Two major but troubled Paris arts events, Fine Arts Paris and La Biennale, are to merge into one event. The new combined art and antiques fair, to be named, in a moment of inspiration, Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale, will run for the first time from 8th to 13th November 2022.
The venue for the first of the new events will be the Carrousel du Louvre, but it is planned to move to the Grand Palais Ephémère in November 2023, and then the renovated Grand Palais in November 2024.
Art world gossip has it that the merger was planned by French cultural body RMN-Grand Palais, which runs the venue. It was recently in the news for replacing the long-running FIAC event with a new contemporary art fair from the owners of Art Basel. This debuts in October 2022.
The FAPALB event, as we’re going to call it, will be organised by Agence d’Événements Culturels, which runs the Salon du Dessin and Fine Arts Paris, while the SNA (Syndicat National des Antiquaires), which has organised La Biennale since 1962, will advise on disciplines such as jewellery, antique furniture and antiquities, and will organise the usual grand gala dinner.
The Fine Arts Paris fair was launched in 2016 with its first event taking place in November 2017 at the Palais Brongniart, taking the timeslot formerly occupied by Paris Tableau, the dedicated paintings fair that closed in 2015. Only last May the Paris Biennale, as it was named since 1962, had its name changed to La Biennale, as the organisers said, to “turn the page of the Biennale, in order to set up a new event” after it was beset by financial scandals and postponements. The last La Biennale ran from 26th November to 5th December 2021.
The new president of the Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale fair will be Old Master drawings dealer Louis de Bayser. He said the event “has the ambition to become a global flagship in classical and Modern arts; the international event that Paris deserves”.
The president of the SNA, Annisabelle Berès-Montanari, said the organisation “welcomes this alliance, which will enable the new event to refocus on defending the profession and serving its members. The two fairs together will generate synergies and will be supported by a team of professionals to manage an independent and ambitious show.”
See also: New Paris Art Fair to be Dedicated to Printmaking