With Paris+ by Art Basel making its debut in the French capital at the Grand Palais Éphémère from October 20 to 23, 2022, I sit down with Javier Peres, founder of Peres Projects established in 2002, which currently has locations in Berlin, Milan and Seoul, to find out his thoughts on the very first Parisian edition of the world’s most well-known modern and contemporary art fair. The gallery’s presentation at Paris+ will focus on painting and sculpture by a diverse group of promising artists exploring the human experience and condition, including Shuang Li, Donna Huanca, Manuel Solano, Rebecca Ackroyd, Richard Kennedy, Tan Mu and Stanislava Kovalcikova.
What were you thoughts when you heard that Paris+ by Art Basel would replace the FIAC art fair?
It’s an exciting development and is a further testament to the increased importance of Paris as a global art hub. We are very much looking forward to taking part in the inaugural edition.
Why did your gallery decide to exhibit at Paris+?
Art Basel puts on art fairs of the highest quality both for the benefit of the audience and also for us as exhibitors. So we have high expectations that this fair will be a great success and become a focal meeting point of the fall art calendar in Europe. We expect the same high-quality service, presentations, etc. that we see across the Art Basel fairs in all its other locations. We exhibit at all of them in the main section. Peres Projects has always focused on identifying, supporting and championing artists that we felt could expand the canon of art history, irrespective of where they come from. The identity of the gallery, and what I think is special to our DNA, is that we primarily focus on showing artists at the beginning of their careers, giving audiences an early look at the artists that will shape art history, both in the immediate time and in the future. Either way, we always aim to present the best artworks possible at all fairs.
What is the expected impact that Paris+ will have on the Parisian art scene?
We think this is further confirmation of the importance of the Parisian art scene and indeed the French art market as a whole. Paris is an important center and also a city that everyone enjoys visiting for its many interesting possibilities.
Who are the biggest buyers of modern and contemporary art today, and what kinds of collectors is your gallery targeting in particular at Paris+?
Our clients are completely global. We have important clients from all parts of the globe. In recent years, we have seen greater importance to our business from younger collectors, under 50 years old and even under 40 years old. We’ve noticed that artists, collectors, museums, curators, writers, etc. have become more and more connected and the overall size of the art ecosystem has expanded to many areas that previously were on the periphery. New regions have become important and new institutions have emerged, corresponding with a rise of new and younger collectors who support and establish these institutions. These changes are impacting our business every day and it’s part of what makes what we do so exciting. We thrive on working with new institutions, new artists, new collectors, etc., especially those from parts of the mainstream that haven’t always been included in the conversation. It’s an exciting time for us.
Which categories of modern or contemporary art have you been noticing that are registering the most interest from collectors lately?
What interests us most when considering new artists is that they have a unique voice, whatever that may be, and that what they have to say is interesting, something that we can all learn from. I want to be able to learn from an artist and to share what they have to teach with our audience.
Which are the three most interesting modern or contemporary artists who will be exhibiting at Paris+ to collect today?
We will be presenting major new works by Donna Huanca, Shuang Li and Rebecca Ackroyd. All three artists are incredibly gifted and committed to their practices and have very clear focus in their work. They are also receiving a great deal of well-deserved institutional attention with Donna Huanca having museum exhibitions during the upcoming 12 months in Mexico, Korea, Italy and Latvia; Rebecca Ackroyd in France and Germany; and Shuang Li in Switzerland, and her work is also on view at the Venice Biennale in Italy.
Interview by Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle