Top Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Next Art Fair
Art fairs can be intimidating. An integral part of the art market ecosystem, they bring together artists, dealers, collectors, curators, critics, patrons, and other advocates of the visual arts all in one place at the same time. As the Armory Show opens in New York this week, our experts share top tips on how to make the most of the experience of visiting an art fair.
Plan your visit
Art fairs can be daunting, and if you don’t plan your visit, it can be easy to miss great work. Study the map of the fair before your visit and have it close to hand. It is impossible to stick to a pathway through the fair (you will inevitably be led astray by eye-catching artwork or coffee/cake pit stops) so mark the galleries you know you’d like to see and check them off as you visit them.
Don’t just stick to visiting the galleries you know - the fair is a place for discovery, where the very best galleries from around the world come together. Never been to Bogota, Mumbai or Shanghai? You can visit leading galleries from these cities within a few hours.
Don’t be shy - ask questions
Galleries put their best foot forward at the fair, bringing works by their most exciting artists, and they are keen to talk about them! Especially later in the week, galleries are itching for some conversation. Don’t be shy to ask about an artist, whether they have any exciting exhibitions coming up, where they’ve shown recently and prices.
"You can tell a really serious collector by their footwear: they are all in sneakers."
Remember that great work you saw on stand B23… or was it D23? Avoid confusion by taking lots of pictures and notes - do have a look at the wall labels for reference and make sure you take down the name of the gallery too. Reading through your notes at the end of the day will remind you of what you saw, and what you might want to go back to take a closer look at.
Comfort first, style second
You are going to be on your feet a lot, so wear comfortable shoes and make sure to stay hydrated! You can tell a really serious collector by their footwear: they are all in sneakers!