Parsons Paris

A Week of Art – FIAC & Gio Ponti

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending FIAC, Paris’ International Fair of Contemporary Art! This amazing 4 day long exhibition showcased truly inspirational works and completely transformed the entire inside of the Grand Palais with not only contemporary works of art, but even design.

Although I attended with a group of friends, it was merely impossible to go into each galleries booth with people as we all were constantly intrigued by different works. Regardless, each gallery had a certain amount of space to transform and install their art, ranging from sculptures to paintings and even some prints and neon sign creations.

Some of my favourites really spoke towards woman’s rights and female beauty standards through exhibitors like A Work of Yael Bartana, who created a large neon installation stating the question, “What if Women Ruled the World?”

Another work I loved was positioned in the very middle of the Grand Palais, and combined sculpture, acrylic paint and trees. Katharina Grosse’s ˋIngres Wood’ not only was a beautiful scheme of colours to look at, but its overall message and tone by its curation within the exhibit was truly breathtaking.

Overall there were many galleries and works that stood out to me, and added to the overall FIAC experience. A full list of all the vendors can be found on the FIAC website. Below are some photos of my favourite installations.

Later on in the week, I was invited with the rest of my MA class to the exhibit opening for Tutto Ponti, an exhibit around Gio Ponti and his Italian architecture and design legacies. This exhibit had taken the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD) months to set up, but honestly… it was worth it.

The entire right side got a new facade replicating the one Ponti designed for a cathedral, and the two aisles and nef (centre aisle) of the space were completely transformed. On the far right aisle, were glass cases of works Gio Ponti had collaborated on with other artists, from ceramics to glassware. Throughout the nef were some of the statement pieces and iconic sets Ponti had created, along with diagrams, photos and videos. And throughout the right aisle, were time period rooms, showing Ponti’s works and architecture recreated in the museum realm.

I got to meet with Francesco Pastore, a Parsons Paris History of Design and Curatorial Studies Alumni, who worked on the curation of the exhibit, and his overall insight was amazing. He discussed the loans of works, the budget, and overall how difficult it was to create a buzz about this Italian designer… in Paris. However, Pastore’s efforts were not without notice, as the amount of people attending the exhibit are more than i’ve seen within the MAD in the past two months i’ve been here!

This exhibit is on until February 10th, 2019, and I would 10/10 recommend checking it out if you’re ever in Paris!

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