PARIS : After missing a year, the contemporary art world's annual get-together in Paris is roaring back to life with a feast of viewings, deal-making and social mingling - and a nod to the impact of COVID-19 in some of the works on display.
Attendees at the International Contemporary Art Fair, which welcomed dealers and VIPs on Thursday and opens to the public from Friday, have to wear masks and prove they are vaccinated, while 43 of the 170 galleries taking part are showing their works online only - a legacy of the pandemic.
But otherwise the event, in its 47th edition, is pretty much back to normal, according to organisers and attendees.
"Despite the masks, we're having a great time. And we're really happy. Most of us haven't seen each other for two years," said Bellatrix Hubert, senior partner at David Zwirner Gallery.
Exhibits include works by Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, as well as creations of the COVID-19 era, including "New photo d'identite", a bust of French President Emmanuel Macron with a surgical mask-shaped void carved into his face by Paris-based Chinese sculptor Wang Du.
Participants said figures from the art world in Europe and the United States are attending in substantial numbers, while there were still few visitors from Asia because of COVID-19 concerns.
(Writing by Christian Lowe; editing by John Stonestreet)