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Around the World in 10 Art Fairs

[BLOG POST 6/8/24] Last week's post on "Medusa in Art and Why Her Story is Relevant Today"* was a little heavy so let's lighten things up a little with a look at art fairs around the world.

*If you read this post you may recall it had a slightly different title. I kept thinking about Medusa after I posted and later edited it to include thoughts on how that myth and how its told informs life today.

Getting back to art fairs, before my journey into the art world I had never heard of them.

Well that's not totally true, I have attended my fair share of small art shows that pop up in touristy locals throughout the summer. But I had no idea they existed on a much larger, more grand, and flashy way! But they do! And they are considered by many THE place to go to find the best of the best of the best in the art world.

To start, what exactly is the purpose of one of these large scale international art fairs? According to an article titled "Everything You Need to Know About Art Fairs (But Were Afraid to Ask)" on the website Artspace they are:

On the most basic level, an art fair is a trade show—i.e. a place for people in the art business, from dealers and art advisors to collectors and curators, to kibbutz and make deals. But fairs are also sumptuous visual emporiums that are open to the public, and exhibitors tend to pepper the events with dazzling, spectacular pieces to delight crowds and capture the imagination of photographers.

Well that sounds pretty fun!

And they take place all over the world: Venice, Hong Kong, New York, London, Mexico City, Dubi, and other interesting locations.

The website Prestige's article, "10 Famous Art Fairs You Need to Visit Around the World" lists the top 10 art shows around the world and promotes them as follows:

If you’re into art, design, or architecture, these longstanding art fairs around the world are must-visit destinations. Art fairs are more than just a showcase for enthusiasts and artists; they embody the pulse of the cities and their inhabitants, making them ideal starting points for visitors seeking to explore and understand a locale. In the same way, these international festivals also offer the opportunity to delve into the creative visions of global talents. While prestigious art fairs have their roots in Europe, the burgeoning art scene in Asia, the Middle East, and North America has given rise to a plethora of must-visit events across the globe.

Here is a quick look at their top ten along with upcoming dates (in case you want to plan a trip to see one 😉):

(1) The Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy: One of the oldest biennials in the world it was established in 1895. It is the world’s leading contemporary art exhibition, with over 86 countries participating.

Upcoming dates: April 20-November 24, 2024

(2) Art Basel: Held annually in Basel, Hong Kong, Paris, and Miami, with the Miami Beach show being the most well-known. It features contemporary artworks from both young and established names.

Upcoming dates: Art Basel Hong Kong in March 28-30, 2024. Art Basel Switzerland in June 13-16, 2024. Paris+par Art Basel in October 18-20, 2024. Art Basel Miami Beach in December 6-8, 2024.

(3) The Armory Show, New York, USA: Named after the 1913 art exhibition that was considered the avant-garde art fair of the US. Over 2,000 artists and galleries participate in the event every year.

Upcoming dates: September 6-8, 2024.

(4) The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF): An art fair that presents over 7,000 years of art history in the form of fine art pieces, antiques, jewelleries, and design objects.

Upcoming dates: TEFAF Maastricht in March 9-28, 2024. TEFAF New York in May 10-14, 2024.

(5) Frieze Art Fair: Recognized as the world’s leading platform for modern art, it provides high-quality presentations, curated sections, talks, and performances from distinct galleries around the world.

Upcoming dates: Frieze New York in May 1-5, 2024. Frieze Seoul in September 4-7, 2024. Frieze London and Masters in October 9-13, 2024.

(6) India Art Fair: Representing the contemporary art scene of South Asia this is the region’s premiere art event bringing together galleries, institutions, private foundations, art charities, artists’ collectives, national museums, and the audience.

Upcoming dates: February 6-9, 2025.

(7) ZonaMaco: The largest art fair in Latin America, their wide range of displays is a great way to get to know the Latin American cultural landscape.

Upcoming dates: February 5-9, 2025.

(8) Art Dubai: As the leading art fair in the Middle East, it is also one of the most international art fairs in the world.

Upcoming dates: March, 2025.

(9) Art Taipei: One of the most important art festivals initiated in Asia which acts as a platform for art exchanges in the Asia-Pacific region.

Upcoming dates: October 25-28, 2024.

(10) Art SG: Established in 2023 in Singapore it has already become one of the most famous art fairs by hosting local Southeast Asian and international art galleries, as well as curated programs.

Upcoming dates: January 17-19, 2025.

If I HAD to choose an art fair to visit I think I could narrow it down to three:

(1) TEFAF in Maastricht the Netherlands because I like antiquities and I'd love to visit the Netherlands again,

(2) The Venice Biennial because, I mean, VENICE!, and

(3) Art Dubai because I've always wanted to go there and I have an affinity for Middle Eastern history, culture, art, and dance.

And then, after visiting one (or more), maybe I could figure out how to get my artwork in one! Dream big!!! 😊

Dear reader, drop me a line and let me know which art fair you'd like to visit and why!

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