To refute the rumors, to meet bold hopes and set the art tonality for a year, the two largest contemporary art fairs, the London Frieze and the Parisian F1AC, coped with the task.

A visitor talks a close look at John Baldessari’s ‘Beethovens Trumpet (with ear) Opus’, which is displayed at The Frieze Art Fair in Regents Park, London, Wednesday Oct. 14 2009. The British capital’s cutting-edge art sale kicks off Thursday, but cautious collectors may be cutting back. Although London’s annual Frieze Art Fair has all the usual weirdness _ works include a ghostly white tree, molten red computer mice and garlands with breast-shaped balloons _ exhibitors say the fair has lost much of its former frenzy. (AP Photo/Ian West, PA) ** UNITED KINGDOM OUT – NO SALES – NO ARCHIVES **

Gamien Hirst has depreciated: on the eve of the Frieze Art Fair in London, an exhibition of his paintings opened, which caused disappointment of critics. There were noticeably fewer participants: someone was screened out by a strict jury, someone thought that paying a booth was too expensive (an average of 20 thousand dollars), and someone just washed off the first wave of the crisis a year ago. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow on the opening day wandered from gallery to gallery not with a glass of champagne, like last year, but with a notebook and pen in her hands, obviously looking for something to herself. And you can understand it: right now is the most favorable time to buy works in the collection. The crisis adjusted prices, and gallery owners were ready for compromises.

Just two hours by Eurostar train separates London from Paris, where the 36th F1AC Fair opened a week after Frieze closed. Unlike the London one, the number of participants increased at the Paris fair. 56 new galleries (and 138 old) are located in the Grand Palais and Cour Carre Louvre. If it’s hard to find on Frieze not only the work of Andy Warhol, but even something older than 10 years, then FIAC willingly accepts merchants as venerable modernism. At the stands there was a lot of what has been classified as “eternal values” for about fifty years: the works of Matisse, Picasso and Chagall. This FIAC distinguished itself by its many debuts from Eastern and Northern Europe: galleries from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Finland joined the titans of European and American gallery business.

Among the Russian old-timers of the fair are Moscow AID AN Gallery, M&J Guelman Gallery and XL. And they, too, were satisfied with the sales. So, according to the director of the M&J Guelman gallery Julia Gelman, the works of Valery Koshlyakov, Anatoly Osmolovsky and David Ter-Oganyan were popular with collectors. Aidan Salakhova on the first day sold a quarter of the works of Oleg Dou brought to the fair. So FIAC, which was considered a secondary fair five years ago, is now attracting more and more attention. But she is still far from a London drive. Although the common thing in the fair atmosphere of the two capitals was: the cherished “sold out” – “everything was sold” – sounded more often than expected.