An Insider's Guide to Paris+ Week

An Insider's Guide to Paris+ Week

Join Sotheby's Olivier Fau as he invites us to discover his favourite food, museums and hidden gems in Paris this autumn, as Sotheby's presents a dynamic series of sales and the city prepares to celebrate Paris+ Par Art Basel
Join Sotheby's Olivier Fau as he invites us to discover his favourite food, museums and hidden gems in Paris this autumn, as Sotheby's presents a dynamic series of sales and the city prepares to celebrate Paris+ Par Art Basel
Olivier Fau, Senior Vice President/Head of Private Sales, Continental Europe

O ne of the busiest weeks in the French art world’s calendar is upon us, so I wanted to share some insider’s tips and recommendations on the very best that the city has to offer. I have lived in Paris for over twenty years, and know the Marais’s gallery cluster well - including Perrotin, Almine Rech, Thaddaeus Ropac and Jean Bucher Jaeger. I also often ride the metro from one place to another, in hopes of meeting interesting new people!

During Paris+ par Art Basel, there is plenty to keep collectors, curators, art lovers occupied, excited, and thus immune to the fear of missing out. In parallel with the fair, Sotheby’s presents a Modern art-focused exhibition ahead of three different sales — Modernités, Art Impressionniste et Moderne Evening Auction and the Art Impressioniste et Moderne Day Auction. At our pop-up gallery on Place Beauvau, Antiquities specialist Galerie Chenel and photographer François Halard have been invited to pay tribute to Cy Twombly. Highlights from upcoming New York sales have also been split up between both venues.

What follows are my favourite places to eat, read and stroll, all experienced and tested over twenty years living and working in the city. Have a wonderful week!

 

"What a marvellous garden to walk around!" Jardin des Plantes © MNHN - J. Munier

Garden: Jardin des Plantes

What a marvellous garden to walk around! Situated in the fifth arrondissement in Paris, it is mostly known for housing a zoo. Personally, I see it as an outdoor cabinet de curiosités filled with countless species of plants and animals, a place to learn more about nature, biology, botany. Unlike the Jardin des Tuileries which, in comparison seems almost frozen in time, the Jardin des Plantes keeps changing, evolving, reinventing itself - whether it has been decorated with Christmas lights or turned into a VR hotspot. There is always something new, that makes me want to go back to this urban oasis.

Jardin des Plantes 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris

Bookshop: Librairie Lardanchet

Thierry Meaudre is an art book specialist. There is no-one more welcoming and passionate about what he does. When you enter his bookshop Librairie Lardanchet, you may never want to leave, and start bombarding him with questions instead. He is responsible for ordering all the books that we might need ahead of a sale, because Sotheby’s takes researching very seriously. For example, he provided us with all the necessary documentation for our François Halard show.

Librairie Lardanchet, 100, Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris

"This is where I would usually invite an artist to have a drink." (Courtesy Serpent à Plume)

Bar: Le Serpent à Plume

Le Serpent à Plume, on the Place des Vosges is owned by Alexander Rash and his mentor, auctioneer Jean-Claude Binoche. Together found this café-by-day-speakeasy-by-night hybrid venue. The underground space is home to artworks, which are scheduled to rotate on a regular basis, keeping customers on their toes and eager to come back. This is where I would usually invite an artist to have a drink. Make sure to check it out during Paris+ par Art Basel - it will be teeming with art lovers!

Le Serpent à Plume, 24 Place des Vosges, Paris

Mark Rothko No. 14, 1960 (1960) © Kate Rothko Prizel et Christopher Rothko © ADAGP, Paris 2023

Museum exhibitions: Mark Rothko 'Exhibition'

There are two exhibitions, both dealing with colours, that I highly recommend for visits away from the Paris+ par Art Basel fair. Mark Rothko, who is rarely shown in Paris, is featured at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, which is not central (Metro: Les Sablons), but definitely worth going out of your way to visit.

