Melbourne Art Fair returns June 2020

MAF is back with a new date, new venue and new artistic director.

Words: Camilla Wagstaff

It’s been a turbulent half-decade for the Melbourne Art Fair (MAF). But the team behind the fair strives forward with its 16th iteration next year. They’re transforming the time, place and approach of the event, to position it as Australia’s “most progressive fair for contemporary art”.

MAF 2020 will be staged from 18 to 21 June in its new permanent home at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. “After a temporary home in 2018, Melbourne Art Fair is ready to be elevated to a fair of international standing,” says Melbourne Art Foundation CEO and director Maree Di Pasquale of the new venue.

Around 50 of the region’s top galleries are expected to participate, with the fair seeking to retain the more tightly curated, boutique feel of 2018. Di Pasquale says the team is “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”.

Di Pasquale also told the Sydney Morning Herald that an inaugural artistic director will be announced “within four weeks”. The newly-appointed role will oversee the gallery selection alongside an “independent panel” yet to be announced.

Making its debut in 2020, a new sector Beyond will harness the epic exhibition spaces within the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre via curated installations and spatial interventions, presenting opportunities for artists that extend beyond the art fair booth.

As a first, MAF will be co-timed and co-located with DENFAIR – Australia’s leading destination for contemporary design – in an effort to tailor an offering that attracts an established audience of architects and interior designers. “The alignment with DENFAIR demonstrates our commitment to expanding and enriching the visitor experience, to broaden the awareness and global movement of coupling art and collectable design, whilst providing an exciting destination for the connoisseur and art loving public alike,” says Melbourne Art Foundation chair Charles Justin.

Melbourne Art Fair 2020 runs from 18 to 21 June at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Wharf. Gallery applications close October 2019.

Image: Installation view of Elizabeth Willing’s solo exhibition with Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne, at Melbourne Art Fair 2018. Courtesy: Melbourne Art Fair.

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