The second edition of Paris Internationale opened yesterday, filling the four-story mansion and former residence of Parisian art collector Calouste Gulbenkian with 54 galleries and seven project spaces—packing enough art to fit every nook and cranny, from the historic marble fireplaces to the kitchens to the toilettes.
The 1897 space marks a new home and modest update for the alternative fair, launched in 2015 in a scrappy hôtel particulier just up the street from FIAC in the Grand Palais. Five emerging Parisian galleries—High Art, Sultana, Crèvecoeur, Gregor Staiger, and Antoine Levi—joined forces to mount Paris Internationale’s inaugural edition of the fair, one that, like forebears LISTE or Independent, is more tailored to a young gallery’s needs. Based on dealer and collector feedback across this year’s opening day, the second outing for Paris Internationale maintains its foundational vibe and further cements the fledgling initiative as a mainstay of Paris’s biggest art week.
“It’s visible that galleries took more risks with their artworks this year,” said fair co-director Silvia Ammon, who, fitting for the gallerist-run fair, is the former director of Praz-Delavallade
. “Last year they didn’t know if they could trust us; we were just a bunch of friends doing this thing.” According to the director, Paris Internationale offers invited galleries “carte blanche” for experimentation, rather than demanding a specific project proposal for admittance. And, thanks to the fair’s nonprofit status, booths cost only between €4,000–8,000. This means participating galleries worry less about whether they’ll break even than is currently the case at the top-tier fair circuit, with the market for emerging art down.