Mark Rothko 'Exhibition' from 18 October 2023 to 2 April 2024
Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 av. du Mahatma Gandhi, Paris

Nicolas de Staël Agrigente (1954) (© Photo Annick Wetter © ADAGP, Paris 2023)

Museum Exhibition: Nicolas de Staël

The Nicolas de Staël exhibit at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris is the first retrospective since the one held at the Centre Pompidou, twenty years ago. A quarter of the display consists of never-before-seen works. De Staël’s career, condensed in fifteen years before his suicide at the age of 41, is represented by over a thousand paintings in various sizes, formats, and materials. Few artists have experimented so much, in such a short period of time.

Nicolas de Staël, until 21 January 2024
Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, 1 Av. du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris

Restaurants: Le Restaurant Blanc

I am very excited about the opening of Le Restaurant Blanc, a brand-new gourmet restaurant by epicurean and wine aesthete Pierre Chen and Chef Shinichi Sato in Paris’ sixteenth arrondissement. Originally from Hokkaido, Japan, the incredible, two Michelin starred chef has been, like me, in France for about 20 years. Le Restaurant Blanc’s cellar has more than 7,000 bottles including some of the world's finest wines selected personally by Chen, the restaurant's Chief Sommelier. It was launched in September. with the 30-cover dining room elegantly designed by acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma, whose work I have been following for years.

Le Restaurant Blanc, 52 Rue de Longchamp, 75116 Paris
blanc-paris.com 

Le Restaurant Blanc. "Le Restaurant Blanc’s cellar has more than 7,000 bottles including some of the world's finest wines selected personally by Pierre Chen, the restaurant's Chief Sommelier"

Restaurants: Capitaine

Capitaine is also one of my go-to restaurants in the Marais. When I step inside, I feel instantly at home. The owner, Baptiste is one of the nicest, warmest, friendliest people I know. Coincidentally, Michelin’s three-star restaurant L’Ambroisie, where he started off as a young chef, is situated just around the corner. Seasonal, fresh, and based on high-quality products, his food is refined but far from pretentious. My appreciation for it is such, that I keep taking my team. This is also where we host our post-sale dinners. The wooden furniture, the sailor cap on the hat stand, the pirate chest in the corner, all remind me of Saint Malo, in Brittany, where I spend most of my weekends and holidays. One could say I truly treasure this place.

Capitaine, 4 impasse de Guéménée, 75004 Paris

"Silencio always features international DJs from the 1990s, playing early deep house music. (Courtesy Silencio)

Music venue: Silencio

Created by David Lynch in 2012, Silencio always features international DJs from the 1990s, playing early deep house music. And next week won’t be any different. I am very much looking forward to its Paris+ par Art Basel line-up. The program includes Thibaut Lac, often referred to as a modern-day Don Quixote, and Lonnie Holley, aka Sand Man, who has the capacity to tap into a wide range of genres and sounds. I am not surprised that art dealer Emmanuel Perrotin chose this highly exclusive club to host its annual mid-October party during the fair, and have chosen Lucky Love - a musician endorsed by singer Juliette Armanet and actress Beatrice Dalle - among other talented night owls, to perform until the break of day.

Silencio, 142 Rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris

"The foundation is an exhibition space — where temporary displays meet the permanent collection" © Sylvain Rousseau, 2019

Overlooked museum: Fondation Dubuffet

One of the hidden gems in Paris’s sixth arrondissement is the Jean Dubuffet Foundation, created by the artist himself in 1962. Of course, I am biased, because I have been studying Dubuffet, his experimental approach to art, his productivity, for years. Throughout my studies, I would wake up early and peruse various catalogues. The foundation is an exhibition space - where temporary displays meet the permanent collection (paintings, blueprints, notes, sketches, and documents) - a research centre, and library rolled into one. A must-go!

Fondation Dubuffet, 137 rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris

 

Impressionist & Modern Art

About the Author

More from Sotheby's

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

arrow Created with Sketch. Back To Top