Melbourne Art Fair to present its most ambitious artistic program yet for 2024

LGI New Retro photo by Gregory LorenzuttiAustralasia’s progressive forum for contemporary art and ideas, Melbourne Art Fair, is set to present its most ambitious artistic program yet, as it takes over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) from 22 – 25 February 2024.

Following its move to an annual summer model, the 2024 program promises to be the most ambitious in the Fair’s rich 35-year history, with over 100 artists showcasing a dynamic array of interdisciplinary practices, performances, moving-image art, conversations, immersive installations, and works of scale and significance presented by over 60 leading galleries and Indigenous art centres across 7,500sqm at the MCEC.

Spanning more than 50 events, and including 6 performances, 4 large-scale installations and 2 major new commissions, this year’s curated program, themed “ketherba/together,” reflects a commitment to showcasing significant work from both emerging and iconic artists.

Sectors have been programmed by an outstanding group of female curators, including Tamsin Hong, Shelley McSpedden, and Anador Walsh, complemented by research-driven projects from Gertrude (Naarm/Melbourne) and Firstdraft (Gadigal Country/Sydney), and new commissions including a re-envisioned work from award-winning contemporary dance company, Lucy Guerin Inc., which will mark the first time a work of contemporary dance has been included in the Fair’s commissioning program.

This thrilling new adaptation of the site-responsive NEWRETRO – a one-hour performance installation from Lucy Guerin Inc. explores the physicality of dance and its relationship to architecture. Performances occur during the Fair’s Piper-Heidsieck Preview on Thursday 22 February and as a free public event at Alpha60’s Chapter House on Friday 23 February, as part of the LATE NIGHTS program presented by Broadsheet.

Melbourne Art Fair’s major new commission from trailblazing contemporary feminist artist Julie Rrap, represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery (Gadigal Country/Sydney) will also be unveiled at this year’s Fair. 

SOMOS (Standing On My Own Shoulders), is a bronze life-size sculptural work in which casts of the artist’s body are caught in a moment of action as one figure appears to support the other on its shoulders. Realised in partnership with the Art Gallery of Western Australia where the work will make its permanent home following Melbourne Art Fair 2024.

Curated by Shelley McSpedden, Senior Curator at ACCA (Naarm/Melbourne), BEYOND harnesses monumental spaces within the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to present four large-scale installations and spatial interventions.

Presentations include Sullivan+Strumpf (Naarm/Melbourne, Gadigal Country/Sydney, Singapore) with Sanné Mestrom’s sculpture challenging female representation, The Renshaws’ (Meanjin/Brisbane) featuring Dane Mitchell’s experimental audio-visual installation in collaboration with Japanese musician and singer-songwriter composer Keiji Haino, Void_Melbourne (Naarm/Melbourne) showcasing an assembly of large, honey-comb paper structures by Louise Paramor, and The Commercial (Gadigal Country/Sydney) presenting celebrated poet and artist Jazz Money’s reflective work acknowledging Indigenous history.

Subtitled Performing Care, LIVE is an onsite performance program presenting a series of new commissions by an emergent generation of Naarm-based performance artists. This program curated by Anador Walsh, Director of Performance Review, ponders how performance can best be cared for and represented in an art fair context. Presented by Glenfiddich, LIVE proudly celebrates the practices of boundary-pushing artists and will feature performances by Diego Ramírez, Georgia Banks, Arini Byng and Kori Miles.

Presented by Alpha60, PROJECT ROOMS provides a non-commercial platform for artistic experimentation through research-driven presentations. Gertrude (Naarm/Melbourne) returns with Proximity, connecting the production environment to the Fair, featuring works by Elyas Alavi, Arini Byng, Francis Carmody, Ruth Höflich, Georgia Morgan, and Lisa Waup. Firstdraft (Gadigal Country/Sydney) debuts with “Soft Cell”, navigating nebulous borders with works by Shannon Toth, Dustin Voggenreiter, Amy Prcevich, Danica Kneževi?, and Easton Dunne.

A platform for critical discourse and the sharing of ideas, CONVERSATIONS brings together cultural communities and thinkers from across the creative spectrum. The program aims to address the future of art and its relationship to interdisciplinary practices and the contemporary world through a series of talks and panels featuring artists, gallerists, curators, collectors, critics and cultural luminaries.

Alongside the curatorial program, an array of partner activations champion artistic practice through bold new commissions and immersive environments. These activations, from fashion-art crossovers to whisky-infused atmospheres and immersive lounges, collectively enrich Melbourne Art Fair, celebrating the convergence of contemporary art, design, and culture.

The Melbourne Art Fair takes over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) from 22 – 25 February 2024. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: A re-envisioned work from award-winning contemporary dance company, Lucy Guerin Inc. will mark the first time a work of contemporary dance has been included in the Fair’s commissioning program – photo by Gregory Lorenzutti