Issue #205  8/16/2014
Choices Paris Offers a Selection of Artists in New May Show

By Alex Novak

Francoise Paviot and her associate in front of work by Barbara Steinman.
Francoise Paviot and her associate in front of work by Barbara Steinman.

Over the weekend I went to the vernissage of "Choices Paris", a new exhibit show by 35 Paris galleries of 35 different artists' works at the Palais des Beaux-Arts. While it was a general contemporary art fair of sorts, there were a number of photographers represented. There was even a real flying carpet (an oriental prayer carpet with four "drones" on each corner)!

The show was not without its controversy, as the relatively new director of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts Nicolas Bourriaud got taken to task over allowing the facility to be used for "commercial" purposes and involving the art students in a "real world" exercise. A group of students and teachers have been battling the director over the direction and administration at the school, and getting media attention in the process. It seems that the national pastime in France is to make sure that no innovation is ever put forward successfully or that no practical approaches are ever made. Ah, France. However, our own body politic is not immune from such criticisms.

My friend Francoise Paviot showed a photograph here by Barbara Steinman, who is an artist that works with photography, video and even neon. Steinman was also on exhibit at Francoise's gallery at 57 Rue Sainte-Anne in the 2nd arrondissement near the old Bibliotheque Nationale. The next gallery show, which opens September 18 and runs through October 15, is Gary Schneider's "Jeux de Main" (or Hand Games).

Party at the Galiera Museum.
Party at the Galiera Museum.

Another exhibitor that I knew at "Choices" was Galerie Jaeger Bucher, which has two locations—one for contemporary work and another for classic surrealism. I went to the gallery at its 5-7 rue de Saintonge location in the Marais for a vernissage of the work of Rui Moreira. The gallery gave me an invitation to Choices, and later Francoise Paviot did the same at a dinner at Maceo's (15 Rue des Petits Champs) with her and her husband Alain.

As a part of this weekend, I did manage to see the last night of "100 years of Conde Nast Fashion Photography." A really fantastic show in an equally marvelous setting. The show is now closed, but the catalogue for the show is very good too.

This fashion photography show was at the newly renovated and absolutely beautiful Galiera Museum, which is devoted to fashion here in Paris' fashion center in the 14th arrondissement. The "Choices Paris" organizers threw a lovely if very crowded cocktail party here, and the weather for once cooperated and was superb. It was really a shame that the show came down, but I was very happy to have a chance to see it.

You can get a glimpse of the photography show here: http://www.palaisgalliera.paris.fr/fr/expositions/papier-glace.