A conversation with Isabelle Keit-Parinaud: Director of Moderne Art Fair

Portrait of Isabelle © Isabelle Keit-Parinaud

Artsper had the opportunity to speak with Isabelle Keit Parinaud, the art collector and director of the Moderne Art fair, Paris. We were excited to learn about her experience in the art and design industry, and get the inside scoop into Moderne art fair. Welcome to the world of Isabelle Keit Parinaud!

1. Hello Isabelle! Thank you for chatting with us today. Can you give us an overview of your professional background, highlighting key milestones and experiences that have prepared you for your role at the Moderne art fair?

Above all, I am a collector, passionate about art and design. I have been immersed in this environment since my earliest age. Daughter of a painter and wife of an art dealer who himself is the son of an art critic.

I started in the world of fashion shows in 2001 at Comexpo (Comexposium since 2006), as a manager of one of the sectors of the “Prêt à porter Paris", and more particularly the young designer section. Then in 2004, I took part in the launch of a new Franco-Belgian fashion show, Kids Fashion Mode Enfantine, and worked between Paris and Brussels.

In 2007 from fashion to art, I took over the direction of ART ELYSEES, with the desire to bring together modern art, contemporary art and design. In 2010, the fair was enriched with a “DESIGN ÉLYSÉES" pavilion, a showcase salon, exclusively dedicated to 20th century design and since then to the young contemporary design scene.

I work with my family, accompanied by my sister, Adeline Keit, and my husband Blaise Parinaud.

Isabelle and Adeline © SAY WHO 

2. The Moderne art fair is situated in the vibrant art scene of Paris, drawing attendees from around the world. Could you elaborate on the fair's strategies for attracting an international audience and perhaps share some successful collaborations or partnerships?

Our Art fair schedule being 18 to 22 of October is the strategy to have. This week is the most important one in the art market in France. During which the biggest Art fairs will take place, just like Paris+. We try to put ourselves into the biggest art fairs.

Our main model, as you very well said, is to be in the vibrant art scene of Paris to become a complementary and alternative art fair to the others happening at the same time. Being on Avenue des Champs-Elysées puts us in a dynamic, timeless and international setting.

Being right next to Avenue Matignon, the new Bond Street, puts us in the middle of the art market.

We are working on collaborations and partnerships.  

3. Can you provide insights on the diversity of your participants? Where are your exhibitors based? What specific criteria or qualities do you look for when curating the fair's exhibitors?

Our fair is mostly Franco-European. Our current exhibitors are based predominantly in France, with approximately 75% of our participants. The remaining 25% of our exhibitors are European. However, we have a vision to expand our horizons and embrace greater international diversity, especially with the arrival of Paris +. When curating exhibitors for our fair, we consider several specific criteria and qualities. These include:

Artistic Excellence: We seek galleries that represent artists of exceptional talent and creativity, regardless of their geographic origin. The quality of the artworks is paramount.

Cultural Diversity: As part of our commitment to internationalization, we are looking for exhibitors who can bring a rich diversity of artistic styles and cultural perspectives to our fair.

Relevance: Exhibitors should have a strong curatorial vision that resonates with our fair's theme and objectives. We look for galleries that can contribute to a meaningful and cohesive art experience.

Engagement: We appreciate galleries that actively engage with the art community and have a track record of successful exhibitions and collaborations.

As we move forward, we are excited about the prospect of evolving into a more internationally inclusive art fair while continuing to uphold the highest standards of artistic quality and innovation.  

© Isabelle Keit-Parinaud 

4. Networking and knowledge-sharing are crucial in the art world. Can you tell us about any specific seminars, or exhibits that attendees, especially gallerists, artists, and collectors, should be particularly excited about? Additionally, how does the Moderne art fair facilitate and encourage interactions between these different stakeholders?  

Networking and knowledge-sharing are integral to the vibrant art community we aim to cultivate at Moderne art fair. Attendees, including gallerists, artists, and collectors, can look forward to a range of engaging seminars with industry experts, offering a deep dive into the ever-evolving art market, and exhibitions that promise to enrich their experience.

We will offer this year different exhibitions including:

Olivier Goy Photography Exhibition tracing ten years of discovering the world and life. Switching between his studio, which he loves, and his travels, near and far. As usual, his pictures are for sale, 100% of the sale price will go to the Brain Institute.

Stefano Trapani Design Showcase, guest of honor

Marta Pan & André Wogenscky - From Unknown Works: This exhibition of lesser-known works by Marta Pan and André Wogenscky offers a fresh perspective on their artistic journeys. It invites collectors and artists to explore the hidden facets of these influential figures.

Millen Art Club - Young Collectors' Showcase: The Millen Art Club is where young collectors get to shine. Attendees will witness the choices and insights of these emerging collectors, providing a glimpse into the next generation's artistic preferences and perspectives.

