Melbourne Art Fair

This year's program features 100-plus artists and more than 50 events, all filling 7500 square metres of space with art everywhere.
Sarah Ward
January 29, 2024

Overview

Back in 1988, a heap of Australian galleries banded together to get everyone looking at and supporting art in Melbourne. That event wasn't just a once-off. More than three decades later, Melbourne Art Fair is marking its 17th edition in 2024, this time with 60-plus galleries and Indigenous art centres taking part.

At Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from Thursday, February 22–Sunday, February 25, the numbers will paint their own picture. More than 100 artists are involved. Over 50 events are on the program. The lineup includes six performances, two major new commissions and four large-scale installations as well. And, it'll all fill 7500 square metres of space — which means art everywhere you look for four summer days.

Focusing on the theme "ketherba/together", 2024's Melbourne Art Fair bill has been overseen by a group of female curators that includes Tamsin Hong, Exhibitions Curator at London's Serpentine Galleries; Shelley McSpedden from Melbourne's Australian Centre for Contemporary Art; and Performance Review director Anador Walsh — and will welcome its first commissioned contemporary dance work, with Lucy Guerin Inc's one-hour performance installation NEWRETRO among the event's must-sees.

Also created specifically for the event is SOMOS (Standing On My Own Shoulders), a life-sized bronze sculpture by Julie Rrap, which features a cast of the artist's own body. After its debut, it'll make the Art Gallery of Western Australia its home.

Expect to spend time exploring pieces by Melbourne-born artist Howard Arkley in another of Melbourne Art Fair's big 2024 highlights. The exhibition will hone in on rare works hailing from the 70s–90s, complete with Arkley's last painting — which the public hasn't ever seen before.

Other talents featured include South-African multimedia artist Buhlebezwe Siwani, plus poet and artist Jazz Money — and galleries involved span not only a wealth of Melbourne sites such as Anna Schwartz Gallery, Void_Melbourne, Station, Sutton Gallery, Neon Parc and Gertrude, but also Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, Adelaide, Lisbon, and Singapore institutions.

And if you're looking for more reasons to head along, an array of video works, honeycomb-esque paper sculptures, Melbourne performance artists pushing boundaries and a series of talks should do the trick — plus a pop-up whisky bar.

Melbourne Art Fair 2022 images: Marie-Luise Skibbe.

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x