It is perhaps little known that Winston Churchill Avenue, the main artery linking the Grand Palais today to the Paris Museum of Fine Arts (Petit Palais), was in 1900 a vast esplanade, designed at the time as part of the Universal Exhibition. A worldwide event that gave birth to these two emblematic institutions of the architectural and artistic influence of Paris. More than a hundred years later, event: the avenue is again made pedestrian. This ephemeral urban planning is due to the 2017 edition of the FIAC, which, from 18 to 22 October, is taking over not only the Grand Palais for the exhibition of some 193 renowned galleries but also the spaces of the Petit Palais and its surroundings. This is the On Site tour, initiated in 2016, a group of exhibitions in collaboration with Christophe Leribault, curator and director of the Petit Palais, and Eva Wittcox, associate curator. Thus, the opening day of the FIAC this Wednesday began with a breakfast at the Petit Palais with Jennifer Flay, Director of the FIAC, to discover the sculptural works and installations of forty artists. Among them, Sheila Hicks (gallery frank elbaz), Johan Creten (Almine Rech), or Erwin Wurm (Thaddaeus Ropac). On Winston Churchill Avenue, which has become an esplanade, the works on display create an immersive route that leads us to the Grand Palais. These include Seung Taek-Lee’s (Hyundai) “Sound of Wind”, a reconstruction of his late 1970s work. Naturally, the day continues under the vaults of the Grand Palais. This year, visitors will discover Takashi Murakami’s “Flame of Desire” at the entrance, the central part of the Perrotin gallery stand, which finds here a new location of choice. In the alleys of the ground floor and the spaces on the first floor, the opportunity to meet the faces of art, from gallery owners Kamel Mennour and Suzanne Tarasieve to art critic Hans-Ulrich Obrist. A 44th edition that already keeps all its promises.

Photos: Jean Picon
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