Doors open at the Melbourne Art Fair on February 17

Doors open at the Melbourne Art Fair on February 17
Carol Saffer

Melbourne Art Fair returns to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre after a two-year hiatus.

CEO and fair director Maree Di Pasquale said there was enormous excitement within the Australian artworld about Melbourne Art Fair’s return.

“Not only because it’s Australia’s first fair in two years, but also because the fair has never before presented such an extraordinary cross-section of work by the region’s most significant artists, from newly discovered talents to the most collectible in contemporary art,” she said.

This year the fair is arranged in sectors highlighting different art formats.

In the first precinct aptly titled GALLERIES, 63 leading national and international galleries will present works for sale from emerging and renowned contemporary artists.

The inaugural international platform, VIDEO, presented by apparel and footwear retailer SUBTYPE, presents new directions in contemporary moving image artwork by emerging and established artists from around the world.

In response to this fair’s theme of “Djeembana” or “Place”, 11 local and international artists created videos which reflect on the collective and lasting impressions felt by people’s situated experiences in the world.

VIDEO offers first-time participation from international galleries, unable to physically exhibit, enabling dealers from across the globe to maintain a connection with Australasian collectors.

An on-site/off-site recital program LIVE, presented by Glenfiddich, features the energy of performance and sound art. It celebrates Australia’s most boundary-pushing artists with critically significant performances both at the fair and across the city, created to inspire and enthral the imagination.

Large-scale installations and spatial interventions, set within the expansive exhibition spaces within the Exhibition Centre, make up BEYOND.

BEYOND curator Emily Cormack said each of the installations questioned what this place was when we were without each other.

“In different ways the works draw us to one another, inviting physical proximity, wrapping us, inviting us to dance, sit or digitally interact, enveloping us and affecting us,” she said.

Occupying the entrance foyer of the fair are the ambiguous tendrilled forms and interactive video works of Caroline Rothwell’s Infinite Herbarium project, presented by Tolarno Galleries.

PROJECT ROOMS is area where artists from Gertrude Contemporary and LAST Collective participate in a non-commercial platform for artistic experimentation where performance and multimedia meet in thrilling outcomes.

Single malt scotch whisky label Glenfiddich has collaborated with rising Australian multidisciplinary artist Jordan Gogos to create a unique bar experience at the fair serving a dynamic menu of cocktails, highballs and drams.

The Melbourne Art Fair will extend into inner Melbourne with a new series LATE NIGHTS. In partnership with Broadsheet, the nights spotlight art across the city, including an opportunity for galleries to open their doors on the eve of the fair.

The Melbourne Art Fair is at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on South Wharf from Thursday, February 17 to Sunday, February 20.

Program details and ticket purchases at

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