As summer comes to an end, the art world is also going back to school. Art fairs still represent an important part of the market, with a total of 16.6 billion dollars in sales in 2019, making up about 45% of the average gallery turnover. They draw in visitors and collectors, with a large proportion of the younger generations specifically taking interest. But the obstacles of 2020 and 2021 have affected galleries’ returns. The events sector has suffered particularly badly, with constant cancellations and postponements. With cultural venues finally opening back up, it is high time for art fairs to make a comeback as well. Organizers and exhibitors have learned from this period and rethought their business models. The result? The emergence of a hybrid model, both physical and online. Take a look at the art fairs planned for the coming months with Artsper!
The Armory Show 2020 VIP preview in NYC, photograph by James Nova
September 9 - 12 in New York City
This year’s edition of the Armory Show will gather around 200 exhibitors at the Javits Center, a change in location for the first time in years. With an average of 54,000 visitors, The Armory Show is considered one of the best American art fairs. It mainly specializes in modern masterpieces and contemporary emerging artists, and welcomes curators to give a different point of view on the artworks exhibited at the fair. Prices can be on the higher end, which also means famous galleries like Victoria Miro sometimes sell pieces for hundreds of thousands of dollars on the first day.
The Armory Show is also a great opportunity for museums and galleries to open their doors, and for many artistic events to take place in New York City. Thus, it is generally considered that Armory Week kicks the fall art season in the city.
During Armory week, expect the ...
- September 8 - 13, 2021 in New York City
- February 17 - 20, 2022 in Los Angeles
Using atypical, historic and underused exhibition spaces, this show offers more than 100 curatorial exhibitions throughout each city. All the artworks exhibited in the show will be available for purchase online.
September 9 - 12, 2021 in New York City
The 12th year of the Independent Art Fair will move to Cipriani South Street, taking place inside a recently renovated and historic ferry terminal. Despite being on only one floor, the fair will include three different exhibition spaces. This venue also allows the visitors and galleries to get outside for a bit on a 200+ sq. foot outdoor terrace. Since it is moving to a new venue, the fair has scaled down its list of exhibits. Previous years had up to 60 participating galleries but this year’s will feature around 40.
The fair was imagined as something between a fair and an exhibition, a “curated forum” or “curated platform”.
- September 23 - 26, 2021 in Los Angeles
- September 30 - October 03, 2021 in Chicago
- September 21 - 24, 2021 in Dallas
The Other Art Fair is a gathering of around 12 fairs organized each year internationally. It exhibits thousands of original artworks, made by over 1,000 artists from various mediums, whether it be painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media... Prices vary from $100 to $10,000, and in 2019 more than 11,000 artworks were sold and welcomed over 110,000 visitors.
The Other Art Fair has a very hybrid format: it allows for in-person art fairs, around the US and other English-speaking countries, but it also has an online platform for those who cannot attend the fairs. The fair has an online shop that allows people to buy the artworks displayed all year round.
The Other Art Fair in 2013
- September 24 - 26, 2021 in Basel
- December 2 - 4, 2021 in Miami
With more than 27,000 square meters of exhibition space and nearly 300 galleries representing a total of approximately 4,000 artists, Art Basel is one of, if not the, largest contemporary art fair in the world. Each year, it welcomes more than 90,000 visitors from 80 countries. Because of its great popularity, it’s not always easy to exhibit at Art Basel. Every year, the selection committee receives more than 1,000 applications, but only selects a few hundred. The competition is tough, so the artists exhibited must be well established and actively supported by the gallery that represents them.
Art Basel also organizes secondary fairs in other cities around the world, one of them being in Miami. This December, the fair will be held at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC). The Miami Beach edition usually welcomes 268 galleries and attracts more than 80,000 visitors.
October 14 - 17, 2021 in London
For 6 years now, each Frieze London art fair has gathered a crowd of over 60,000 curators, artists, collectors, galleries, critics, as well as the general public. For some, Frieze is an occasion to acquire valuable pieces, but for others is a cultural outing. Independent curators organize the feature sections and art discussions, called Frieze Talks.
