In an Audacious Coup, Art Basel Has Ousted FIAC From Its Home at the Grand Palais So It Can Mount Its Own Paris Outpost

Art Basel is moving to Paris. After a brief and bitter battle between FIAC and the Grand Palais, the historic French art fair has lost its glass palace home to the Swiss art fair titan. The news comes after the Grand Palais blindsided the Paris art world—and RX France most of all—by announcing an open call for competing offers for the space last December.

RX France, the parent company of FIAC and Paris Photo, will continue to organize its photographic art fair Paris Photo in November, a small comfort as Art Basel’s MCH group prepares to move in beginning this October. The two fairs are now locked in to a seven year commitment with the Réunion des musées nationaux – Grand Palais (Rmn-GP), the company responsible for the historic venue.

According to a statement from the Rmn-GP, both fairs “have committed to highlighting the contemporary artistic creation of the Parisian and French ecosystem—especially its emerging new talents.”

The press release from Rmn-GP also stated that Art Basel will bring “robust investment” to Paris, which it deemed “crucial for the development of this fair in an increasingly competitive market,” as well as a brand and identity that is “unique” to Paris with a locally based team. Art Basel did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the news.

This major development in the art fair circuit means that FIAC, which has been taking place at the Grand Palais since 1975, has lost its coveted spot. Artnet News reached out to the fair’s director, Jennifer Flay, for a comment and to ask whether FIAC would consider looking for a new location in Paris, but did not hear back immediately.

Since the surprise call in December, art world denizens have been speculating about whether it was Frieze’s parent company Endeavor or MCH Group that was making a bid for FIAC’s spot. After the Grand Palais conceded that it had received an offer from a competitor, RX France called the December 8 open call a “hostile eviction attempt.” The company also made a legal challenge against RMN-GP to uphold a written agreement that they would have their October slot in 2022, and requesting that RMN-GP suspend its call for proposals.

Paris Photo, which was founded in 1997, will maintain its usual slot at the location. In response to the news, RX France said it will further develop the landmark photography fair and expand it into new image-based media.

While the Grand Palais undergoes a major renovation, both fairs will take place at the purpose-built Grand Palais Éphémère on the Champ-de-Mars in 2022 and 2023.

The—as yet unnamed—Paris fair will be Art Basel’s fourth location, after its flagship in Switzerland, and fairs in Miami Beach and Hong Kong.

The post In an Audacious Coup, Art Basel Has Ousted FIAC From Its Home at the Grand Palais So It Can Mount Its Own Paris Outpost appeared first on Artnet News.

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