Melbourne Art Fair returns

Melbourne Art Fair returns

By Sarah Bartlett

Melbourne Art Fair has found a new home at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) in South Wharf and will return in June next year.

Southbank’s biennial art fair will take up permanent residency at the MCEC for its 16th edition displaying new works by artists from over 50 of Melbourne’s best galleries.

Last held in Southbank’s Arts Precinct in 2018, the art fair commemorated 30 years after a four-year hiatus. The return of the June event sees the continuation of its contribution as a progressive forum for contemporary art for Australasia.

Melbourne Art Foundation CEO and fair director Maree Di Pasquale said that the new residence would upgrade the art fair’s scaling on an international level.

“After a temporary home in 2018, Melbourne Art Fair is ready to be elevated to a fair of international standing taking up residence at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre,” she said.

“With proximity to the Melbourne Arts Precinct and world-class institutions NGV International, ACCA and The University of Melbourne, we look forward to continuing our partnerships to further position the city as the art and ideas capital of Australia.”

The new residence will see Melbourne Art Fair join the numerous international art fairs that take place in convention and exhibition venues around the world.

Melbourne Art Foundation chair Charles Justin said that MCEC was the perfect setting for Melbourne Art Fair.

“The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, designed by architecture heavyweights Denton Corker Marshall, is the ideal, long-term home for Melbourne Art Fair,” he said.

“With world-class exhibition facilities, central CBD access and proximity to the Melbourne Arts Precinct, it provides the best possible setting for an art fair of international standards.”

Ms Di Pasquale said that the fair’s new program would showcase the region’s most “exciting artists”.

“Melbourne Art Fair 2020 signifies a key moment in the evolution of the event as a platform for contemporary art and ideas. With strong curatorial affiliations we are developing a bold artistic program that will embrace galleries at the forefront of the contemporary art market – galleries with a rotating program of the region’s most exciting artists,” Ms Di Pasquale said.

The event will run at the same time as Melbourne’s annual design fair DENFAIR. The co-timing will assist with tailoring and welcoming an audience of architects and interior designers.

The Art Fair will have two main exhibition sectors, which will display Galleries, presenting noteworthy galleries, as well as Accent, which features the works of upcoming artists from 10 of the region’s most forward-looking young galleries.

Melbourne Art Foundation Commission will return for the eighth time with its support for artists’ work, which will be unveiled at Melbourne Art Fair and subsequently gifted to a notable Australian Institution.

Melbourne Art Fair has been running biennially since 1988 at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, presenting works from up to 90 Australian and international galleries, drawing sales of $8 -$10 million.

Melbourne Art Fair and DENFAIR will run as separate events, from June 18 to 21 in 2020 at MCEC. For more information visit

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