On the most basic level, Art Fairs are trade shows where the trade is art! Art professionals, from dealers and art advisors to collectors and curators, come together to network, make deals, meet prospective collaborators/clients and examine recent market trends and opportunities. Art fairs have been hugely popularized over the past decade and have become key events in the global art market. According to the latest Art Basel and UBS Art Market report, in 2000 there were some 55 art fairs around the world; In 2019 there were more than 260!
They play a critical role in the world of contemporary art and act as a platform for galleries and artists to make their presence known to an international audience, to which they may have not been able to engage with otherwise. Additionally, they are considered a great opportunity for collectors not only to buy art but also to learn about artists from all over the world, come in direct contact with myriad of gallery spaces and learn about the art of collecting by attending educational events. Most importantly, art fairs are a great opportunity to network with art professionals. It is the perfect environment for asking questions and getting some one-on-one time with people who are educated in the field.
Here is a list of 5 noteworthy international art fairs to visit so mark your calendars!
Art Basel is known as the biggest contemporary art fair in the world and many believe the most prestigious for a gallery to participate. The inaugural event was organized in 1970 in Basel, Switzerland and saw immediate success. Since then it has adopted two outposts, Miami Beach in Florida which started in 2002 and in 2013 Hong Kong in China.
Art Basel – June 18 – 21, 2020
Art Basel Miami Beach – December 5 – 8, 2019
Art Basel Hong Kong – March 19 – 21, 2020
Frieze Art Fair is an international contemporary art fair in London, New York, and Los Angeles. The first took place in 2003 in London. The US has been running since 2012 and the LA edition was inaugurated in 2019. The Frieze edition in London has the reputation for being the place where the Next Big Thing might just emerge and has become a must-attend event for many of the world’s most influential collectors, advisers and curators. Also, since the mid-2000s, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips auction houses have expanded their mid-season contemporary sales to coincide with ‘Frieze Week’.
Frieze London – October 3 – 6, 2019
Frieze New York – May 6 – 10, 2020
Frieze Los Angeles – February 14 – 16, 2020
TEFAF is an art and antiques fair organized by The European Fine Art Foundation in the MECC in Maastricht, Netherlands. Established in 1988, TEFAF is widely regarded as the world’s pre-eminent organization of fine art, antiques, and design. TEFAF runs three Fairs internationally – TEFAF Maastricht, TEFAF New York Spring, focused on modern and contemporary art & design; and TEFAF New York Fall, covering fine and decorative art from antiquity to 1920.
TEFAF Maastricht – March 7-15, 2020
TEFAF New York Spring – May 8-12, 2020
TEFAF New York Fall – November 1-5, 2019
The Armory Show is New York City’s premier art fair founded in 1994. Many smaller fairs and special events are held that same week in New York, effectively called “Armory Show Week”.
The Armory Show – March 4 – 8, 2020
Founded in Paris in 1974, the International Contemporary Art Fair brings together modern and contemporary art galleries from all over the world to the historical venue of the Grand Palais and Petit Palais.
FIAC – October 17-20, 2019