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Discovering Art Fairs You Likely Haven’t Heard Of

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Successful art fairs are typically successful for a reason. They generate significant attention and sales because they often showcase exceptional artworks that captivate audiences. Nevertheless, the level of success at an art fair may not always accurately reflect the quality of the artworks.

There are so many gems hidden among the unknown or unpopular art fairs in the world. Here are some you probably haven’t heard of.

VOLTA BASEL
VOLTA made its debut in Basel in 2005 as a collaborative effort between dealers and friends.
Image courtesy of Volta Basel.

VOLTA is a globally recognized contemporary art fair that invites art enthusiasts and collectors to discover the Art of Now. Each gallery at VOLTA showcases work that mirrors the evolving world we live in, encouraging us to embrace fresh perspectives.

VOLTA made its debut in Basel in 2005 as a collaborative effort between dealers and friends. The satellite fair swiftly evolved into a platform supporting ambitious international galleries, enabling them to participate in major art market cities. Shortly after, VOLTA New York emerged in 2008. Throughout its existence, VOLTA has remained responsive to external markets and the ambitions of our galleries. Together, the fair and its galleries navigate market trends, resulting in a space that offers forward-thinking curation—a truly unique and international artistic dialogue for collectors to explore. Now, the fair looks ahead to crafting the 2024 editions to make them the most vibrant chapter so far.

FOCUS ART FAIR
Focus Art Fair believe they are a place where everything coexists and anyone can create their own narrative.
Image courtesy of Jagi Films and Focus Art Fair.

FOCUS Art Fair is an annual contemporary art fair organized by HongLee, an international art agency based in Paris. Each year, introduce galleries from over 40 countries under one theme selected according to the ongoing art trend and issues. In an immense Art scene composed of global galleries, artists, artworks, and collectors, FOCUS aims to become a one of kind event that can inspire a new artistic wave, through a world tour at the global art market hubs such as Paris, London, and New York.

The fairs vision and mission is to present the most trendy art and the contemporary messages of artistic discourse that encompasses it to the audience under the big theme. Rather than simply buying and selling art they plan an art fair which creates a very focused, in-person encounter for everyone by providing meaningful experience. Focus Art Fair believe they are a place where everything coexists and anyone can create their own narrative.

LISTE ART FAIR

Liste consists of three formats: Liste Art Fair Basel, Liste Showtime Online and Liste Expedition Online.

Liste Art Fair Basel was founded in 1996 and is the international fair for new discoveries in contemporary art. Every year in Basel, a younger generation of galleries exhibits artists who are outstanding representatives of the latest developments and trends in contemporary art. For all visitors, ranging from a high-calibre professional audience to anyone interested in art, Liste is synonymous with experiencing international artistic positions that are not only focused on the present but are also creating it – with new aesthetics, media and values. Many of today’s most important and successful galleries for contemporary art laid their foundations at Liste.

Liste Showtime Online was launched in 2020 as a digital art fair. Starting in 2021, the platform will feature galleries and project spaces that are unable to participate in the physical fair, while simultaneously giving galleries at Liste Art Fair Basel the opportunity to expand upon their presentations in the digital realm.

Liste Expedition Online was launched in December 2021 as a non-commercial, digital research forum presenting the world’s newest and most important positions in contemporary art. 

This year, the fair welcomed 88 galleries from 35 countries with artworks by over 100 artists, 66 solo and 18 group presentations, and two joint stands.

CLIO ART FAIR

Image courtesy of Clio Art Fair.

Clio Art Fair is a curated fair born with the challenge to launch independent artists and showcase the careers and achievements of already affirmed creative minds. By specifically targeting artists without any exclusive NYC gallery representation, the fair focuses its attention on the kinds of contemporary art and interventions that are being created by independent artists all over the world.

Without the constraints and usual concerns of the art business, these artists have been freed up to use different materials and media and to deviate from accepted art practice definitions. The resulting work being exhibited seeks to foster a dialogue that transcends prescribed geographies, hierarchies, and markets; and to further opportunities for greater expression of new media and ever ground-breaking content.

Author

Bardi Osobuanomola Catherine is a budding storyteller. Her academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Benin. She has contributed to numerous Art publications across Africa. She is currently a Writer for Art News Africa.

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