with more modern works, including works from Anselm Kiefer, the School of Paris and some young artists of the contemporary scene rarely seen at auction, as well as La Salle des ventes, executed by Truphémus in 1984.
Parcours des Mondes – Tribal Art
In the Beaux-Arts district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Exhibition from 11–16 September
The works in this fair reveal the creative genius of Tribal Art artists, offering those unfamiliar with Tribal Art an insight into these artist’s customs and beliefs. The exhibition will also introduce contemporary artists whose work has been influenced by the social and aesthetic traditions of their country. Around 60 French and foreign gallery owners specializing in the arts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas will be present during this fair which will take place in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district.
The Centre Pompidou is presenting the biggest-ever retrospective of the work of Franz West (1947–2012), including almost 200 artworks. Organized in collaboration with Tate Modern, London, it represents the first opportunity to acknowledge the role of the Austrian artist, one of the most influential figures of art of the last half-century. The exhibition celebrates the artist’s work from 1972 to 2012 and includes his rarely exhibited drawings from the early 1970s as well as his first sculptures, the series of Passstücke, begun in 1973–74, and performative sculptures made to engage with the viewers to “reveal their neuroses”.
Known for his long, spindly figures, painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti left behind an immense body of work. The Musée Maillol is putting on an exhibition of some 50 of his sculptures, on loan from the Fondation Giacometti, alongside works by some of the great modern sculptors. Visitors can follow a chronological route through the gallery and observe how Giacometti’s sculptures interact with those of Picasso, Rodin, and Bourdelle, highlighting the evolution of his work and the influences in his artistic surroundings.
On 10 October in Paris, Sotheby's will present for auction the collection of Elizabeth Pryce, dedicated entirely to Oceanic art. An essential personality of the Oceanic art world, she was one of the founders and vice-president of the Oceanic Art Society in Sydney, which played a significant part in the recognition and promotion of this specialty, particularly via major exhibitions such as the famous Shields of Melanesia. Also on display are highlights from what is set to be one of the most hotly-anticipated auctions of the 2018 auction when Sotheby’s and Pierre Bergé & Associés offer for sale the extraordinary contents of the various homes of one of the most successful and cultured businessmen and aesthetes of our times. Proceeds will benefit foundations close to Bergé’s heart: Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent & Fondation Jardin Majorelle. Reflecting the broad-ranging interests, refined taste and voraciously curious mind of the collector behind them, the 1000 lots to be offered span everything from Antiquity to Modern Art. Central to the collection a dozen paintings by Bernard Buffet which witness the two men’s intense shared history in the 1950s. Of exceptional quality, the works mark a watershed period in Buffet’s style and painting.
The Musée du Quai Branly’s compelling show is the first exhibition in France to question the history of Madagascar’s art. More than 360 works, especially chosen for their historic and ethnologic interest, will be brought together in the museum’s areas. Malagasy art, history and culture remain rather unknown and this exhibition aims to discovering them through works and documents, ancient or contemporary, scattered across three large sections.
The Musée d’Orsay and the Musée National Picasso-Paris are organising an exceptional event dedicated to Pablo Picasso’s blue and rose periods. This exhibition is the first large-scale collaboration between the two museums and features masterpieces and proposes a new interpretation on the years 1900-1906, a critical period in the artist’s career which to date has not been covered in its entirety by a French museum. The presentation of this exhibition at the Musée d'Orsay demonstrates the desire to include the young Picasso in his time and reconsider his work under the prism of his belonging to the nineteenth century. The exhibition brings together a large number of paintings and drawings with the aim of presenting a comprehensive overview of the artist’s sculptures and engravings between 1900 and 1906.
Grand Palais, Paris