News-Antique.com - May 18,2009 - As some of you may know I attended the Art Melbourne 09 art fair last week (April 16-19) with the intention of providing a review of the fair for all the readers of this blog. So here it is. Over 100 galleries filled the beautiful Melbourne exhibition centre with enough art to overwhelm even the most seasoned art lover. What surprised me the most about Art Melbourne was how much better the Melbourne version of the fair was than the Sydney version (Art Sydney 08) which was last held in October 2008. As I reported on my Art Market Blog (http://www.artmarketblog.com), Art Sydney 08 was particularly disappointing with a majority of the art on offer coming under the purely decorative (read: tacky) category and bearing a striking resemblance to the sort of wall fillers you can get a Target or Ikea. Although Art Melbourne 09 did have it’s fair share of purely decorative wall hangings, the amount of excellent contemporary art on show was more than enough incentive to visit the fair.
On Friday, the first day of the show, things looked promising with plenty of people in attendance and what appeared to be a solid flow of sales. I was rather dissapointed that more of Australia’s top contemporary art galleries were not present but it was immediately evident that those who did make the effort to present top quality work were going to have a successful show. Those exhibitors with the best works on offer were easily identifiable and stood out from the crowd. In my opinion, the best exhibit was that of Brunswick St. Gallery who coincidentally were also the first exhibit one encountered upon entering the fair. Brunswick St. Gallery had a wide variety of works on show from the amazing Sky Boxes by Perran Costi to the fantastical photographs by Paul Louis Villani. The quality of work being exhibit by Brunswick St. Gallery was very high and was representative of the extremely high level of talent that the Australian contemporary art scene has to offer.
Kozminsky Level 1 was another gallery that stepped up to the plate and made the effort to present an appealing and desirable range of works by . The stand out artist being exhibited by Kozminsky Level 1 was Michael Georgetti who, according to the Blindside Exhibition Space where Georgetti’s work will be exhibited from the 23rd July to 8th August 2009, “creates mechanical interventions within the process of painting through the use of drying machines, fans, swimming pools and other commonplace materials.” Kosminsky chose to exhibited a series of very cool abstract paintings by Georgetti which were done on common household roller blinds.
After my first visit to Art Melbourne 09 I was pleased with what I had seen and impressed by the quality and depth of work being exhibited. Stay tuned for the second part of my report.
To be continued……………..
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder