Auckland Art Fair 2018

By Sammy Preston MAY 2018

In May, the Auckland Art Fair (AAF) will return to The Cloud – not to a network of servers hovering in cyberspace, but the stratocumulus cloud-shaped multi-purpose venue on Queens Wharf on the Auckland waterfront. Designed by New Zealand practice Jasmax, the venue is an architectural imitation of Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud – and since opening in 2011 it has been home to many of the country’s cherished higher cultural pursuits: the Rugby World Cup, Auckland’s iconic Pasifika Festival, and since 2016, a showcase of new art from New Zealand and the Pacific Rim.

During a moment that sees art fairs critiqued for their viability, broader relevance and bearing for collectors in our digital world, Auckland has a fresher, skyward view on the format. First, it’s a little smaller than its counterparts. Unlike the endless halls of Basel and Frieze, the 2018 edition of AAF will feature a small but diverse collection of just 46 galleries and artists from New Zealand, Australia, parts of South-East Asia, the West coasts of North and South America, and the Pacific Islands.

Secondly, AAF will elevate the heart of the fair from sure-bet blue chip artists and cool midcareer stars to a new segment, dedicated to a set of next-big-thing graduate and Master’s students from Australia and New Zealand. Most galleries are exhibiting new work made specifically for the fair, or specially curated double presentations marrying established artists with up-and-coming graduates. There’s a clearer focus on artists and art with a lens for the future, and though it’s... Subscribe to read this article in full


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