Art in Paris: Trailing or Trailblazing in Sales

Niki de Saint-Phalle’s Bathing Beauty at the FIAC

Art in Paris: Trailing or Trailblazing in Sales

Parler Paris–your taste of life in Paris and France

Monday, October 10, 2005
Paris, France

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Last week the waifish women of the world descended on Paris to slink down the runways and turn the heads of wealthy fashion plates and drooling “modelizers” during the annual Fashion Week. This past weekend and through today, another form takes center stage as art lovers stroll the aisles of this year’s 32nd Edition of the FIAC International Contemporary Art Show of 220 galleries at the Paris Expo, Halls 4 and 5, Porte de Versailles.

Internationally known French artist Niki de Saint-Phalle’s bigger than life bathing beauty stands out and up from the other sculptural works, but the show is filled with creative expression that is sure to get your attention. Good news for Paris, as the city wants to win its status back as a leader in the art market. At one time, with artists colonies in Montmartre and Montparnasse, Paris was once a center for sales and ateliers of young artists, such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso.

Shockingly, Paris is the weakest contemporary art market in Europe and Parisian art is being exported to bigger markets, such as New York and London. Because of it, some of the biggest galleries aren’t in the show — New York’s Pace-Wildenstein or London’s White Cube. Twenty-five new galleries are strutting their stuff in the show — 19 of which are foreign.

Here’s a statistic from a recent study by to make you reel: in the U.S., works by artists born after 1960 have an average selling price of 58,607 euros, while in France, works by the new generation go for only 3,023 euros.

In spite of Paris’ poor reputation, sales have been reported to being quite good, particularly the Chinese artists. I found a painting of a woman in red, salmon pink and winter green filling one large wall to be the most arresting piece of all at the show. Her eyes pointed in opposite directions; my own eyes trying desperately to move them together, and the color electrifying.

One reason I have always believed Paris to trail in art sales is the overabundance of art available to anyone and everyone, free to the public or very inexpensively. Exhibits abound, both in museums, galleries and in the open. The city opens its doors regularly to allow everyone to enjoy art with no entry fee (La Nuit Blanche, for example). Another reason might be indicative of the French culture. In a non-materialistic culture where “money” is a dirty word and opulent behavior is disdained, it’s no wonder there is so little need for the average Frenchman to own great art.

Still, Paris is a Mecca for aspiring artists from all over the world — a city that inspires creative and soulful thinking, even if the artists’ works must be shipped abroad to be financially rewarded.

For more information and to plan your visit for today or next year, visit

A la prochaine…








Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

To witness one of the most astounding collections of photo-journalist works, visit the Jeu de Paume – Hôtel de Sully exhibition of Frenchman Pierre Verger’s photos from Africa, Asia and South America on until December 24th. Visit for more information.

P.P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all you Canadians celebrating Turkey-Day today!

P.P.P.S. Don’t forget to come say hello tomorrow afternoon at Parler Paris Après Midi. See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for details.

====== French Property Insider ======

* Paris Property Prices Continue to Rise
By Adrian Leeds

The Chambre de Notaires de Paris announced their quaterly evaluation of the property market in Paris and the Ile-de-France for second quarter 2004 through second quarter 2005 just this past October 4th….Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e- mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. If you’d like to learn about the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about
buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week, now’s a special opportunity.

Subscribe today!

=========Further Resources===========


We are EXTENDING the discount of $150 off every conference or seminar registration to all subscribers of Parler Paris, French Property Insider and clients of John Howell & Co. on the upcoming October Living and Investing in France Conference and Invest in France Seminar.

San Francisco, October 21 to 23, 2005

New York, October 26, 2005




Don’t delay! For more information, contact Schuyler Hoffman, Conference Coordinator, at [email protected] or call Pacific Time 1-310-427-7589.

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* This fall, travel like a Lord of the Manor on a grand wine, cooking (& investment) expedition to South America. On this pleasure-filled trip, you’ll meet with wine experts… linger over long, five-star meals… take chartered flights across the continent… and enjoy the good company of like-minded travelers. Join us to discover this continent like a pampered insider (and for the profit-minded, you’ll get a firsthand glimpse of some good-value vineyard properties… forestry opportunities… mountain hideaways… and big-city retreats). For details, call Agora Travel at 800-926-6575 or click here



Leeds Marais Apartment
Available in its entirety November 22 – 28, 2005

Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hotel Particulier, this 70 square
meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and
is perfect for up to four people when rented in its entirety or a
single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian
Leeds is there.

Pictures and more details available at


For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at
/parlerparis/apartments or
/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term


Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:
The next gathering is October 11, 2005
Subscribe to the PARISMARAIS monthly newsletter FREE…The Art of Living Guide to Le Marais.
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