Video: 2014 FIAC Art Fair in a Minute


Video: Spotlights on Alain Bublex, Tod Papageorge, Pierre et Gilles and James Welling at FIAC

Art fairs are as much about numbers as images. The 41st edition of FIAC (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain), Paris’ grandest stage for competing with the world’s ever-growing glut of art fairs, welcomed 191 galleries from 26 countries. 48 of the galleries were French, 65% of them were European. So as markets go, FIAC is not a bad place to go shopping for European art if you’re a buyer and Continental collectors if you’re a dealer, though the bounty is definitely global in scope. 75,000 people showed up this year: It’s just another candy store to everyone who simply loves strolling among artworks that run from the sublime to the meh, in paroxysms of pluralism. The best thing about FIAC is the setting, a spectacular 19th Century iron-and-glass colossus called the Grand Palais. Though the light is volatile, subject to the hour’s weather, the space is both soaring and embracing. Art loves being seen there.

As with Frieze London, we picked four photographers from as many galleries — but this time without peering into the distant past. Alain Bublex, Tod Papageorge, James Welling and art duo Pierre et Gilles are all very much alive, introduced to us here by knowledgeable voices from galleries Vallois, Thomas Zander, David Zwirner and Daniel Templon respectively. If there’s a common thread, it’s the use of varied techniques that push the images toward somewhere between photography and other pictorial modes, such as painting and graphics. Paris has always been a cradle and a mecca for photography, and the hardest task here, even at a fair that isn’t devoted to photography, was choosing only four.


More from the Photographer Spotlight Series: