Local Experiences

International Contemporary Art Fair in Paris

Each autumn, lovers of contemporary art descend onto the Grand Palais to see the year’s trends, buy up the latest works and schmooze with gallery owners and dealers. This year’s International Contemporary Art Fair, or FIAC, runs from October 24-27 and features 184 exhibitors and over three thousand artists from around the world – from New York and Berlin to Sao Paolo and Cape Town. This is the place to check out experienced artists, as well as the year’s fresh talent.

While the main show takes place in the Grand Palais, additional exhibits can be found at these venues across the city:

Tuileries Gardens

The perfectly manicured Tuileries Gardens play host to a portion of this year’s FIAC. Some twenty works showcase performance, installation, sculpture and sound art, with the Louvre as a most magnificent backdrop. Students from the Louvre School will be on hand to answer questions and present works during the four-day event.

Jardins des Plantes

To see how art, nature and biodiversity combine, come to Paris’s Museum of Natural History, with its accompanying flower, plant and herb garden. Here, FIAC participants will show their work within the sprawling Jardins des Plantes, to demonstrate the link between humans and nature. Works will be shown outside in the gardens, as well as inside the history museum.

Banks of the Seine

Enjoy the latest in contemporary art as you stroll along the rive gauche of the iconic Seine River. Pass by Solférino and the Musée d’Orsay, the Concorde and Alexandre III bridges, and the Grand Palais, as you admire some of the hottest artists of yesterday and today.

Place Vendôme

Situated just a few streets from the Tuileries Gardens is this grandiose square, which welcomes a towering work by Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata. In fact, Kawamata’s installation sits at the top of the tower in the center of the Place Vendôme for maximum visibility. His “Tree Huts” are a contemporary take on the classic and much-loved treehouse, and can be enjoyed by all, near and far.

Petit Palais

The Petit Palais has collaborated with the city of Paris this year to welcome work by artist Jean Dubuffet. His “Welcome Parade,” displayed jointly by the Pace Gallery in New York and Waddington-Custot in London, shows five figurines made of polyurethane paint on epoxy resin in twisted contortions.

For more details on locations and exhibitors, check out the FIAC website at

If you like art, hitch a ride on one of Fat Tire Tours’ bike tours around Versailles Palace, and see some of France’s most impressive ceiling frescos. They also offer Skip the Line tours with VIP behind-the-scenes access.

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