Frieze London only focuses on living contemporary artists, “from the emerging to the iconic”. For more ancient artworks, time to head to Frieze Masters! Organized at the same time in the Regent’s Park in London, the art fair shows work made before the year 2000, unlike Frieze London. Its goal is to establish connections between historical and contemporary art.
As for applications, they usually have to be filled by January, with the selection among the 500 candidate galleries happening in April.
Frieze London also has a little sister in New York, whose fair occurs during the summer. It often welcomes around 200 galleries and 40,000 visitors. Even though the 2021 edition is already finished, the 2022 edition’s dates will be announced soon, so keep an eye out!
Frieze New York in 2019, photograph by James Nova
October 21 - 24, 2021 in Paris
The International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) will take place this year at the Grand Palais Éphémère. With nearly 200 galleries, of which a little more than a third are French, it is one of the most important art fairs. It records an increase in attendance each year, with more than 70,000 visitors in 2019, and is one of the most renowned art fairs in the world, alongside the Frieze fairs. FIAC also exhibits outdoors in locations such as the Jardin des Tuileries, Place Vendôme, the Eugène Delacroix National Museum and the Petit Palais. Applications for these exhibitions close each year in July. The notoriety and dynamism of this fair means there is a real excitement around it. Exhibitions, openings, events, it is the foundation of all Parisian art fairs.
October 29 - 31, 2021 in Toronto
There are not that many large-scale art fairs in Canada, but Art Toronto makes up for it. The fair covers many time periods and thus exhibits contemporary and historical artworks.
The in-person event will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, but it will be complemented by an online fair, available from October 28 to November 7.
Art Toronto in 2016, photograph by Travis Wise
November 4 - 7, 2021 in New York City
The ADAA Art Show gathers some of the best American galleries, and focuses on both historical and contemporary artworks. The exhibitions are carefully selected and curated for the fair, and each one encourages interaction with the galleries and the pieces.
It is organized by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), and benefits the Henry Street Settlement, which is a non-profit that specializes in social service, health care and art. Thanks to this massive partnership that has existed for 3 decades, over $33 million has been raised for the organization, the equivalent of enough support for 50,000 New Yorkers each year.
November 11 - 14, 2021 in Dallas
The Dallas Art Fair will take place in the Dallas Arts District, a 68-acre area known for its vibrance and many cultural landmarks such as the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Arts District Theater. It will be held at the Fashion Industry Gallery, a 74,000 sq. foot space built in the Midmodern style. In 2019, the Dallas Art Fair welcomed around 100 exhibitors from 30 different countries. The 2021 exhibitors will be announced this September.
The Dallas Art Fair also has a Foundation that benefits Dallas museums and art centers. Over the years, it has raised over $1 million for its beneficiaries.
November 30 – December 5, 2021 in Miami
SCOPE Art Show is a gathering of multiple art fairs, and takes place in different cities every year. Over the last 15 years or so, SCOPE Art Show has organized over 75 art fairs, and cumulated $1 billion in sales and 1.2 million visitors.
SCOPE’s Miami Beach edition will start at the end of November on Ocean drive. It will welcome 140 exhibitors and is expected to receive around 60,000 visitors.
SCOPE Miami Beach in 2019, photograph by Geoff Livingston
Many fairs are expected this season, each varied in size and hosting a wide variety of artists. But there are many more coming, with numerous other events planned to take place from January on. This includes the LA Art show, which will be held at the LA Convention center from January 19 - 23, 2022 and for which applications are still open. This modern and contemporary art fair welcomes over 80 galleries, museums, and non-profit arts organizations from around the world in an exhibition space of over 180,000 square feet. Frieze Los Angeles will take place from February 17 to 20, 2022 in Beverly Hills, and SCOPE NYC, whose dates have not been announced yet, will follow.
Artsper has prepared a calendar of this Fall’s art fairs so you don't miss a thing, discover it now! And if participating in an art fair still seems inaccessible to you, why not try setting up your own pop-up gallery?