Over its 25 year history, the Melbourne Art Fair (MAF) has been instrumental in stimulating critical and commercial attention for galleries and their artists, presenting a rich and diverse cross-section of the region’s visual art scene and directly contributing to the livelihood of living artists.
Featuring a selection of 70 galleries confirmed to participate in the 2014 event, the Melbourne Art Fair will showcase over 300 artists from around the world presented by some of the best Australian, New Zealand and other international galleries, including Anna Pappas Gallery, Anna Schwartz Gallery, ARC ONE Gallery, Chalk Horse, Fehily Contemporary, Greenaway Art Gallery, Pearl Lam Galleries, Starkwhite, Sullivan + Strumpf, Tolarno Galleries, and William Mora Galleries, just to name a few.
Officially launching the Fair on Wednesday 13th August, the Vernissage is the most anticipated event on Melbourne’s visual arts calendar. It is the ultimate night for art enthusiasts and offering guests the opportunity to preview the Fair. Guests will also treated to a series of live performance art including artist and practicing Raelian, Luke Roberts dressed as his most famous alter ego, Pope Alice; and Noula Diamantopoulos, will engage visitors in short written dialogues carried out in complete silence.
Other performative elements include a new collaboration between Michael Zavros, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Auckland-based gallery Starkwhite, involving a Rolls-Royce Wraith, chocolate coined money and Australia’s superstar models, the Stenmark Twins.
Galleries will be presented in two sections – with established galleries in the main MAF Galleries section and emerging galleries and artist collectives in the MAF Platform section. MAF Platform continues the Fair’s commitment to exhibiting the best emerging talent by presenting curated galleries and artist run initiatives younger than five years.
MAF Project Rooms are again being dedicated to the best Australian institutions, while MAF Edge will, for the first time, present a curated performance and interactive group of established performance artists. Curated by Simone Hine and Kyle Weise, co-directors of Screen Space, MAF Video will present a curated selection of the best new media and video art by artists at the forefront of their field.
Other highlights include the unveiling of a new, large-scale and highly ambitious installation piece by a prominent Australian artist by the Melbourne Art Foundation, and the Melbourne Art Fair Lectures and Forums – presented in association with Museum Victoria, featuring a series of lively panel debates, discussions, lectures and forums presented over four days.
Deriving its name from the Australian modernist and literary artist movement that sought to shake up traditional establishments of the 1940s, The Angry Penguin is a European inspired pop-up restaurant in collaboration with MAF Ambassador, Ian Curley and Bay Leaf catering’ Derek Boath.
The Melbourne Art Fair’s new Director, Barry Keldoulis described the 2014 program as extremely bold and inspiring: “Our selection of artists and galleries for 2014 will build on the Melbourne Art Fair’s grand traditions and significantly add to the excitement the event always generates.”
The 2014 Melbourne Art Fair will be held at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building from 13 – 17 August. For more information, visit: www.melbourneartfair.com.au for details.
Image: Installation view of Ian Burns, Clouds at the 2012 Melbourne Art Fair