Artist Profile

MELBOURNE ART FAIR V SYDNEY ART FAIR

EARLIER THIS YEAR, AS THE 2017 EDITION OF SYDNEY Contemporary (SC) art fair hit its straps, one visitor among the many attending the four-day event could be seen attentively navigating her way between the spacious booths. That was Maree Di Pasquale, the recently appointed CEO of the Melbourne Art Fair (MAF) who has been charged with resurrecting the biennial MAF, the last edition of which was cancelled in 2016 at short notice among accusations that it had become moribund and irrelevant.

Many thought MAF’s condition terminal, but it will return to the art fair calendar on 2-5 August 2018 at Southbank Arts Precinct, just a few weeks before SC transitions from a biannual to an annual art fair. Both fairs will be vying to attract the same collectors, buyers and international visitors and competition is bound to be fierce. For Di Pasquale, visiting SC was an opportunity to refine her views on how best to reposition and resurrect MAF in a radical new livery.

The collapse of MAF in 2016 was precipitated by the withdrawal, just a few months before the fair’s opening, of four high-profile galleries – Roslyn Oxley9, Tolarno, Alcaston and Anna Schwartz – causing MAF’s then CEO, Anna Pappas, to issue a terse cancellation statement. Without these big-ticket galleries,

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