Despite a friend's bad review, we marched over to the Grand Palais to see what was on offer at Art Paris. The show, established in 1998, presented 140 predominately French dealers. This year China was the featured guest of honour with 90 Chinese contemporary and modern artists represented. Positioned at the entrance was a monumental sculpture by Liu Bolin titled "Iron Fist," commissioned for the fair by Galerie Paris-Beijing. A private French collection of previously unseen works by some of China's leading artists was also exhibited. We were sorry to miss the round table discussion on the Chinese contemporary art scene after our curiosity was piqued by the volume of works on display.
Featured here are a few pieces and people that caught our eye throughout the fair. A few images to note: the Chinese dealer holding a sculpture with a live bird atop, a watercolour that looks like Toronto City Hall, and the sewer grate under carpet (not art, but nonetheless amusing). Generally the stark trade show atmosphere of art fairs can deflate even the best of work but the diversity between top shelf contemporary, art brut and emerging was exciting; not to mention the venue being the beautiful Grand Palais.