Are there too many art fairs? With hundreds of events plotted on the art world’s calendar each year, the answer might be a resounding ‘no’ from so-called ‘fair-tigue’ sufferers – though that hasn’t stopped a clutch of fairs from establishing new destinations in 2018.
In November last year, Art Basel offered the first taster of its multi-year Art Basel Cities initiative, which will add to annual shows in Basel, Hong Kong and Miami. Launching this year in Buenos Aires (11-16 September), the initiative’s official inaugural edition will see it eschew the traditional format of a commercial art fair, instead taking up residence in the Art Basel Cities House on Basavilbaso 1233. A series of masterclasses, performances and talks hosted here will complement a citywide programme helmed by artistic director Cecilia Alemani, who is director and chief Curator of High Line Art in New York and curated the Italian Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
The preview offered a glimpse into Buenos Aires’ flourishing art scene, from established institutions such as Faena Arts Center, the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA), and Fundación PROA, to young galleries like Galería Isla Flotante and Ruth Benzacar. Speakers at the Art Basel Cities House, meanwhile, included Buenos Aires artist Guillermo Kuitca; Palais de Tokyo director Jean de Loisy; Marta Minujín, Artist, Buenos Aires; curator and critic Hans Ulrich Obrist; and many others.
The Art Basel team met with over 100 art-world personalities from Buenos Aires. ‘We tried to understand by listening and asking questions, what was the situation was here – and how could we help,’ explains Patrick Foret, director of business initiatives at Art Basel. ‘This was a very inclusive approach. Every Art Basel Cities programme is designed for the city’s specific ecosystem.’
Art fairs, both local and global, ‘are the most important point for acquiring new buyers’ and ‘the largest concern of art dealers and galleries reporting to our annual survey’, according to the TEFAF 2017 Global Art Market Report. Between booth and shipping fees, the cost of showing at a global fair can be especially prohibitive for younger galleries. Initiatives like Art Basel Cities offer gallerists in second-tier regions the opportunity to court international collectors – and this can only be good news for the future of art fairs.
Here, we highlight the art fairs debuting editions at new locations around the globe in 2018...
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
When: 24-25 February
Where: La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco
Established in 2013 by Touria El Glaoui, the fair celebrated its fifth anniversary in London last October, and expanded to New York in 2015, with the US edition occurring annually in May. Next month sees its first-ever outing in Marrakech, a natural next step, of course, for a fair celebrating African art.
The Other Art Fair
When: 15-18 March
Where: The Majestic Downtown, Los Angeles, US
Pegged as the ‘leading artist fair for a new generation of art buyers’, The Other Art Fair already has instalments in London, Sydney, Melbourne, Bristol and New York. The Saatchi Art-backed initiative will showcase work by 110 emerging and independent artists at its West Coast debut.
Moniker Art Fair
When: 3-6 May
Where: The Green Point Terminal, Brooklyn, US
The Moniker Art Fair – launched in 2010 in London – has ‘roots embedded in urban culture’, with a focus on street art and graffiti. Its first US edition will take a place in a warehouse of the recently restored Greenpoint Terminal, a Brooklyn landmark that played a significant role in the American Industrial Revolution.
Discovery Art Fair
When: 2-4 November
Where: Forum Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt is home to around 60 museums that attract 2 million visitors a year, so it’s little surprise that Discovery Art Fair has chosen Germany’s financial capital for the next stage of its expansion. The fair, which offers contemporary art with affordable price tags, has been exhibiting in Berlin for 15 years, and Cologne for five.
Masterpiece London Ltd was founded in 2008, with the first edition of the fair launching in 2010. At the fair, 150 leading galleries and specialists present works from ‘every major market discipline’, including ancient and contemporary art, rare books and photography, design and antiques, jewellery and ceramics. Having acquired a 67.5 per cent stake, MCH Group has confirmed it will be expanding Masterpiece London in the US, Asia and the Middle East over the next few years – though locations and dates have yet to be confirmed.
When: 14-17 February 2019
Where: Paramount Pictures Studios, Los Angeles, US
Good news for the art world’s sun-seekers, as Frieze announces that it will be heading to the balmy climes of Los Angeles in 2019. Frieze has tapped Bettina Korek as the fair’s executive director, working with Victoria Siddall, director of Frieze fairs to launch the inaugural edition of Frieze LA. Meanwhile, curator Ali Subotnick will oversee a site-specific programme of artist projects and film at the fair, which will premiere at Paramount Pictures Studios in a structure custom-designed by Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY.
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