The tenth edition of Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary looks set to be the most exciting yet; taking place in a brand-new venue and featuring more work by a wider selection of artists than ever before – including major names such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Banksy.
The Manchester Contemporary is the UK’s only invitational fair for critically engaged contemporary art outside of London. An exclusive performance by art collective Plastique Fantastique will open the weekend; and work by a range of exciting names, including Rachael Clewlow, Louise Giovanelli and Narbi Price, will be on sale. The weekend also sees the return of Pavel Büchler’s popular ‘in conversation’ series, this year featuring talks with Poppy Bower (curator at The Whitworth) and artist Simeon Barclay; plus, a curator-led guided tour of the fair, a live interpretation by artist Ruby Tingle of her latest self-portrait, Self in Shed, and various other events.
Buy Art is the largest art fair in the north of England and distinguishes itself from most exhibitions by placing the emphasis on the art being yours to keep, if you want. It’s a truly varied collection of work from a huge range of galleries, spanning painting, sculpture, photography and craft. Upcoming artists, such as Katie Edwards (winner of The Lawrence Printmaking Prize in 2017) and Ian Rayer Smith (winner of It’s Call Art 2017) will be represented, alongside art world superstars like Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Anthony Gormley, Peter Blake, Yoko Ono, David Shrigley and Cornelia Parker.
Launched at Urbis, Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary moved to the Old Granada Studios in 2010 – a “meanwhile” space according to Founder and CEO Thom Hetherington. Now the event will make use of the world-class facilities of the award-winning exhibition centre Manchester Central, housed in the former Manchester Central railway station.
The venue is not only in a prime location (right behind The Midland Hotel, close to Deansgate station), but also offers room to grow. And growing room is certainly what’s needed. This year, both fairs will collectively form the largest collection of exhibiting galleries and artists outside of London. It’s a highlight event in Manchester’s calendar – don’t miss it.
Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.
Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.
Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.