Facilitating Interactions: At the Moderne art fair, we place a strong emphasis on fostering interactions among various stakeholders. We offer dedicated networking sessions, VIP previews, and guided tours that encourage artists, gallerists, and collectors to connect and engage in meaningful conversations.

In summary, the Moderne art fair offers a comprehensive experience for gallerists, and collectors, featuring seminars and exhibitions that promote knowledge-sharing and networking.

© Isabelle Keit-Parinaud 

5. Prospective attendees are always eager to know what they can expect from an event. Could you paint a more vivid picture of the experience? Perhaps share your most memorable exhibit or artwork from a previous edition and why it was so significant?  

In one of our previous editions, we had the privilege of organizing a truly remarkable exhibition that left an indelible mark on both our event and the art community as a whole. This exhibition featured the works and legacy of the great 20th-century art dealer, Alexandre Lolas.

The exhibition was a testament to the profound and often underestimated role that art dealers play in shaping the course of art history. It vividly illustrated the importance of the art relationship between an art dealer and artists.

The exhibition showcased not only the stunning artworks that Lolas had collected and promoted throughout his career but also the personal and artistic relationships he had forged with iconic artists of his time.

6. Innovation plays a vital role in the ever evolving art market. Are there any exciting projects or future plans within the Moderne art fair that art market professionals should look out for?  

Absolutely, innovation is at the heart of what we do at the Moderne art fair, and we are continuously developing new initiatives to enhance the experience for art market professionals. We recognize the importance of creating opportunities for gallerists to connect with new collectors.

We aim to provide art market professionals with the tools, resources, and opportunities they need to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape. We are also committed to promoting sustainable art practices and will be featuring environmentally conscious artists and galleries that align with these values.

Their favorite artworks

Painting, Untitled, Yrjö Edelmann


Yrjö Edelmann

Painting - 111.8 x 111.8 cm Painting - 44 x 44 inch


Photography, Knokke Lounge (Belgian Coast), Antoine Rose

Knokke Lounge (Belgian Coast)

Antoine Rose

Photography - 150 x 150 x 3 cm Photography - 59.1 x 59.1 x 1.2 inch


Sculpture, Columna, Dario Perez-Flores


Dario Perez-Flores

Sculpture - 190 x 25 cm Sculpture - 74.8 x 9.8 inch


Painting, Cascading Line (Polka), Jeremy Annear

Cascading Line (Polka)

Jeremy Annear

Painting - 120 x 160 cm Painting - 47.2 x 63 inch


Photography, Bergese House, Slim Aarons

Bergese House

Slim Aarons

Photography - 152.4 x 101.6 cm Photography - 60 x 40 inch


Painting, Il a peur, Jean Rustin

Il a peur

Jean Rustin

Painting - 130 x 97 x 2 cm Painting - 51.2 x 38.2 x 0.8 inch


Photography, Leaning Man, Edmund Sumner

Leaning Man

Edmund Sumner

Photography - 59.8 x 47.5 x 0.1 cm Photography - 23.5 x 18.7 x 0 inch


Photography, One Afternoon at Four O'clock (Diptych), Large, Michael James O'Brien

One Afternoon at Four O'clock (Diptych), Large

Michael James O'Brien

Photography - 101.6 x 152.4 x 0.3 cm Photography - 40 x 60 x 0.1 inch


Photography, Sunday at le Havre, Lucien Clergue

Sunday at le Havre

Lucien Clergue

Photography - 68 x 31 cm Photography - 26.8 x 12.2 inch


Painting, City Window, Joseph Lorusso

City Window

Joseph Lorusso

Painting - 152.4 x 152.4 x 5.1 cm Painting - 60 x 60 x 2 inch


Fine Art Drawings, Sans-titre, Loïc Le Groumellec


Loïc Le Groumellec

Fine Art Drawings - 23 x 20 cm Fine Art Drawings - 9.1 x 7.9 inch


Photography, Drawing Down The Moon, Jeff Robb

Drawing Down The Moon

Jeff Robb

Photography - 80 x 100 x 2 cm Photography - 31.5 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch


Fine Art Drawings, Composition musicale dyptique 1/2, Francesco Marino Di Teana

Composition musicale dyptique 1/2

Francesco Marino Di Teana

Fine Art Drawings - 23 x 30 x 2 cm Fine Art Drawings - 9.1 x 11.8 x 0.8 inch


Painting, The Blue Chimney, Elena Borstein

The Blue Chimney

Elena Borstein

Painting - 132.1 x 188 x 4.1 cm Painting - 52 x 74 x 1.6 inch


Painting, To Be by Your Side, Peregrine Heathcote

To Be by Your Side

Peregrine Heathcote

Painting - 96.5 x 127 cm Painting - 38 x 50 inch


Painting, Palatia, Adele Bessy


Adele Bessy

Painting - 150 x 150 x 2 cm Painting - 59.1 x 59.1 x 0.8 inch