Paris, France —A trove of treasures descended once again on Paris last November 9 to the 13th as Fine Arts Paris La Biennale welcomed an enthusiastic and numerous public of ardent art collectors, connaisseurs, decorators, museum curators, art lovers and the public at large to one of the world’s leading art and antique events. Decorative arts from the Ottoman Empire, the arts of the Arctic, a luxurious 19th century aquarium and a statue of a Greyhound with Puppies all came together with Pierre Bonnard’s Table in a Garden — among the many masterpiece paintings at the fair — along with Odilon Redon’s Poppies and Mimosas in a Vase and paintings by Serge Poliakoff, Alexandre Calder, Simon Hantaï and Pierre Alechinsky. The fair brought together two historic art fairs in Paris, the La Biennale, a luxurious fixture for decades and the newer but highly acclaimed Fine Arts Paris, effectively inaugurating a new major art fair and one which welcomed 17,000 visitors. Some 86 galleries from France and abroad representing 12 specialties came together in the Carrousel du Louvre exhibition space which sits, fittingly, beneath a structure housing uncountable masterpieces, the Louvre.
The Old Master Paintings remain one of the jewels of the show with the Galerie de Jonckheere presenting Dutch and Flemish paintings and the Galerie Sarti a major ensemble of Italian paintings from the 14th to the 18th centuries. The Galerie Léage presented an exceptional stand featuring sumptuous 18th century woodwork showcasing the house’s fine furniture and decorative arts. The Galerie Steinitz also presented a spectacular stand with furnishings and art objects dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries including, notably the 19th century aquarium. Another eye-catcher was the rare and beautifully appointed writing desk made in the second half of the 16th century for the Portuguese market and presented by the Portuguese gallery São Roque.
Non-western art emanating from Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Islamic arts was a strength of the show. Didier Claes presented a statuette in bronze representing a panther, the royal animal par excellence. The Galerie Flak presented fans from the Marquesas Islands, Hopi dolls and an exceptional Arctic mask. Contemporary Art and sculptures were also well represented.
High jewelry was a highlight with four houses specializing in antique jewels and three creators Walid Akkad, Frédérique Mattei and Feng J. Feng J, a young Chinese creator who has made a lighting inroad into the world of high jewelry and who presented a selection of jewels made with a technique that she invented called the floating set, ostensibly hiding metal frames.
Galerie Steinitz’s Chinoiserie display won the best stand prize while the most fabulous object prize went to the Anthony Meyer Gallery for a head of an ancestor from the Okvik culture in Alaska, circa 300B.C. to 200AD. While a mention of special design was given to the Galerie Monbrison, specialized in the ancient arts of Africa and Oceania, for its outstanding and sculptural presentation of heads and statues. Meanwhile the SNA (the French acronym for the national guild of art and antiques dealers) Art Book Prize went to Caillebotte. Painter of the Extremes by art critic and historian Stéphane Guégan.
The Fine Arts Paris La Biennale is slated to be held from the 21st to the 26th of November of 2023 at the Ephemeral Grand Palais which has a sweeping view onto the Eiffel Tower while the Grand Palais, the historic venue for La Biennale, undergoes restoration.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette