This weekend top Paris gallerist Thaddeaus Ropac opened a second contemporary art gallery in the capital, this time a vast space in the Paris suburb of Pantin, with an inaugural show of new works by Anselm Kiefer.
Austrian gallerist Ropac signals a new shift in the art world with the move. His first gallery is in the dense square mile or so of private contemporary galleries in the Northern Marais, neighbouring other art world big names such as Yvon Lambert and Emmanuel Perrotin. His new gallery however is in Pantin, a suburb to the North East of Paris, beyond the frontier of the périphérique - effectively a cultural no man's land. Interestingly, global art world super heavyweight Larry Gagosian is also opening a second Paris gallery in the suburbs, in Le Bourget, also due to open this autumn, also with an inaugural show from Anselm Kiefer.
In the case of Ropac, this move to the suburbs allows for a far larger gallery space than in the centre of Paris, where large-scale works can be exhibited. Here, there are four light-filled buildings, set back from the road and with small patches of grass between them - that look from the exterior somewhat like three modern outhouses on a very sharp farm - amounting to 4700m2 of space. Inside, what was previously an early 20th century boiler works factory has been transformed into a luminous and airy, high-ceilinged, white-walled space.
The new space has opened with a real bang, with a monumental exhibition, Die Ungeborenen (The Unborn) by the German painter and sculptor, Anselm Kiefer. A series of new, vast canvases, thick with dense layers of oil paint to create sea and landscapes, and sculptural additions of rusty weighing scales or garden chairs attached to them, fill the gallery's walls. There are also large-scale sculptures, mixing lead and dried flowers, foetuses and rocks, the manmade and the natural, exploring the origin and creation of life.
The gallery's second, smaller building, which is dedicated to performative arts, opens with Iphigenie, an exhibition around Joseph Beuys' performance piece of 1969 involving a white horse - and for the private view, there was even a real live horse in situ as part of the exhibition.
Galerie Thaddeaus Ropac - Paris Pantin
69 ave du Général Leclerc
Opening exhibitions on until 23rd Feb, 2013