First Art Basel in Paris kicks off with a flurry 

1 min read
"Paris Art Basel" event, the official opening of Europe's biggest contemporary art market in Paris, on October 19, 2022. Credit line: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP / Profimedia

The new offshoot of the world’s most renowned fair for contemporary art, Art Basel, opened to the public in Paris on Thursday, drawing crowds of visitors and collectors.

A total of 156 galleries from 30 countries are taking part in Paris+ par Art Basel, an unprecedented amount, according to the global head of Art Basel, Marc Spiegler.

Paris is Art Basel’s fourth satellite fair, with its parent venue in Basel and sister fairs in Miami Beach and Hong Kong.

Following the fair’s high-profile opening to VIPs on Wednesday, collectors and art lovers crowded the aisles of the Grand Palais, among them ex-footballer Michael Ballack.

The fair reported sales in the millions within hours.

Sixty-one of the galleries represented are from France, which calmed critics who feared the fair would become too international. The name Paris+ par Art Basel is a nod to these concerns.

The event is hosting up to 250 art dealers, with Spiegler saying in Paris that this would catapult the fair to “the Art Basel level,” raking in high-priced art and collectors with purchasing power from all over the world.

The lively crowd in the Grand Palais was able to appreciate a Georg Baselitz for €1.2 million ($1.17 million) and a rare Sigmar Polke from 1983. The five-day event will run until Sunday. ©dpa

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