Words: Charlotte Middleton
The much-loved Melbourne Art Fair returns from 17 to 20 February 2022, with details of participating galleries and Indigenous Art Centres and its expanded program now available.
With a reputation as a premier Australasian forum for contemporary art and progressive ideas, the Fair will bring together more than 50 of the region’s leading galleries, alongside an exciting line-up of conversations, special projects, commissions, and performances.
Spanning an area of 7,000sqm at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the physical Fair will be mirrored by a virtual edition running from 17 February until 3 March 2022.
The Fair is also partnering with BetaCarbon to break new ground in carbon emission reduction for the artworld, with at least 300 tonnes of carbon to be offset.
“Set to be the first Australian art fair since the start of the pandemic, and the first major event of the cultural calendar for 2022, Melbourne Art Fair is excited to once again connect galleries and their artists with collectors and the art loving public,” says Melbourne Art Foundation CEO and Fair director Maree Di Pasquale.
“We are proud of the Fair’s resilience and digital innovation that was accelerated by the global pandemic, but there is no real substitute for seeing art and people physically. The return of Melbourne Art Fair brings a renewed sense of celebration and optimism in the artworld.”
The gallery list encompasses both established and emerging galleries, as well as welcoming five Indigenous-owned Art Centres through the government-funded Melbourne Art Fair Indigenous Art Centre program (IACP).
Returning galleries include: Anna Schwartz Gallery (Naarm/Melbourne), Art Collective WA (Boorloo/Perth), Blackartprojects (Naarm/Melbourne), Chalk Horse (Warrang/Sydney), Daine Singer (Naarm/Melbourne), Darren Knight Gallery (Warrang/Sydney), Despard Gallery (nipaluna/Hobart), Flinders Lane Gallery (Naarm/Melbourne), Fox Jensen (Warrang/Sydney, Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland), GAGPROJECTS (Tarntanya/Adelaide), GALLERY 9 (Warrang/Sydney), Jacob Hoerner Galleries (Naarm/Melbourne), James Makin Gallery (Naarm/Melbourne), Jan Murphy Gallery (Meanjin/Brisbane), Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art (Naarm/Melbourne), MARS Gallery (Naarm/Melbourne), Martin Browne Contemporary (Warrang/Sydney), Murray White Room (Naarm/Melbourne), Nanda\Hobbs (Warrang/Sydney), Neon Parc (Naarm/Melbourne), Niagara Galleries (Naarm/Melbourne), Nicholas Thompson Gallery (Naarm/Melbourne), Olsen Gallery (Warrang/Sydney, New York), Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery (Warrang/Sydney), Sophie Gannon Gallery (Naarm/Melbourne), STATION (Naarm/Melbourne, Warrang/Sydney), Sullivan+Strumpf (Warrang/Sydney), Sutton Gallery (Naarm/Melbourne), The Commercial (Warrang/Sydney), Tolarno Galleries (Naarm/Melbourne), Vivien Anderson Gallery (Naarm/Melbourne), and William Mora Galleries (Naarm/Melbourne).
Joining the Fair for the first time in 2022 are: 1301SW (Naarm/Melbourne), Chapman & Bailey (Naarm/Melbourne), Justin Miller Art (Warrang/Sydney), Moore Contemporary (Boorloo/Perth), The Egg & Dart (Dharawal Country/Thirroul), and Yavuz Gallery (Warrang/Sydney, Singapore).
Committed to supporting the next generation of artistic practice, the Fair also welcomes a further ten galleries established after 2016: Antidote Projects (Warrang/Sydney), COMA (Warrang/Sydney), DISCORDIA (Naarm/Melbourne), Finkelstein Gallery (Naarm/Melbourne), Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert (Warrang/Sydney), LON Gallery (Naarm/Melbourne), Michael Bugelli Gallery (Nipaluna/Hobart), N.Smith Gallery (Warrang/Sydney), ReadingRoom (Naarm/Melbourne), and The Renshaws’ (Meanjin/Brisbane).
The Indigenous-owned Art Centres joining the line-up are: Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre (Yirrkala), Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association (Milikapiti), Warlayirti Artists (Balgo), Waringarri Aboriginal Arts (Kununurra) and Milingimbi Art (Milingimbi).
The Fair’s Artistic Program in 2022 converges around the theme of Djeembana/Place, presenting several new platforms to showcase diverse mediums. ‘PROJECT ROOMS’ returns as a non-commercial platform for experimentation, while ‘BEYOND’, ‘VIDEO’ and ‘LIVE’ will be debuted as sectors for large-scale installation and spatial interventions, moving-image art, and performance and sound art respectively. ‘CONVERSATIONS’ serves as a platform for critical discourse and the sharing of ideas, bringing together cultural communities and thinkers from across the creative spectrum.
The full program with exhibiting artists will be announced in January 2022.
Tickets will go on sale Tuesday 5 October at 9:00am, with first release ticket prices available until 2 November.
Melbourne Art Fair 2022 key dates:
Thursday 17 February: VIP Preview 2pm-5pm; Vernissage 5pm-9:30pm
Friday 18 February: VIP access 10am – 12pm; General admission 12pm-9pm
Saturday 19 February: General admission 10am-6pm
Sunday 20 February: General admission 10am-5pm
This article was originally published 1 October 2021.
Image: Christopher Langton, Colony, 2019. Photo: Andrew Curtis. Courtesy: the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Naarm/Melbourne.