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Galleries in Paris are Keeping the Art Scene Alive, Despite the Challenges of COVID-19

The Komunuma site before its restoration © Axelle Poisson/Fondation Fiminco

 Despite the challenging times faced by artists, galleries, and museums, as a result of the Covid-19 public health crisis, Paris has remained a vivacious cultural and artistic center, meeting these challenges with creativity and resilience. While several of the staple events of Paris’s fall art scene (such as the FIAC) have had to be postponed, other, smaller exhibition and showings have cropped up around the city and its suburbs (for example, Le Pari(S), La Semaine De L'art, organized by the Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art). During the past 6 months since the initial lockdown, galleries and museums alike have found creative solutions to continue showing art while abiding by public health guidelines and government policies. Far from being a time of artistic stagnation, this period has seen ingenuity and a renewed focus on community engagement.

While some well-known international curators and gallerists are expanding into Paris for the first time, galleries that already have a foot in the door are moving, renovating, and re-focusing their collections. Some galleries have turned to online exhibitions, while others are managing to host in-person showings by appointment. Below you can discover a selection of galleries recently celebrating their opening, or re-opening in Paris, as well as other exciting opportunities to explore the current Parisian art scenes, and events to look forward to in the near future.

Galerie Jerome Poggi - 2 rue Beaubourg, 75004 Paris

For its grand re-opening in a fully renovated space, Galerie Poggi will present artists Kapwani Kiwanga (recent winner of the prestigious Prix Duchamp), and Wesley Meuris. The mission of the gallery is to re-define the political and social element of art, especially now in these complicated global times; and to intensify the experience of the works of art that it presents.

The gallery is developing on the side non-profit actions under the umbrella of SOCIETIES: this cooperative, non-governmental and non-for-profit structure was founded by the gallerist in 2004. This structure implements the New Patrons program, initiated and supported by the Fondation de France, a program that enables any group of individuals who wishes to do so—provided they can justify its need—to commission a contemporary artist to produce a work of art that serves a collective interest. SOCIETIES is looking for new actors, rather than new audiences, and encouraging them to take part in today’s art economy.

The bridge - 3-5 passage des gravilliers75003 Paris

Christian Berst has opened a new space that will serve as a physical and intellectual bridge between art brut and modern and contemporary art, conveniently located across the ally from Galerie Chrisian Berst, concentrated on Art Brut. The independent curator, Gaël Charbau will open the bridge with “Face à Face,” which highlights work from private collections including works by Arman, Annette Messager, Tetsumi Kudo, Philippe Mayaux, and pieces from the Galerie Chrisian Berst, by Raymond Coins, Misleidys Castillo Pedroso, and Carlo Zinelli.

Galerie Lévy Gorvy Paris - 4 passage Sainte-Avoye 75003 Paris 

The gallery, well renowned for its locations in New York, Zurich, and London has expanded into Paris. The inaugural exposition of this new space is dedicated to the German artist Gunther Uecker, featuring large-format painting as well as smaller watercolors.

Massimo De Carlo-Pièce Unique - Number 57 rue de Turenne (Paris-3e)

The Italian Massimo De Carlo acquired the gallery brand Pièce Unique, originated by the famous gallerist Lucio Amelio who opened a rule-bending gallery space in 1989, where he showed only one work at a time, visible day and night through a glass window. In this new space located in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement, Massimo de Carlo will alternate presentation of physical and digital art, in the format of Pièce Unique.

Komunuma - 43 Rue de la Commune de Paris, 93230 Romainville

This unique destination took form one year ago under the umbrella of the new Fiminco Foundation when it decided to renovate and create a massive art and culture hub in the up-and-coming suburb of Romainville, with the support of the City.  Four prestigious galleries were invited to move from other neighborhoods around Paris to share a space, as well as dynamic non-profit institutions promoting emerging artists. The four galleries that make up this collaboration are:

  1. Air de Paris : current online show by Joe Grigely and Amy Vogel
  2. Galerie Sator : current solo show: Éric Manigaud
  3. Galerie Jocelyn Wolff : current solo show: Miriam Cahn
  4. In Situ Fabienne Leclerc: current solo show: Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil

Komanuma will also host two Non-Profit Institutions: the artists' association Jeune Creation which holds shows of work by its members, and the storage of the FRAC Ile-de-France's collection of almost 2,000 works of art (Regional Collection of Contemporary Art). Eighteen Residencies are also accessible for international artists upon a call for application.

Gallery David Zwirner - 108, rue Vieille du Temple

With a global presence in London, New York, and Hong Kong, The Gallery David Swizner opened its first location in Paris in 2019, where it is currently showing the work of renowned Columbian artist Oscar Murillo. 

Fitzpatrick Gallery - Paris 8 Rue Saint-Bon 75004 Paris

The Los Angelas based Fitzpatrick Gallery, built on the legacy of the Freedman Fitzpatrick partnership, has expanded into Paris.

Galerie Marguo - 4 Rue des Minimes, 75003 Paris, France

A contemporary art and Design gallery founded by Jean-Mathieu Martini and Vanessa Guo. The gallery is called upon to cultivate the French-Chinese tropism of its founders, and, for its first exhibition, will present drawings on felt by the emerging artist Zhang Yunyao.