See our full list of art fairs around the world in 2023.
Singapore, 12-15 January
Tokyo, Japan, 7-9 July
This year sees the much-anticipated launch of two major international fairs in East Asia: Tokyo Gendai and Singapore’s Art SG. The former looks set to benefit from Japan having eased some of its onerous art import regulations last year. The world’s third largest economy is attempting to revive the global reach of its art market following a spectacular boom and bust at the end of the last century. Around 80 to 100 galleries, concentrated largely, though not exclusively, in Asia Pacific, will be selected by a committee including the leading international dealers Tim Blum (Blum & Poe) and Marc Glimcher (Pace).
Meanwhile, Art SG is boosted not only by Singapore’s attractive tax laws, but also the backing of Art Basel’s parent company MCH Group, which acquired a 15% stake in the fair last year. This influence has no doubt played a part in the high quality of the exhibitor list, which includes global gallery brands such as Gagosian and Thaddaeus Ropac as well as lesser-known spaces such as TKG+ from Taipei. Both events will be watched closely by leading industry figures, as Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s prime art hub hangs in the balance amid worsening security laws imposed by Beijing.
Photofairs New York
New York, US, 8-10 September
Asia Pacific’s largest fair organisers, Angus Montgomery Arts and Creo, will hold the first edition of Photofairs New York next door to the Armory Show in Manhattan’s Javits Center. The sister event of Photofairs Shanghai will be New York’s largest contemporary photography fair. The brand previously attempted to break the US market with a fair in San Francisco, which ran for just two editions in 2017 and 2018. The New York fair comes after Angus Montgomery acquired a 25% stake in Photo London, signalling its willingness to diversify outside the Asia Pacific region. It will also expand on the definition of photography with digital works and NFTs.
London, UK, 11-15 October
Frieze London, once the spunky new kid on the block, leaves teenagehood behind and turns 20 years old. The past two decades have seen a meteoric rise for the fair: the co-founders Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp have transformed it from a single event in Regent’s Park into an industry-leading brand spanning three continents, most recently holding an inaugural Seoul event in September last year.
Frieze also pioneered a number of features that we now think of as commonplace for art fairs, such as a programme of talks and performances that help transform a trade event into an art world moment. As of 2016, the fair has been owned by the American entertainment giant Endeavor, cementing its reputation as a slick and corporate event for blue-chip art and mega-rich collectors. But as Sharp once said: “You can’t remain cool forever.”
While Frieze is so far being tight-lipped about how it will celebrate its milestone birthday, we can nonetheless expect something big. Even when they are all grown up, it is hard to keep a party animal down.