Inside Paris+ par Art Basel 2023: what to see and do

Discover what not to miss this year at Paris+ par Art Basel with our handy guide

London gallery Modern Art will be opening a Paris space with a group show, including work from Nicolas Deshayes, Mohammed Sami, Andrew Cranston and Michael E. Smith.
(Image credit: Paris+ par Art Basel)

As Frieze Week draws to a close, so Paris+ opens its doors, with a swathe of events, exhibitions and happenings across the city plus, of course, the fair. We won’t call it a competition, but in the wake of London’s fantastic showing Paris is following up with the goods, and from the Seine to the 16th there is something for everyone. 

“I am looking forward to once again welcoming more than 150 of the world's leading galleries in Paris – a city whose art world is truly experiencing a moment, thanks to the tireless work of its galleries, its ambitious public and private cultural institutions, and its openness to collaborate with other creative industries,” director of Paris+ for Art Basel Clément Delépine told Wallpaper*. “I encourage visitors to make the best of their stay by exploring the city’s world-class museums, top-notch hospitality offerings, and dynamic cultural landscape - to which we are proud to contribute not only with the fair, but also with our free public program, which unfolds across six iconic venues of the French capital.”


Neïla Czermak Ichti, Allo, ouais il se passe des trucs chelous, rappelle moi, 2018 © Aurélien Mole, at Galerie Anne Barrault

(Image credit: Paris+ par Art Basel)

Indeed, Paris+ has updated its second edition with more galleries and an expanded public programme conceived with the city’s public institutions. These events are free to the public- although they may require booking- and include a talks series at the Centre Pompidou which includes Isaac Julien and Bouchra Khalili and Steven Cohen, as well as  an exhibition of contemporary art ‘La Cinquième Saison’ in the Jardin de Tuileries curated by Louvre-Lens curator Annabelle Ténèze. This is in addition to two new collaborating venues: the Palais d’Iéna, which is showing Michelangelo Pistoletto ,and L'Institut de France which hosts an exhibition by Sheila Hicks. Other fairs in the city include Asia Now Paris Internationale and the very boutique Private Choice.

Over the last decade ‘fondations d'entreprises’ have helped change Paris’ contemporary art scene. At the forefront of this are Maison Guerlain, supporters of the arts in the city since they were founded, and Lafayette Anticipations. This year Maison Guerlain will stage the group exhibition Fleurs du Mal at their stunning Maison which includes work from Laurent Grasso, Robert Mapplethorpe, Anna Aagaard Jensen, Francesco Clemente and Ghizlane Sahli. 


Nanténé Traoré, La baie (extrait de la série « Une page d’amour »), 2022 © Sultana Gallery

(Image credit: Paris+ par Art Basel)

“It's really the artists and what they are creating for us that enables us to live in the world that we're living now, through the ups and the downs,” said Ann Caroline Prazan international artistic director, brand culture & heritage at Guerlain. “Through their vision and through what they produce and how they see the world–it allows us to get through the everyday.” 

Over at the ultra-contemporary Lafayette Anticipations they are showing ‘Study for No’ by artist of the moment Issy Wood, who will also be performing her music at this multifaceted venue on 19th October. They are also hosting Jamaican artist Akeem Smith’s ‘One Last Cry’, Smith’s work sits at the axis of art, fashion and anthropology and often draws from his extensive archive of the Jamaican dancehall scene. 


Tarrah Krajnak, RePose, 2023, © Tarrah Krajnak, courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne

(Image credit: Paris+ par Art Basel)

Following an influx of new galleries in the city that are yet more high profile, international names are entering the fray. Hauser & Wirth have opened with a stunning show of paintings by the American artist Henry Taylor, and are joined by Sao Paulo gallery Mendes Wood who are staging a group exhibition ‘I see no difference between a handshake and a poem’ featuring Giangiacomo Rossetti, Paula Siebr, Charlotte Moth and Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa. London gallery Modern Art will also be opening a Paris space with another group show with work from Nicolas Deshayes, Mohammed Sami, Andrew Cranston and Michael E. Smith.

 Paris’ established galleries are also showing a plethora of stunning shows with painting taking the lead. You can see elusive but wonderful Mamma Anderson at David Zwirner and the US duo with their roots in the former Yugoslavia, TARWUK, are on at White Cube. Kamel Menor are showing Daniel Buren, and Eliza Douglas and Lily van der Stokker are on view at Air de Paris. Vallois have Tableaux Éclatés by Niki de Saint Phalle, and Thaddeaus Ropac are showing two stellar offerings from Lisa Brice in the city centre and Alvaro Barrington at their Pantin space. 

The art institutions of Paris are the stuff of legend, but are most known for their historical shows. This year they are putting on a series of shows by living and more recent artists, notably including Rothko at Fondation Louis Vuitton, for which Pace Gallery has created a booth of commissioned responses by younger, living artists such as Torkwase Dyson, Wang Guangle and Maysha Mohamedi. These dialogues between the fairs and the public exhibitions are always a highlight for those who come to look and to buy. 

Bourse de Commerce is having an exhibition of work by musician and artist Mike Kelley, and Musée d’Orsay has an exhibition by British artist Peter Doig. Palais de Tokyo is staging a show by cutting edge multidisciplinary artist Lili Reynaud-Dewar which uses installation and dance, and Centre Pompidou opens Picasso ‘Endlessly Drawing’ on Wednesday to coincide with the opening of the fair. 

 Whether you are exploring Bellville, Pantin and the public programme, to buy, or somewhere in between Paris+ has put its best foot forward for its sophomore year.

Paris+ Art Basel runs from October 20 - 22nd

Amah-Rose Abrams is a British writer, editor and broadcaster covering arts and culture based in London. In her decade plus career she has covered and broken arts stories all over the world and has interviewed artists including Marina Abramovic, Nan Goldin, Ai Weiwei, Lubaina Himid and Herzog & de Meuron. She has also worked in content strategy and production.