FIAC 2012

18-21 October

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A monumental undertaking in any year, the 39th edition of Paris's enormous contemporary art fair FIAC has outdone itself, with more than 200 galleries and 2500 artists squeezing onto the programme. Dense, imposing, massively hyped and often tedious, FIAC has burst even the formidable banks of the Grand Palais, with artists showing 'Hors les murs' (beyond the walls) along the esplanade of Les Invalides, in the Jardin des Tuileries, the Jardin des Plantes and the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle. It's also quite hard to get in without an invitation – at €35 for entry to the Grand Palais (€20 if you're under 26), FIAC is clearly aimed more at professional collectors and dealers than at the general public.

To help you find a way through the furore, Time Out has drawn on the expertise of its art editors from around the world: in the slideshow below, they introduce the unmissable galleries from their cities. But if you can't face it or can't afford it, head for some of our selection of 'FIAC off' shows (reviews in French) – Slick, Show Off and Yia Art Fair, which are slightly less impressive but far more accessible.

For more information on FIAC, click here.

Time Out's pick of galleries from around the world at FIAC

  • New York: Broadway 1602

    Babette Mangolte, 'Avalanche Cover Portrait Yvonne Rainer', Cape Cod, 1972 / Courtesy de Broadway 1602

    Anke Kempkes chose a slightly out-of-the-way location for her gallery Broadway1602; the trek to this upper-level space in the Garment District is worth the trouble. From her former activities as a curator in Germany, Kempkes brings a broad base of experience in contemporary art, often mounting museum-quality shows in her small space. This is the spirit she brings to FIAC – a thematic exploration with feminist overtones, that reunites five great names of the 1960s and 70s: Nicola L, Alina Szapocznikow, Evelyne Axell, Penny Slinger and Babette Mangolte. - Time Out New York editors

    New York: Broadway 1602
  • London: The Approach

    John Stezaker, 'Untitled', 1985 / Courtesy de l'artiste et The Approach

    Managed since the late 1990s by Jake Miller, the Approach is a stalwart of London’s East End art scene and, being located above a traditional pub in Bethnal Green, comes with its own supply of opening night drinks and snacks. But that’s not the only reason to visit the Approach. Among the gallery’s rosta of 20 or so artists are some strong names, particularly in sculpture and installation. Among these are Alice Channer, who also had a major solo show at the South London Gallery earlier this year and whose sculptural installations using draped fabric and other materials function like clothing around a building’s interior architecture; the playful sculptural constructions of Evan Holloway; the totem-like works of Ed Lipski and the intriguing arrangements of objects and imagery of Amanda Ross-Ho. The gallery also knows how to back a winner. John Stezaker, who is an established Approach artist and whose clever, conceptual photo-collages have seen their profile and popularity soar in recent years, has recently been announced as the winner of the 2012 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. – Helen Sumpter

    London: The Approach
  • Paris/Salzburg: T. Ropac

    Ropac's main base is in Salzburg, but he also runs this attractive Paris gallery, featuring American Pop and neo-Pop by Warhol, Tom Sachs and Alex Katz, along with European artists such as Ilya Kabakov, Sylvie Fleury and Gilbert & George.

    Paris/Salzburg: T. Ropac
  • Amsterdam: Diana Stigter

    Helen Verhoeven, 'Holly Molly Coddle Muffs', 2011 / © Helen Verhoeven / Courtesy de la galerie Diana Stigter

    Granted, there are perpetual whispers about a mass art-world exodus to the wide open spaces of the post-industrial Noord district, but the heart of Amsterdam's gallery scene remains in the quaint cobbled streets of the westerly Jordaan neighbourhood. Here on certain nights masses of black-clad art aficionados are to be seen tripping tipsily from one art opening to the next. It is a rarefied universe that has, by all accounts, risen up around veteran gallery owner Diana Stigter whose gallery on the Elandsstraat constitutes the Jordaan district’s epicentre both literally and metaphorically. Not only is she famous for her high heels and cool demeanour but more so for her extensive local network of buyers and curators, capable of fast-tracking careers with a few stabs at her speed dial. Among her young lions are Dutch figurative painter Tjebbe Beekman, whose cityscapes are have been displayed at the GEM (Museum voor Actuele Kunst) in The Hague, and the big news video-installation maker Saskia Olde Wolbers, who sets fantastical short stories against pan shots of monochrome handcrafted miniature rooms. One of her most praised recent exhibitions included black and white paintings by Maaike Schoorel, the Dutch-born, London-based artist who has also shown at the Saatchi Gallery. – Mark Smith

    Amsterdam: Diana Stigter
  • Tokyo: Take Ninagawa

    Misaki Kawai, 'Surf Club', 2008 / Courtesy de l'artiste et Take Ninagawa

    Tokyo Tower looms in the background behind Take Ninagawa, a backstreet gallery whose ambition far outstrips the size of its petite location. Owner Atsuko Ninagawa worked as an independent curator in New York – where she organised shows at Mehr and PH Gallery – before opening the space in late 2007. She's brought some of the New York art world's sensibility to Tokyo – not to mention a rolodex of international contacts that puts most of her Japanese contemporaries to shame. Leading contemporary artist Shinro Ohtake is the most famous name on Take Ninagawa's roster, closely followed by Misaki Kawai, though it also represents notable emerging talents like performance/installation artist Aki Sasamoto – currently exhibiting at the Gwanju Biennale – and sculptor Yuuki Matsumura. As one of the younger players in the Tokyo art world, the gallery has played a key role in the development of new, so-called alternative art fairs like Tokyo Frontline and New Tokyo Contemporaries. Unsurprisingly, it's also a regular presence on the international circuit, appearing during the past 12 months alone at fairs including NADA Miami Beach, Frieze New York and ART HK. James Hadfield

