Melbourne Art Fair 2018

Written by: Evan Lowenstein
When I heard that people were planning another Melbourne Art Fair to be held in the middle of a Melbourne winter in tents, I had the impression that it would be a half-baked affair and not a patch on the glory days when it was held at the Royal Exhibition Building every two years.

I must say that I was indeed very pleasantly surprised that when we approached the Fair‘s new site in Southbank in the area outside ACCA, a carnival atmosphere and a great joyous and party-like feeling permeated the custom-built marquees and, across the road at the Riding Hall, at the VCA studios.

There were more than forty art galleries and exhibitors in a very approachable environment and, in true Melbourne style, a very enthusiastic art buying public were there in their hundreds on every day and evening of the Fair.

For me, it was great to be able to wander the corridors of commercial galleries and art spaces that were filled with some very interesting artwork from galleries situated all over Australia.

Amongst the highlights were works by Elizabeth Willing at Tolarno Galleries and Karla Dickins at Andrew Baker Art Dealer’s of Brisbane.
As an added bonus, Spring 1883 was also held again at the grand but fading Windsor Hotel.
It was great to be able to spend another day on each of the four levels of the hotel, looking at art in suites and guest rooms that were filled with some site-specific installations by cutting-edge artists from all over Australia. Altogether, there was slightly less traditional work on view here than what was shown at the main Fair in Southbank.
For me the highlights were Gallerie Pom Pom; Kallie Rolfe’s wonderful and not erotic Juan Davila works and Arts Projects’ group show of participating resident artists.
All in all, it was a wonderful week of art in Melbourne and, hopefully, it gave the art world a well-needed shot in the arm.