There’s been talk for a while now that a rival would arise and take on the Melbourne Art Fair. Why would anyone do that? OK, for a start the MAF has become kind of unwieldy. It certainly started as a focussed high end fair but over the years the edges have blurred to the point that you have to walk a lot of long corridors to find the good stuff.
Now an alternative is on offer, a new fair (spoiler alert) running at the same time as the MAF. It’s to be called the New Fair and will be run by art larrikins Vasili Kaliman and Jarrod Rawlins of the dealer gallery Kalimanrawlins. For anyone who has visited international art fairs this is hardly shattering news. Alternate fairs pop up all over the place often piggy-backing on the big local fair.
Still you do have wonder how it will fare (sorry) in Aus, a rather more combative environment. Kaliman and Rawlins are doing their best to stir things along by pronouncing their New Fair as “a more measured approach to Australian art fairs, tailored to a knowledgeable audience as opposed to the conventional bulk approach.” The New Fair will only feature five galleries (we’ve heard Foxy Production, New York, Hopkinson Cundy, Auckland, Kalimanrawlins, Melbourne, Michael Lett, Auckland, Robert Heald, Wellington) and a bookshop, so it is certainly not going to ramble. Interesting to see how KR go stepping forward with the Weetbix kids in this way.
More details and dates available here in the Kalimanrawlins press release.
Image: Helmet worn by Ned Kelly at the siege of Glenrowan on 28 June 1880 State Library of Victoria