The phenomenon is real; art fairs have changed the world of art gallery purchasing. With the increase of the global market, art fairs are now one of the most popular stages for galleries and artists alike to gain popularity, meet other participants, and increase sales in ways not feasible a decade ago. Further, in today’s world of maximum efficiency, visitors get the most “bang for their buck,” encountering more pieces of artwork in a brief period than ever before. In fact, gallery sales at art fairs increased to 40% of all gallery sales since 2014. This venue allows galleries worldwide to come to one location, increasing their traffic exponentially, and provides one-stop shopping for collectors, as well as socialize and attend educational opportunities with other like-minded people.
With so many fairs to choose from, these are some of the top choices in international art fairs.
TEFAF. Maastricht, Netherlands (March 9-18,2018)
Established in 1988, TEFAF is widely considered the leader in the art fair world and draws European collectors browsing in over-the-top style. The fair is known for a broad range of offerings but shines with Old Masters’ paintings. With an expert-filled vetting committee, the quality found her is second to none. To round off the status of this event, the annual TEFAF Art Market Report is published providing expert insight into global trends in the art world.
Art Basel. Basel, Switzerland (June 14-17, 2018)
Art Basel was established in 1970 by local gallerists and has since grown into the biggest contemporary art fair in the world. Expanding to add locations in Miami & Hong Kong, the event held in June in Basel, Switzerland, is considered mandatory for serious art collectors. In 2017, over 4,000 artists exhibited; another valuable presentation is the slate of “Conversations,” lectures by leading art experts designed to inspire and educate collectors, art gallerists, and artists alike.
ARCO Madrid. Madrid, Spain (February 21-25, 2018)
ARCO Madrid was established in 1982 and is one of Europe’s leading and popular art fairs. Along with gallery exhibitions, a series of lectures (by invitation only) encouraging debate on current issues and projects, and specially focused exhibitions take place. In 2017, 200 galleries from 27 countries participated, and included a special display focusing on Argentina and featured 12 Argentinian galleries.
Hong Kong Arts Festival. Hong Kong, China (mid-February to mid-March, 2018)
Commencing in 19703, Hong Kong Arts Festival is an international arts festival, promoting all genres of art, including both visual and performing. One of the best Asian art fairs, it features both overseas and local artists of the performing and visual arts and includes workshops, tours, and outreach programs.
Art Dubai. Dubai, UAE (March 21-24, 2018)
2017 marks the 11th year of Art Dubai, known as one of the pre-eminent places to discover in the middle east, is leading a rising interest in art and culture in the area. Growth in demand in the region, along with political and economic challenges in surrounding countries, is helping to build Dubai as a hotbed for art.
Art Miami. Miami, Florida (December 5-10, 2017)
Considered the unofficial launch of the Miami Art Week, this event is one of the premier locations for 20th and 21st-century contemporary art. Featuring top historical non-living artists of the modern, post-war and pop eras, it also highlights mid-career established artists whose work in found in private or corporate collections.
Frieze Art Fair. London, England (October 5-8, 2017)
This contemporary art fair is the oldest event which specializes in living contemporary artists. Although organized to sell art, this event has become a place for spectators to browse the wide variety of modern works to be found. Along with its sister event in New York and the Master’s event, held at the same time but focusing on bridging that gap between ancient and mid-century art, these have become widely-attended fairs, with something for every art lover.
This is just the “tip of the iceberg” of some of the many events to be found every year, worldwide, to browse beautiful pieces of work, meet other art enthusiasts and establish relationships with galleries, and further your understanding of art with lectures, presentations, and speaking engagements. For a new collector, the education and networking you can gain from these events is priceless.