A major artistic coup for Southbank

A major artistic coup for Southbank

The forecourt of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Arts (ACCA) in Southbank will host the return of the iconic Melbourne Art Fair in 2018.

Returning as the region’s most significant platform for Australasian contemporary art, the fair will take place as the anchor event of Melbourne Art Week from August 2 to 5 next year.

Beginning in 1988, the biennial event provides a platform for artists, collectors, curators, arts professionals and enthusiasts to connect and engage with contemporary art, providing commercial and curatorial opportunities for galleries and their artists.

To be housed in a temporary structure outside ACCA, the fair will showcase 40-50 galleries from Australia, New Zealand and the region with a curated selection of some of the newest and most respected names in contemporary art.

The fair is expected to welcome some 20,000 visitors to Southbank’s vibrant Arts Precinct over four days and the revitalised show has been driven by a new look Melbourne Art Foundation.

New CEO and director Maree Di Pasquale brings international art fair expertise having worked in key global markets across Asia and the Middle East. She takes the helm after holding senior positions with key regional fairs, namely assistant director of Sydney Contemporary and founding director of Art Central in Hong Kong.

“With a highly selective offering, Melbourne Art Fair is set to become the premier showcase for leading Australasian contemporary (art), and will once again be instrumental in driving critical and commercial attention for galleries and their artists,” she said.

“It will play an important and iconic role in reaffirming Victoria’s profile as a commercial hub and centre for cultural accomplishment.”

Ms Di Pasquale is supported by a new look Melbourne Art Foundation board chaired by the founder of architecture giant SJB, Charles Justin, who is also a past president of the Jewish Museum.

Mr Justin said the Melbourne Art Fair had found a perfect new location in Southbank, which would help in its mission to support and promote contemporary Australian artist through commercial incentives.

“Southbank Arts Precinct is the ideal location for the revitalised Melbourne Art Fair as it embodies the creative diversity of its host city,” he said. “The precinct is a true demonstration of excellence in the visual and performing arts.”

ACCA’s distinctive rusty steel facade and world-leading artistic program is sure to offer an inspiring setting for Melbourne Art Week’s anchor event, being within walking distance of renowned precinct arts organisations and venues.

Gallery applications for Melbourne Art Fair 2018 open on July 15.

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