    Tokyo: Take Ninagawa
  • Shanghai: ShanghART

    Liang Shaoji, 'Planar Tunnel', 2011 / Courtesy de l'artiste et de la galerie ShanghART

    ShanghART remains Shanghai's leading gallery, a brilliant representative of China’s art scene. This is the home of video artist Yang Fudong, animation artist Sun Xun, and one of our favourite art producers in any medium, MadeIn Company, a collective led by bonkers post-culture prankster Xu Zhen. At FIAC, you’ll also get a chance to see a handful of quality works from the likes of Liang Shaoji, Chen Xiaoyun, Wu Yiming and Shen Fan. – Sam Gaskin

    Shanghai: ShanghART
  • Tel Aviv: Sommer

    Yael Bartana, ' We Shall Be Strong In Our Weakness', 2012/ Courtesy de l'artiste et Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv

    The Sommer Contemporary Art gallery maybe best symbolizes the globalization of the Israeli Art Scene over the past decade. Not too long ago, the local art market was an insulated, local scene, but now its an undeniable player in the international scene. What was once judged by local norms and expectations and institutional politics, is now held up against world art trends. Some veteran galleries integrated into the new scene and many new galleries popped up, although it seems that only the Sommer Gallery has managed to break the boundaries of the local scene and flourish in the new art arena.

    The gallery, first opened in the early 2000s by Irit Sommer, was one of the first galleries in Tel Aviv to represent international artists alongside local artists, and one of the first to regularly participate in international art expos. In the early years, Sommer Gallery operated out of a basement on Rothschild Boulevard, though it eventually set up shop in a spacious gallery facing the boulevard. The gallery represents a few local art stars, many of whom launched their careers in the 90s and have gained an international reputation, such as Yehudit Sasportas, Yael Bartana, Michal Helfman, Rona Yefman, Doron Solomons and Ofir Dor. Many young emerging artists are on the roster as well: Netally Schlosser, Boyan and Tamar Herpaz. Foreign artists represented by the gallery include Ugo Rondinone, Thomas Zipp, Wolfgang Tillmans, and more. Itay Valdman

    Tel Aviv: Sommer
  • Paris: Emmanuel Perrotin

    Now installed in an elegant Marais hôtel particulier, Perrotin is one of the sharpest figures in town: not content with owning a gallery in Miami and a glossy magazine, he has recently jumped on the design bandwagon with shows by Robert Stadler and Eric Benqué. As well as the quirky Japanese set of Takashi Murakami, Mariko Mori et al, and big French names such as Sophie Calle, Xavier Veilhan, Prix Marcel Duchamp winner Tatiana Trouvé and Bernard Frize, he also features the radical Austrian collective Gelitin.

    Paris: Emmanuel Perrotin
  • Tel Aviv: Dvir

    del Abdessemed, 'Grève Mondiale',2011 / Courtesy d'Adel Abdessemed et Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv

    When Shifra Shalit and Dvir Intrator opened two exhibition spaces in Jaffa in 2009, to join their long-standing gallery in northern Tel Aviv, the local art scenesters prophesied the worst. They said the galleries would never last, that they were a gimmick, that Dvir was catching a tempoprary ride on the Art TLV Biennale's international guests, and that they would never hack it in the local scene. Three years later, all three spaces are alive and well.

    Dvir Gallery was established in 1994, and in its early years displayed work by young local artists. In the early 2000s, it began representing international artists. Today the roster includes a broad variety of artists, although the gallery clearly has a penchant for post-minimalism and conceptual photography. This tendency is most evident in the group shows that often surround a specific theme from the artists' individual perspectives. The gallery represents international artists such as Douglas Gordon, Lawrence Weiner, Adel Abdessemed, Mircea Cantor, Miroslaw Balka, and Jonathan Monk. Local artists include Miri Segal, Pavel Wolberg, Barak Ravitz, Karen Russo, and more. In 1997-2004, the gallery published the periodical “The Awakening” (HaMeorer), as well as a number of translations of masterpiece literature such as Thomas Bernhard's autobiographical series and poems by T. S. Eliot. Itay Valdman

    Tel Aviv: Dvir

New York: Broadway 1602

Babette Mangolte, 'Avalanche Cover Portrait Yvonne Rainer', Cape Cod, 1972 / Courtesy de Broadway 1602

Anke Kempkes chose a slightly out-of-the-way location for her gallery Broadway1602; the trek to this upper-level space in the Garment District is worth the trouble. From her former activities as a curator in Germany, Kempkes brings a broad base of experience in contemporary art, often mounting museum-quality shows in her small space. This is the spirit she brings to FIAC – a thematic exploration with feminist overtones, that reunites five great names of the 1960s and 70s: Nicola L, Alina Szapocznikow, Evelyne Axell, Penny Slinger and Babette Mangolte. - Time Out New York editors

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