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Paris’s 25th Biennale des Antiquaires: Even Bigger and Better


By Emilie Gouband, ARTINFO France

The Biennale des Antiquaires, the huge international fair devoted to antiques, fine arts, and jewelry established by the Syndicat National des Antiquaires or National Antiquarians Guild (SNA) in 1962, takes place every other year in the impressive setting of Paris’s Grand Palais. Known for the quality and distinction of its offerings, it has become an unmissable art market event.

This year, in its 25th iteration, the biennial will welcome almost 90 participants into a space of over 43,000 square feet from September 15-22. ARTINFO France takes a look at what’s new this time around and at the galleries that will be participating for the first time.

A Fluid Layout . Patrick Bazanan of Decoral is the exhibition designer again this year. He has created an understated and refined décor with a more open layout. The imposing entrance opens onto a large central pool that reflects the vaulted ceiling of the Grand Palais. On either side of the pool long aisles with eight central plazas along their path lead to the various booths. Bazanan also incorporated quiet and inviting meeting or resting spots. In a video interview on the fair’s Web site, president of the SNA Hervé Aaron praises Bazanan’s design for its clarity and openness, adding that participants have the option of embellishing their booths and “doing whatever they want with world-famous designers in order to create a fantastic setting for their items.”

Leading Galleries . Fans of archaeology and art from non-Western traditional societies will want to visit the booths of Kervorkian, Phoenix Ancient Art, and Bernard Dulon. Asian art will be shown by Jacques Barrère and Christian Deydier. For objects of silver and gold, as well as jewelry, the galleries that can’t be missed are Au Vieux Paris, Martin du Daffoy, Balian, Castiglione, and Faerber. The prestigious jewelers Chanel, Cartier, Harry Winston, and Van Cleef and Arpels will be joined by Piaget and Louis Vuitton.

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An assortment of galleries will feature furniture and decoration of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, including Didier Aaron & Cie, Gismondi, Kraemer & Cie, François Léage, Steinlitz, and Michel-Guy Chadelaud. Sculpture-lovers will want to stop by the booths of Patrice Bellanger, Pierre M. Dumonteuil, and Univers du Bronze, while for Old Master paintings and drawings, the biggest names are Bayser, Canesso, De Jonckheere, Sarti, La Scala, and Leegenhoek.

Modern Art . Modern art will also be on hand, with 20th-century decorative arts displayed by long-time participants Downtown François Laffanour, Jousse Entreprise, Frank Laigneau, Galerie Vallois, and Yves Gastou, as well as new-comers Alain Marcelpoil, Dansk Mobel Kunst, Michel Giraud, and Marcilhac. For their first appearance at the fair, the Ziotowski and Tornabuoni galleries will focus on Modern painting and drawing, joining the ranks of Applicat-Prazan, Jacques de la Béraudière, Pascal Lansberg, Antoine Laurentin, and Le Minotaure.

Showcasing Young Dealers .  This year, the SNA has created the Tremplin pour la Biennale or Springboard for the Biennial, a project intended to give a boost to the younger generation of art dealers. 25 dealers (23 from France, one from Hungary, and one from Spain) have been invited to display an item of their choice on the Grand Palais’s balcony. The resulting eclectic group will encompass archaeology, Asian art, pre-Columbian art, Oceanic art, rare books, 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century furnishings, medals of chivalric orders, sculpture, Old Master and Modern paintings, and tapestries.

Among the more unusual offerings, the Mathivet gallery will show a magnificent pair of 1924 Paul Poiret wing-chairs of walnut and leather. David Ghezelbash, meanwhile, selected an enormous white marble Zeus head from the Hellenistic period. Marie Watteau opted for a 1937-38 oil painting by Joseph Mellor Hanson, the Galerie du Post-Impressionnisme picked an Emile Ancelet watercolor, and the Lardanchet Bertrand Meaudre bookstore has given pride of place to a 1752 collection of prints by Le Brun.

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One Comments to “Paris’s 25th Biennale des Antiquaires: Even Bigger and Better”

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