The Los Angeles Times explores the curious state of Contemporary art in France where there seems to be a growing interest in young French artists, something new since the time of Yves Klein. German collector Thomas Olbricht kicks off the discussion:
“It’s interesting because I went to China, Turkey, India to look for art, but not to France,” said Olbricht, who used to come to Paris for art history. “Now I have learned that I also have to look for French contemporary art.” […] But to others, there is still doubt that much has changed since a state-funded system held the reigns over which artists were promoted abroad and tended to scoff at the importance of the international art market. For years, state institutions “had a tendency to prefer more intellectual artwork based on concepts, and this was done in detriment to other types of works,” notably painting, said Nathalie Heinich, art sociologist for the National Research Center for the Sciences in Paris.
Although many say those days of stronger public support are past, sociologist Alain Quemin disagrees. “In France, there is suspicion of the [art] market,” which is considered too closely associated with commercial art, he said. A sociology of art professor at the University of Paris-VIII, Quemin says the importance of French artists abroad has essentially stayed the same over the last decade.”They have practically disappeared from the major international museums like MOMA or Tate Modern.”
According to Quemin, the last widely recognized French artist both in terms of market price and presence in major collections was Yves Klein, who died in 1962.
Reviving the French contemporary art scene (Los Angeles Times)