The 21st edition of Art Paris took over the Grand Palais in Paris this weekend and brought together 150 galleries specialising in modern and contemporary art. Art Paris charts developments in art from the post-war period to the present, alongside an emphasis on art from the global south. Unlike the mega fair FIAC which happens in the fall and is aimed at experts, collectors and connoisseurs, Art Paris seeks to make modern and contemporary art more accessible through offering different levels of engagement in the galleries selection, special projects, guided tours and via an interactive website emphasising virtual assistance to further the audience by visitors search for works by artist, price, provenance, medium and so on. Majority of exhibiting galleries were from France.

This year, the fair’s special projects focused on charting feminist art movements in France with AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions and Latin American art with Southern Stars: An Exploration of Latin American Art. Co-founded in 2014 by art historian Camille Morineau (who is also the director of exhibitions and collections at the Monnaie de Paris), AWARE was a presentation centred on a critical overview of women artists in France. Artists selected included Martine Aballéa (Dilecta), Malala Andrialavidrazana* (Caroline Smulders), Valérie Belin (Nathalie Obadia), Anna Eva Bergman (Jérome Poggi), Bernadette Bour (Françoise Livinec), Ulla von Brandenburg (Art: Concept), Marcelle Cahn (Lahumière), ORLAN (Ceysson & Bénétière), Vera Pagava (Chauvy), and Aurélie Nemours (Lahumière). This selection demonstrated the plurality of female artists working in France divided into four themes: Abstraction, the Feminist Avant-Garde, Image and Theatricality. A timely redressing of the imbalance of visibility in the art world between the genders.

Southern Stars: An Exploration of Latin American Art was curated by the independent curator Valentina Locatelli and consisted of showcasing artists represented by Latin American galleries from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Southern Stars also emphasised the importance of women’s contribution to art in the region with works by Surrealist Argentinean painter, Leonor Fini (Weinstein Gallery/Galerie Minsky); Mexican artist Carmen Mariscal, whose work addresses questions of gender and female stereotypes (Ana Mas Project); and Chilean artist Sandra Vásquez de la Horra who uses drawings to explore sex and religion.

Art Paris feels more like a local fair that engages with the international art world. It is both an accessible and manageable fair for new discoveries as the fair grows steadily with each iteration.

Art Paris was held from the 4th till the 7th of April