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The end of art fairs as we knew them

30 September 2021

The end of art fairs as we knew them

In the Artworld, exhibiting at art fairs is a key part of galleries and artists’ year planners. They offer great opportunities to introduce works and create meaningful and long-term relationships with potential buyers and collectors. Art fairs are instrumental in establishing and sharing cultural and creative trends and creating a space where the artworld can meet. It is therefore an imperative for the artworld that art fairs are sustained in some form or another.  

Until recently, art fairs had prospered, however, it all changed with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021. Due to national lockdowns in most parts of the world, a large percentage of art fairs were canceled. This devastated the art market and industry leaders started looking for alternative and more sustainable options. 

Enter the hybrid fair - a balance of virtual and physical programming. Online exhibitions are the new ‘black’ and provide galleries and artists with a lifeline to help them continue sharing their work.  Not only do online fairs and exhibitions give galleries and artists an opportunity to access a much larger audience than before but also keeps the art fair community relationships going. 

With the new digital art fairs, international audiences can view and buy work they have not been able to buy before. Tickets for either the virtual or physical fair are sold online. For example, Digital Art Fair Asia offers customers three different ticket packages giving buyers the opportunity to choose which package suits them based on whether they can travel and their budget - which ensures a far larger audience.

More and more fairs will offer both a virtual and physical art fair experience, as well as showcase both physical and digital artworks and installations. 

With the ever-changing environment, the art world has shown it can adapt to new technology and software and while art fairs will always be pivotal in the interaction between buyers and sellers, change is inevitable...and change we must.  

Here is a list of some of the more notable international art fairs around the world with a smaller section at the bottom of digital art fairs. 

For a pdf download list of these fairs and links to their websites, please click here. 

Some of the most notable Fairs around the world include: 

United States of America 

Art fairs in New York City 

  • The Armory Show (NYC)

  • The European Fine Arts Fair (TEFAF) 

  • Outsider Art Fair (NYC) 

  • Art on Paper (NYC)

  • SPRING/BREAK Art Show (NYC) 

  • Frieze New York 

Art Fairs in Los Angeles, California 

  • LA Art show 

  • Frieze LA 

Other notable Art Fairs in the USA & Canada

  • FOG Design+Art (San Francisco) 

  • Art Basel Miami

  • Art Toronto

 South America 

  • ArtBo (Colombia)

  • arteBA (Argentina) 

  • Zona Maco (Mexico City)



Art Fairs in England 

  • Frieze London

  • Masterpiece London

  • PAD London

  • 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (London) 

Art Fairs in France 

  • FIAC, International Contemporary Art Fair (Paris) 

  • PAD (Paris) 

  • AKAA (Paris)

Other Art Fairs in Europe 

  • BRAFA Art Fair (Belgium) 

  • TEFAF Maastricht (Netherlands) 

  • ARCO (Madrid)


  • 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (Morocco) 

  • Art X (Lagos, Nigeria) 

  • Investec Cape Town Art Fair (South Africa)

  • FNB Joburg Art Fair (South Africa)


  • Melbourne Art Fair 

  • Sydney Contemporary 

  • The Other Art Fair 

  • Affordable Art Fair Sydney 


  • Hong Kong International Art Fair 

  • India Art Fair 

  • ART STAGE (Singapore) 

  • S.E.A Focus (Singapore) 

Middle East 

  • Contemporary Istanbul 

  • Art Dubai 

  • Abu Dhabi Art 

Notable up and coming digital art fairs include: 

  • Digital Art Fair Asia Edition  

  • Crypto and Digital Art Fair (CADAF)

  • NFT Art Fair (NYC)


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