The big story in Paris this week will be the opening of the Hauser & Wirth, which is officially putting down roots in the French capital after operating in many other cities across the globe. But its arrival may belie the fact that Paris is already home to a flourishing gallery ecosystem, and has been for a long time, as blue-chip and emerging spaces continue to coexist, sometimes even in the same neighborhood.
Many of those galleries have received renewed attention in light of Paris+, the Art Basel fair that returns on Wednesday for its sophomore edition. Yet even before the fair’s arrival, Paris’s scene had been growing more sprawling, with the offerings extending far beyond the main Marais district and the edgier Belleville neighborhood to now include areas outside city limits like Romainville, where galleries like Jocelyn Wolff and Air de Paris continue to operate.
How might you navigate such a vast gallery network while in town for the fair? Below, a look at 10 of the most exciting Paris gallery shows to see this week.
Henry Taylor at Hauser & Wirth
This Los Angeles–based artist is known mainly as a painter—his subjects have included Ronald McDonald, Cicely Tyson, and Philando Castile—but as his current Whitney Museum survey in New York shows, he’s a consummate sculptor as well. He’s picked up objects such as bicycle wheels and other urban refuse via an act that he calls “hunting and gathering,” and he’s turned them into art. Some of those sculptures will figure in this show, Hauser & Wirth’s first in Paris, where the star will be One tree per family (2023), featuring a 15-foot-tall tree trunk, accompanied by what the gallery describes as “a large afro for foliage.” Nearby it will be new works produced while Taylor spent two months this past summer in the French capital, where he drew influence from the world-class supply of Impressionism on offer in the city’s museums.
Through January 7, 2024, 26 bis rue François 1er
Delia Cancela at Gaudel de Stampa
During the 1960s, Delia Cancela became a key figure within the Argentine scene, but beyond an appearance in a 2017 survey of Latin American women artists that traveled the US, her recent international exposure has been somewhat limited. Gaudel de Stampa, newly relocated to a space located near Gare du Nord, aims to help change that with this show of works made since 2019. The drawings in the show, Cancela writes, were “made mostly during silent nights, lucid and confused all at the same time,” and are influenced by a Raquel Forner painting on view in Buenos Aires that depicts an anguished woman with a bird landing on her head. With this female figure acting as something like a talisman, Cancela has created works such as a 29-foot-long painting of thinly rendered trees with animals soaring through them.
Through December 2, 158 rue La Fayette
Sammy Baloji at Imane Farès
Sammy Baloji won a special mention at the Venice Architecture Biennale earlier this year for his video Aequare. The Future that Never Was (2023). Produced with Twenty Nine Studio, it charts the deleterious climatological impact of Western colonialism on Yangambi, a rainforest in Democratic Republic of Congo, where the artist was born. That video appears in this show alongside other works by Baloji focused on the effects of industry and conflict on the natural environment. One, featuring plants housed in a terrarium, is set in a structure meant to recall Wardian cases, miniature greenhouses used by botanists to classify flora culled by Westerners from faraway lands.
Through December 16, 41 rue Mazarine
Alvaro Barrington at Thaddaeus Ropac
In the past few years, Alvaro Barrington has swept the art world by storm, gaining representation with not one but eight galleries and mounting multiple shows annually. Along the way, he has refused to conform to any particular style, putting Rauschenbergian assemblages, all-encompassing installations, and abstract paintings side by side in some exhibitions. This one, his fifth solo exhibition of 2023, is in some ways an homage to his roots. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, to Haitian and Grenadian parents, he lived for part of his childhood in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood and is now based in London. His latest show, at Ropac’s Pantin location, attempts to transport the energy of New York during the ’90s to the Paris of today.
Through January 27, 69 Avenue du Général Leclerc
Laura Lamiel at Marcelle Alix
Featuring installations composed of shattered glass and books, Laura Lamiel’s Palais de Tokyo show earlier this year evoked fraught psychological states and half-remembered desires. The French artist’s latest show will continue to explore those subjects through new works rooted in Saint Ursula, a martyred virgin who famously appears in a cycle of paintings by Vittore Carpaccio at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice. One work, titled Ursule: figure 2 (2022–23), will feature a piece of glass rubbed with watered-down powder typically used to make paint—a record of a body that is no longer present.
Through December 22, 4 rue Jouye-Rouve
Delcy Morelos at Marian Goodman Gallery
Having played a starring role in the main exhibition of last year’s Venice Biennale, this Colombian artist’s career is taking off, with a Dia Art Foundation installation now on view in New York and a Pulitzer Arts Foundation show set to follow next year. Marian Goodman Gallery, which recently began representing Morelos, is host to one of her grand installations composed of earth. This one, titled El oscuro de abajo (2023), fills the gallery’s basement. It is seeded with cinnamon and cloves, and in both smelling and seeing it, viewers create a symbiotic relationship with the natural world Morelos has transported to this space. It’s a connection that’s also evoked through older fabric works and paintings on view upstairs.
Through December 21, 79 rue du Temple
Zuzanna Czebatul at Sans titre
Feet have been a recurring element in shows by Zuzanna Czebatul, who once exhibited a full-size cast of the lowermost portion of a Berlin monument to Otto von Bismarck. Born in Poland and now based in Berlin, she has viewed these appendages as symbols of power, and returns to them once more in her latest show, which features textiles appropriating cropped areas of medieval tapestries. In one of her new works, pairs of feet are shown trotting over a female lying motionless on the ground—a disturbing image that, separated from its original context, feels violent.
Through December 2, 13 rue Michel Le Comte
Berenice Olmedo at Fitzpatrick Gallery
This artist’s Mexico City studio is sited adjacent to an orthopedic clinic, which has allowed her to take up medical equipment that she has then used in her art. Her previous sculptures—some memorably appeared last year at an acclaimed Kunsthalle Basel show—have enlisted orthotics and casts of leg stumps, and her new ones enlist a kind of plastic that, when dipped in water, turn flexible, allowing its wearer to move with greater agility. These latest works are 3D-printed, calling up a fusion of organic bodies and inorganic materials that is a constant in her art.
Through November 25, 123 rue de Turenne
Émilie Brout and Maxime Marion at 22,48m²
Having recently relocated to the Parisian suburb of Romainville, joining a few other trendy galleries and artists who’ve taken up residence there in recent years, 22,48m² is showcasing work by Émilie Brout and Maxime Marion, a self-described “post-whatever duo” whose work typically deals with how the internet has reshaped the ways we related to one another. The show includes new videos that deal with alternate forms of consciousness as they have existed between ancient times and our current digital moment. Fittingly, the show was teased with a release written by ChatGPT.
Through October 28, 29 rue de la Commune de Paris
Alex Ayed at Balice Hertling
The last show Alex Ayed staged at Balice Hertling, in 2021, was themed around the notion of traveling the seas, with canvases formed from stretched sails, a dried pipefish that snaked up a wall, and more. The show’s purview seemed to obliquely nod to Ayed’s recent biography. Born in Strasbourg, France, and based at the time between Belgium, France, and Tunisia, he’d intended to make his way back to Tunisia before Covid derailed those plans, leaving him stuck in Europe. The works became a meditation on blockaded voyages. His latest Balice Hertling show has a title that seems to hint at a return to that notion: “Letters from Kattegat,” a strait near Denmark and Sweden.
Through November 18, 84 rue des Gravilliers