Melbourne Art Fair announces 2018 gallery list and artist commission

MAF Chiharu Shiota, Absent Bodies, 2016 - photo by Zan WimberleyTaking place from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 August, Melbourne Art Fair’s 2018 edition will feature 40 leading galleries from Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, presenting a curated selection of some of the newest and most respected names in contemporary art.

The Fair returns with a focus on solo shows and considered group presentations from both new and established galleries. Melbourne Art Fair is the flagship event of Melbourne Art Week, set to take place for the first time in the Southbank Arts Precinct and alongside the iconic Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA).

“We are delighted to return with our 15th edition, focusing on the fundamentals of supporting contemporary art and living artists,” said Melbourne Art Foundation CEO and Fair Director Maree Di Pasquale. “We are very excited and humbled by the reception we have received by the industry and Melbourne’s cultural institutions.”

“Melbourne Art Fair will play a core role in reaffirming the city’s position as a commercial hub and centre for cultural accomplishment. The quality of galleries and affiliated programs, including the Melbourne Art Foundation 2018 Commission and Melbourne Art Week Keynote, are a testament to the Fair’s identity and strength as a leading showcase in the region.”

The main show sector, Galleries will present new and established galleries exhibiting a diverse range of artists and curatorial themes through both solo presentations and group shows of closely related works. Accent presents emerging artists of any age for discovery by the Australasian art world with single projects only.

A new proposal-based platform, Time will showcase five works of time-based media, including moving image, sound and performance art, presented across five locations around the city and the Southbank Arts Precinct, the new home of Melbourne Art Fair. Click here to view the complete list of galleries participating.

Commissioned by Bendigo Art Gallery in partnership with the Melbourne Art Foundation and supported by Artwork Transport, the Melbourne Art Foundation 2018 Commission has been awarded to prominent Melbourne-based artist Ronnie van Hout.

Commissioned for the first time in partnership with a regional Victorian institution, the ambitious large-scale work will be unveiled at Melbourne Art Fair before moving to its permanent home at Bendigo Art Gallery. Ronnie van Hout is represented by exhibiting galleries, STATION (Melbourne) and Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney).

“We are thrilled to work with the Melbourne Art Foundation on the 2018 Commission, and delighted that the selected artist is Ronnie van Hout,” said Karen Quinlan, Director of Bendigo Art Gallery. “Given his sculptural works are known for their social narrative and drama, this commission will undoubtedly set the tone for the anticipated 2018 Melbourne Art Fair.”

“It will also be a most welcome addition to the Bendigo Art Gallery collection after Melbourne Art Week. We look forward to working closely with Ronnie to realise his ideas for this new work.”

Widely regarded as an authority on China’s contemporary art scene, the Melbourne Art Foundation is pleased to announce Philip Tinari, Director of Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, will be the Melbourne Art Week Keynote speaker at Deakin Edge – Federation Square, on Tuesday 31 July 2018.

Prior to joining UCCA, Tinari launched LEAP – an internationally distributed, bilingual magazine of contemporary art. He is a contributing editor of Artforum and was founding editor of that magazine’s Chinese edition in 2007. Tinari was co-curator, with Alexandra Munroe and Hou Hanru, of the 2017 exhibition Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

“As a not for profit organisation, Melbourne Art Foundation’s commitment extends beyond the Melbourne Art Fair, to a wider program of talks, performances, awards and experiences which foster the awareness of contemporary art commercially, culturally and socially,” said Charles Justin, Melbourne Art Foundation Chair.

“Working closely with Victoria’s cultural organisations, public institutions, satellite art fairs, independent art spaces and commercial galleries, Melbourne Art Week brings together the commercial, social, cultural and environmental threads that underpin and sustain Melbourne’s vibrant art scene.”

The 2018 Melbourne Art Fair runs 2 – 5 August with the Collector First View and highly anticipated opening night Vernissage on 1 August 2018. Melbourne Art Week runs 30 July to 5 August 2018. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Chiharu Shiota, Absent Bodies, 2016. Installation view Anna Schwartz Gallery. Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery – photo by Zan Wimberley