MELBOURNE.- The Melbourne Art Fair
, Australias longest running art fair presented by the Melbourne Art Foundation (MAF), was officially launched this evening, featuring a premier selection of 70 galleries showcasing more than 300 artists from around the world.
The Fair is presented over four days from Thursday 14 August until Sunday 17 August in the iconic Royal Exhibition Building in Melbournes Carlton. The opening night Vernissage event, offering the first look at the Fair, was held on the evening of Wednesday 13 August marking the official opening of the Fair, that features respected galleries from Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the United Kingdom and South America.
Anna Pappas, Chair of the Melbourne Art Foundation said: The Melbourne Art Fair is a Melbourne institution presented by the Melbourne Art Foundation that has been operating over 24 years, presenting the very latest in contemporary art. This year the Fair pushes conceptual boundaries and offers some exciting new concepts.
Melbourne Art Fair Director Barry Keldoulis added: The focus of the Fair is to present the best contemporary art from Australasia and were excited to have attracted the foremost galleries and artists from the region to participate. Galleries are showing a diverse range of works spanning paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, new media and installation work by both established artists and emerging talent.
This year, galleries at the Fair are presented in two sections: MAF Galleries for established galleries and MAF Platform for emerging galleries and artist collectives with less than five years experience, continuing the Fairs commitment to exhibiting the best emerging visual arts talent, including blackartprojects, .M Contemporary, Art Collective WA, Venn Gallery, Lindberg Galleries, Moana Project Space and Daine Singer.
New sections at the Fair in 2014 include MAF Video, dedicated to new media and moving image art works and co-curated by Screen Space Directors Simone Hine and Kyle Weise. For the first time MAF Edge brings performance art to the Fair, with a selection of a curated performance art works happening on Vernissage and throughout the four-days of the Fair.
Highlights of MAF Galleries include a major site-specific installation by Ken + Julia Yonetani entitled The Last Suppermarket. Presented at Fehily Contemporary, the installation is a recreation of a real-life supermarket in which all the goods are made entirely from pure white salt. The work playfully examines the role of art fairs and issues of environmental sustainability, referencing the increasing salinity of Victorias farmlands and raising questions of habitat destruction, unsustainable production, the increase of environmental toxins, and food security.
International highlights include Pearl Lam Galleries, presenting at the Fair for the first time in 2014; Londons Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery, and from Japan, Kyotos COHJU Contemporary Art and Osakas Yamaki Art Gallery. Pearl Lam Galleries, which has bases in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, presents works by notable Chinese artists Zhu Jinshi, Qin Yufen, Su Xiaobai, and Michael Chow (aka Zhou Yinghua ~O-O~), alongside new works by acclaimed Australian painter Ben Quilty; English painter Loreta Sáez Franco; Japanese artist Sayaka Ishizuka; Tibeten-born artist Gonkar Gyatso; American artist Carlos Rolon; and Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos.
Anna Schwartz Gallery will present a solo exhibition of sculptures, photographs and video works by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm, internationally renowned for his humorous works that manipulate and distorts the familiar and works which offer a fierce critique of contemporary culture.
ARC ONE Gallery will present a group exhibition of works by respected Australian artists Dani Marti, Nike Savvas, Justine Khamara, Janet Lawrence and Imants Tillers, whilst Tolarno Galleries will present major works by Andrew Browne and Caroline Rothwell.
STARKWHITE, one of New Zealands pre-eminent galleries, will present a series of new works by acclaimed Australian painter and sculptor Michael Zavros and a special collaboration between Rolls Royce and the artist to be unveiled at the Vernissage.
Sullivan + Strumpf will present a new body of work by Australian artist Sam Leach; Olsen Irwin will exhibit new works by painter Guy Maestri; Liverpool Street Gallery is presenting works by Karl Wiebke and Ryan Renshaw Gallery is presenting work by Sam Smith and Sarah Ryan.
Stills Gallery will present a group exhibition of leading photographic artists Pat Brassington, Ricky Maynard, Trent Parke, Robyn Stacey and Roger Ballen, whilst Michael Reid will showcase new works by Joan Ross, Christian Thompson, Ham Darroch and Joseph McGlennon.
THIS IS NO FANTASY, a collaboration between Melbourne galleries dianne tanzer gallery + projects and Helen Gory Galerie, co-present a site-specific work that is the result of a collaboration between Australian artists Valerie Sparks and Abdul-Rahman Abdullah.