Featuring 125 exhibitors selling work by over 600 handpicked artists, the North’s largest art fair returns this October with its largest offering yet, and under a proud new title. After celebrating its 10th birthday last year, the legendary Buy Art Fair has been renamed simply Manchester Art Fair, a move described by its organisers as paying tribute to the city’s “incredible cultural renaissance which has resonated around the world” and an expression of their commitment to continuing to support and nurture the burgeoning art market in Manchester and across the region.
Since it was first founded in 2008, the three-day event has grown to become the largest, longest established and most prestigious art fair in the North, drawing around 7,500 visitors annually and having previously sold work by renowned modern and contemporary artists including Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin and LS Lowry. 2018 marks Buy Art Fair/Manchester Art Fair’s second year in its new permanent home at Manchester Central after having roamed the city for some time.
The true highlight of the rather hectic, annual art bazaar, however, is in fact its sister event, The Manchester Contemporary, which constitutes the UK’s only invitation art fair for critically engaged contemporary art outside of London. Under its new curator, Nathaniel Pitt (founder of Division of Labour based in Salford, Worcester and London), this year’s edition will be made up of over 75% new exhibitors and the largest international presence to date, with many respected galleries from across Europe included among the selection. Despite this clear sense of ambition, however, Pitt describes his vision for TMC 2018 more modestly as being focused on presenting “a more accessible, artist-centred fair; both for the audience, collector and gallery alike.”
As you navigate your way through the dizzying-maze of stalls, look out in particular for the work of Belgian artist Ada Van Hoorebeke, represented by Grim Museum Berlin, who uses guerrilla tactics to collect men’s urine (yes) for her indigo batik works; and two key projects from Venture Arts in Hulme and Bethlem Asylum in South London by artists working outside of the traditional confines of the contemporary art world.
If you’re looking to get the Christmas shopping underway (ridiculously) early, here’s the place to start. Also check out the Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2018 being held around the corner at Upper Campfield Market (11-14 Oct).
Click ‘Book Now’ below and claim your free weekend tickets using the promo code: PORTRAIT.