How do you buy your artworks? You go to galleries and see if there's something you like. Also, you browse the internet - but you rarely buy there, because you need to see "in flesh" artworks you are purchasing. Or, you could go to museums and yearningly look at some paintings and sculptures and drawings you will never be able to buy. Or, obviously, you could go to art auctions, and see if you'll get the opportunity to acquire some work for a reasonable price. And now, picture yourself in the middle of the place where all these stories flow into one. Hm, could this really be possible? All important galleries and tons of precious artworks at the same place at the same time?

[caption id="attachment_148694" align="alignright" width="445"]Art13 London Art13 London[/caption]

History of Art Fairs

Joking aside, art fairs are not the invention of the modern times. Actually, the first precursor and forerunner of art fair opened to public waaaay back, in 1737, and that was the Paris Salon, or just Salon. Salon started even earlier, in 1667, when the French Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture organized its first art exhibition, but this was only semi-public. Of course, back then, there were far less artworks than today, so these fairs were really only exhibitions. However, Salon, and The Royal Academy in London that was established few decades later, were very influential, setting the public taste, as well as the reputation of artists and their exhibited artworks - prices included. Art exhibitions were essential at introducing general public with new achievements in art - this goes for both 18th and 20th century. For example, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Armory Show was organized in New York City - it was the International Exhibition of Modern Art, organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors and this was the first big exhibition of modern art in the United States, held in 1913 (Note: this shouldn't be confused with the Armory Show art fair in New York - it was established in 1994). Perhaps the similar impact on the art world had the International Surrealist Exhibition, held in London in 1936. The art fairs as we know them today started to appear during the second half of the 20th century. In 1967 Art Cologne started its successful and long life as the first modern art fair. Others followed - Düsseldorf art fair, Basel art fair, Washington "Wash art" fair... Today, some of the most important art fairs, apart from Art Cologne and Art Basel (that has spread to Miami and Hong Kong, as well), are the London Art Fair, Frieze Art Fair‚ Art Madrid, TEFAF in Maastricht, FIAC, Artissima, Art Brussels... These art fairs are attracting hundreds of thousands visitors that spend millions of dollars each year. So, why are we telling you this? Well, because you can find all of the information right here, at Widewalls. What's going on, what was sold, which galleries have participated, how many visitors have spent how much money, all garnished with fresh news from every art fair we are following - and we are following really a lot of them: every art fair that's significant is right here.






Henri Cartier-Bresson - On the Banks of the Marne, Paris, 1938
Photography, Art Fairs   |   Elena Martinique

Adapting to the COVID-19 era, photo l.a. introduces the inaugural edition of Virtual Connect + Collect, uniting all art players in the virtual space.

Jonathas De Andrade - O espírito das águas / The water spirits, 2017
Art Fairs, Exhibition Announcements   |   Elena Martinique

Ahead of Artissima’s 2020 edition scheduled for November, the fair will present a curated online project featuring exhibitors from Artissima 2019.

Art Fairs   |   Elena Martinique

Open Ch.ACO is the 2020 edition of the Chilean art fair, taking place online and presenting 35 international galleries.

Top Lists, Art News, Art Fairs   |   Angie Kordic

These pricey six artworks by female artists are still standing in Frieze Art Fair's Online Viewing Room of the 2020 New York edition.

Nazy Vassegh
Collectors' Tip, Art Fairs   |   Angie Kordic

Eye of the Collector CEO and Founder Nazy Vassegh on what makes her brand new art fair stand out and why it is well worth a visit this September.

Isadora Kosofsky - Jeanie and Will kiss on the street in Los Angeles, California. From the book- Senior Love Triangle, 2019
Photography, Art Fairs   |   Elena Martinique

Paris Photo, the largest international art fair dedicated to the photographic medium, is inaugurating Paris Photo New York 2020 in form of the online catalogue.

Top Lists, Art Fairs   |   Elena Martinique

Art Basel Hong Kong launched the Online Viewing Rooms, a new digital-only platform for its galleries and collectors. Here are 6 themed rooms you can visit right now.

SCOPE New York 2019
Art Fairs   |   Elena Martinique

SCOPE New York returns for its 20th Anniversary show at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea with a focus on The New Contemporary.