Ropac Gallery Vies Gagosian With Cymbals, Live Horse – Bloomberg
“Open the door and leave it like that,” Thaddaeus Ropac tells one of his 60 employees as he crosses the courtyard of his new gallery on the outskirts of Paris.
The Austrian-born dealer has just inaugurated the French capital’s biggest commercial contemporary-art space. He hopes to encourage more visitors to follow him inside, now that the French government has rejected a proposal to include artworks in calculating wealth tax.
Super-size galleries in New York and London are being followed by Ropac’s mega-space, where he is showing works by the German artists Anselm Kiefer and the late Joseph Beuys. Larry Gagosian has also just opened a new space on Paris’s northern rim with a Kiefer show, in a week when galleries at the Fiac fair have been vying for the attention of choosy buyers.
“I was surprised Gagosian decided to open with Kiefer,” says Ropac, who had been the first to approach the French-based artist 18 months ago. “Actually, it turns out Paris has profited from all the attention. I’m quite relaxed about it now.”
Ropac, 52, has converted a former boiler factory at Pantin — a site on Paris’s eastern rim reachable by Metro — into a 50,000 square-foot (4,645 square meter) complex. Gagosian has chosen an old 17,760 square-foot industrial building in the north of the city at the private-jet airport of Le Bourget.
France’s Socialist government is planning a 75 percent tax band on all income of more than 1 million euros ($1.3 million). The country’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, is seeking dual Belgian citizenship.