Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fair go

They’re at it again. Following up on their breakaway art fair a couple of years ago a group of Australian dealers are back with another one. The poor old Melbourne Art Fair must rue the day it went mainstream and allowed this sort of thing to happen. This time the Art Fair you can go to when you’re not going to the other art fair is called SPRING 1883 (14-17 August). There’s a taste of what they’re up to from the list of NZ galleries that have signed up for the ride - Gloria Knight, Hamish McKay, Hopkinson Mossman, Michael Lett and Robert Heald. The dealers behind SPRING 1883 are Vasili Kaliman (Station), Geoff Newton (Neon Park) and Vikki McInnes (Sarah Scout Presents). Kaliman and Newton are also well-known in the NZ art scene from their participation at the Auckland Art Fair and a close relationship with NZ artists.

SPRING 1883 will be held in the historic surroundings of the Windsor Hotel. This grand nineteenth century building was where the Australian constitution was drafted and was known for many years as the Duchess of Spring Street. The art fair’s name SPRING 1883 is said to refer to the Windsor Hotel’s opening date (no it’s not the address) although most sources give the rebuild of the Grand and its reopening as the Windsor as 1884. But given that at least one of the team of three is a known trickster maybe there is more to the art fair name and that date than meets the eye.