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Exploring the Vision of Paris+ par Art Basel with Clément Delépine

In this engaging interview, we connect with Clément Delépine, the director of the Paris+ par Art Basel fair, to delve into the exciting prospects awaiting the second year of Paris+ par Art Basel in 2023.


Clément Delépine Art Basel
Clément Delépine Photo by Bettina Pittaluga for Art Basel Courtesy of Art Basel

What do you think sets Paris apart from other art centers around the world?

Paris is unrivalled both for its cultural heritage and its standing at the forefront of contemporary culture. It has been central to the development not only of art, but also of creative industries such as film, fashion, music, and design. The city is home to one of the world’s leading and most exciting gallery scenes; it is a global metropolis that stands out thanks to the creativity and open-mindedness of its people. This fosters exceptional ideas and exchanges across cultural disciplines.


What opportunities and challenges does the upcoming second edition of Paris+ par Art Basel in October have in comparison to last year's event?

Our public program, which is free and accessible to all, has been expanded and emboldened. We will present art and discourse in six locations across the capital, increasing Paris+ par Art Basel's footprint, while also renewing existing collaborations and establishing new ones with institutional partners, including the Musée du Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Beaux-Arts de Paris, and the City of Paris itself. Six prestigious international galleries will also participate in the fair for the first time. Furthermore, we are delighted to see that most travel restrictions have eased and look forward to welcoming a broader audience of art enthusiasts and collectors from around the world to the upcoming edition this October. While the French government had lifted all COVID-19-related restrictions prior to the launch of Paris+ par Art Basel in 2022, travel restrictions were still in place in some other countries or regions. Our main challenge is linked to a significant change coming in 2024: We will be transitioning from the Grand Palais Éphémère to the spectacular Grand Palais, which is currently undergoing renovations. Although it may seem distant, we are already working on the logistics of this exciting move.


Paris+, par Art Basel
Paris+ par Art Basel Courtesy of Art Basel

For the 2023 edition, could you please provide further information about the selection process for each of the five public program locations with art exhibitions?

Projects are selected based on the quality of the proposal, its technical feasibility, and its alignment with the venue where it will be exhibited.


  • Annabelle Ténèze, curator of the exhibition in the Jardin des Tuileries, reviewed the applications for that project in consultation with Paris+ par Art Basel and the Musée du Louvre.

  • The Beaux-Arts project was chosen by the leadership of both Paris+ par Art Basel and Beaux-Arts.

  • The Place Vendôme and Parvis de l’Institut de France projects were selected by the leadership of Paris+ par Art Basel, in agreement with the City of Paris.

  • The Palais d’Iéna project emerged through a project-based process involving the leadership of Paris+ par Art Basel, the Palais d’Iéna, and Matthieu Poirier, the curator of the exhibition.


While the fair's leadership, curators, and collaborating institutions are responsible for selecting the projects, these are always presented by one or several galleries.


It's also important to note that all galleries – whether participating in Paris+ par Art Basel or not – can apply to present their work as part of the public program. This feature is unique to our Parisian show; in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong, galleries must participate in the main show to be eligible to apply to one of the project-based sectors.


The Tuileries Photo by Marion Berrin for Art Basel Courtesy of Art Basel

What are the reasons for choosing the Forum du Centre Pompidou as the venue for the Conversations program, and what messages or expectations will the institution convey at the fair?

The Centre Pompidou holds a central position in Parisian cultural life. Its diverse and rigorous programming spans multiple disciplines, from fine art to cinema and design. Our Conversations program, curated by Charles Teyssou and Pierre-Alexandre Matéos, similarly explores a multitude of areas that may extend beyond the classical definition of art. Our public programs are centered around daring, innovative, and ambitious ideas – also manifested through debates and discussions that won't shy away from contentious topics. Like other activations in the public program, Conversations are free of charge for everyone.


Which galleries stand out to you as the most interesting this year, and why?

Each gallery participating in Paris+ par Art Basel offers something distinct and unique. I encourage readers to explore our website (parisplus.artbasel.com), where they can find the complete list of participating galleries, discovering the astonishing variety of their programs – from hyper-contemporary Middle Eastern art to rare works by 20th-century masters or outsider art. I am also eager to explore the solo presentations in the Galeries Émergentes sector, dedicated to emerging galleries.


What sets Paris+ par Art Basel apart from other Art Basel shows? Are there differences in strategy or positioning?

Paris+ par Art Basel is particularly dedicated to supporting the French gallery ecosystem. The substantial presence of galleries with spaces in France – accounting for more than a third of all exhibitors – is indicative of this commitment. Fruitful and productive collaborations with Paris' cultural institutions also define the essence of the show. We believe that the scale, ambition, and quality of our public program reflect Paris+ par Art Basel's mission to create an event that resonates throughout the city, much like the content at its core. As we continue to evolve the fair, we are exploring new avenues to amplify and extend its reach, especially through collaborations with other cultural industries.


How do you envision Paris+ par Art Basel's role in supporting and nurturing the growth of young galleries and emerging artists? The Galeries Émergentes sector plays a pivotal role in this regard. It is situated at the heart of the fair, providing young galleries with a platform to introduce themselves to top-level collectors, curators, and patrons from around the world. The sector is bolstered by the Galeries Lafayette group, whose jury will select one participating artist to exhibit at Lafayette Anticipations, one of Paris' most forward-thinking institutions, the following year. Furthermore, the booth costs for the gallery presenting that artist at the fair will be reimbursed. We also consistently highlight emerging galleries' programming through our editorial content and social media channels.


Exhibitors in the Galeries Émergentes sector pay 50% less per square meter than those in the main sector of the fair. Applications to present artworks as part of the public program were open to all galleries, including those participating in the Galeries Émergentes sector.


We also strive to support the long-term progression of these galleries: this year, four galleries that participated in the Galeries Émergentes sector in 2022 will be part of the fair's main sector, enabling them to showcase the full scope of their program. Providing them with this opportunity is crucial, as their growth contributes to a vibrant and diverse art ecosystem.


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