We all know that contemporary art fair season is in the Fall, when the international jet set of the art world goes on a frenzy, jumping from one city to the other. But Spring and Summer time still have some relevant fairs, and to be honest the greatest of all year — Art Basel. 

Spring and Summer are, by definition, the seasons for traveling. Warmer temperatures make it easier to pack, the days are longer and the weather is usually more suitable for long days of sightseeing. And since we love traveling while discovering contemporary art, what better chance than to travel for an art fair? 

So, to provide some (not really needed) inspiration, here are five great contemporary art fairs on the calendar for Spring and Summer 2023. 

contemporary art fairs summer - Taipei Dangdai
Taipei Dangdai 2022 | Photo courtesy Taipei Dangdai

Taipei Dangdai (May 12 – May 14, 2023)

In case you happen to be around Asia, perhaps after visiting the Gwangju Biennale, the first fair to check out is Taipei Dangdai Art & Ideas, which will take place in May at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.

As the title suggests, with dangdai meaning in Mandarin means “the present moment,” the fair constitutes an accurate and immediate survey of what is occurring in the contemporary Asian art world. This year, the program counts 90 galleries from across the globe, presenting their best artists and projects in different sections. Alongside the main section, the fairs will present Edge, where visitors can find the cutting edge of emerging art; Engage, a new sector of thoughtfully curated shows with a historical bent; Node, a special sector for large-scale and immersive installations, which focuses on Taiwanese artists, including a new commission by Fenko Catalysis Chamber. 

In its 4th edition, this year’s Taipei Dangdai will be an exceptional showcase of the quality of the local and regional art scene and a central meeting point in East Asia for internationally engaged collectors.

Taipei Dangdai 
May 12 – May 14, 2023 (VIP Preview and Vernissage Thursday 11 May) 
Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center (No. 1, Jingmao 2nd Rd, Nangang District, Taipei City, Taiwan)

For more information visit www.taipeidangdai.com 

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair - New York
1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in New York in 2022 | Photo courtesy 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair – New York (May 18 – May 21, 2023)

Granted it is always the right time to plan a trip to New York, if you are a contemporary art lover an even more exciting than usual time to visit is around the New York art week, with some of the most important fairs gathered in NYC. This year, the time to be there is around mid-May, when the city will host Tefaf New York (May 12 – May 16, 2023), Frieze Art Fair New York (May 17 – May 21, 2023), Volta New York (May 17 – May 21, 2023), and 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair. 

Despite all the aforementioned fairs being worthy of a visit, as they present the best in contemporary art nowadays, my suggestion will be to head over to Harlem first and visit the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair. 

Founded in 2013 by Touria El Glaoui, 1-54 is the first and only international fair dedicated to contemporary African art. With three editions per year—in London, New York, and Marrakech—as well as an annual pop-up fair in Paris, 1-54 is the leading global art fair committed to providing visibility to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. 

For this year’s New York edition, the fair will present 26 galleries hailing from across Africa, Europe, and the U.S., and the work of over 80 artists from Africa and its diaspora.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair – New York
Thursday, May 18 – Sunday, May 21, 2023 (Thursday, VIP & Press preview)
Manhattanville Factory District (439 W 127th Street, New York, NY)

For more information visit www.1-54.com

contemporary art fairs summer - ARCOlisboa
ARCOlisboa 2022 | Photo courtesy ARCOlisboa

ARCOlisboa (May 25 – May 28, 2023)

If you are looking for the perfect excuse to visit Lisbon and jump on the accidentally Wes Anderson reel trend, ARCOlisboa is your best chance. Much smaller, but equally as interesting as its sister fair in Madrid, every year ARCOlisboa turns the Portuguese capital into a meeting place for collectors, gallery owners, artists, and professionals from all over the world. In its sixth edition, the fair showcases a diverse range of contemporary artworks from both established and emerging artists across different sections. The main focus of the Fair, the General Programme, will be made up of national and international galleries whose artistic proposals will confirm their commitment to quality content. In addition, the fair will also host Africa in Focus, a section curated by Paula Nascimento, which will include the participation of galleries from the African continent, and Opening Lisboa, curated by Chus Martínez and Luiza Teixeira de Freitas, which will investigate new artistic languages and spaces in order to bring new content and research to the fair.

The fair’s energetic atmosphere, combined with the unique charm of Lisbon as its backdrop, always creates a memorable experience for attendees, making it a must-visit destination for all contemporary art lovers.

ARCOlisboa 2023
May 25 – May 28, 2023 (May 25 for professionals and VIPs only)
Cordoaria Nacional (Av. da Índia 1300-598, Lisboa, Portugal)

For more information visit www.ifema.es 

contemporary art fairs summer - Art Basel
Art Basel in Basel 2022 | Courtesy Art Basel

Art Basel (June 15 – June 18, 2023)

THE art fair, the most important in the world, and the one that everyone wants to attend will return to Basel, Switzerland, in June 2023. 

As always, Art Basel promises to be an extraordinary gathering of the global art community. With its stellar reputation and influential position in the art world, Art Basel offers a program that is both intellectually stimulating and visually captivating. For 2023, the fair l will feature 284 of the world’s leading galleries from across the globe, showcasing the highest quality of works across all media including painting, sculpture, photography, and digital artworks. 21 first-time participants will join a robust line-up of European exhibitors and returning galleries from around the world. In addition to remarkable presentations in its Galleries, Feature, Statements, and Edition sectors, Art Basel 2023 will present 76 large-scale installations and performances in Unlimited, while the Kabinett sector will debut at the Basel edition to spotlight distinct curated exhibitions within the main booths of exhibitors. Beyond the artworks, the fair also features engaging panel discussions and lectures, providing valuable insights into the latest trends and developments in the art industry. 

Whether you are an avid art collector, a passionate enthusiast, or simply curious about the art world, Art Basel offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a vibrant and inspiring atmosphere, connecting with artists, curators, and fellow art lovers from around the world.

Art Basel 
June 15 – June 18, 2023 (VIP Day and Vernissage June 13 and 14, 2023 – by invitation only)
Messe Basel (Messeplatz 10, 4058 Basel, Switzerland)

For more information visit www.artbasel.com

contemporary art fairs summer - Marseille
ART-O-RAMA in Marseille in 2022 | Photo courtesy ART-O-RAMA and Fræme

ART-O-RAMA Marseille (August 31 – September 3, 2023)

Closing off the season in style, the last contemporary art fair to visit this summer is hands down ART-O-RAMA in Marseille. If you have been following me for a while, you probably know how much I like Marseille, and I really wish I can go back this year and pair it with a visit to the fair at the end of August. What better way to close off summer?

ART-O-RAMA is a must-visit event for contemporary art enthusiasts seeking a unique and avant-garde experience. The program is carefully curated to showcase cutting-edge artworks by emerging artists and experimental galleries. It brings together a small and rigorous selection of around forty galleries and twenty publishers to develop specific curatorial proposals. Its intimate format and commitment to artistic projects make it unique. Extending the traditional fair stand to a real exhibition space, whose configuration is directly linked to the curatorial project, ART-O-RAMA pays specific attention to the works presented.

Marseille itself adds to the allure, with its vibrant art scene and rich cultural heritage. By attending ART-O-RAMA, visitors can engage with the forefront of contemporary art and immerse themselves in the dynamic and captivating atmosphere of Marseille’s art community.

August 31 – September 3, 2023
Friche la Belle de Mai (41 rue Jobin, 13003 Marseille, France)

For more information visit art-o-rama.fr

Cover image Lorna Simpson (Hauser and Wirth) for Unlimited 2022 at Art Basel | Courtesy Art Basel