Melbourne Art Fair returns with a new vision, venue and CEO

Melbourne Art Fair returns as the region’s most significant commercial platform for Australasian contemporary art. The Fair takes place as the anchor event of Melbourne Art Week, 2-5 August 2018, housed in a temporary structure within the Southbank Arts Precinct and alongside the iconic Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA).

Showcasing 40-50 galleries from Australia, New Zealand and the region, Melbourne Art Fair returns with a curated selection of some of the newest and most respected names in contemporary art. Owned and managed by Melbourne Art Foundation, the Fair is set to welcome 20,000 visitors over 4 days as the anchor event of Melbourne Art Week; a city-wide program embracing cultural organisations, public institutions, independent art spaces and commercial galleries in the creation of public events, exhibitions, talks and performances.

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.

The revitalised fair is driven by the newly appointed Melbourne Art Foundation Director and CEO Maree Di Pasquale, who brings international art fair expertise having worked in key global markets across Asia and the Middle East. Di Pasquale 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 curated offering, Melbourne Art Fair will reaffirm it’s position as the premier showcase for leading Australasian contemporary. It will once again be instrumental in driving critical and commercial attention for galleries and their artists. It will play an important and iconic role in reaffirming Victoria’s profile as a commercial hub and centre for cultural accomplishment.
— Maree Di Pasquale, Director and CEO

Di Pasquale is supported by a new Melbourne Art Foundation board with a diverse skill set across government, commerce and the creative industries. Chaired by Charles Justin, a founder of architecture giant SJB and past President of the Jewish Museum for 5 years, Melbourne Art Foundation is focused on its mission to support and promote contemporary Australian artists through commercial incentives.

ACCA’s distinctive rusty steel façade and the Southbank Arts Precinct’s artistically diverse, multidisciplinary program offers an inspiring setting for Melbourne Art Week’s anchor event.

The vibrant and connected precinct is home to ACCAMalthouse TheatreChunky Move, as well as nationally and internationally significant arts organisations, institutions and venues such as the University of Melbourne Faculty of VCA and MCM, the Margaret Lawrence Gallery, the future Buxton Collection, the Melbourne Recital CentreMTC Southbank TheatreNGVHamer Hall and Arts Centre Melbourne. Southbank Arts Precinct is a true demonstration of excellence in the visual and performing arts, and the ideal new home for Melbourne Art Fair. 

Rachel Ciesla