Australian Duo Launch New Art Fair with International Aspirations

Australian Duo Launch New Art Fair with International Aspirations
(Vasili Kaliman and Jarrod Rawlins )

Australian art dealers Vasili Kaliman and Jarrod Rawlins of KALIMANRAWLINS gallery have co-founded a new art fair, The New Fair, which will provide collectors with a new way of engaging with the contemporary art market.

Launching on the 12th of August in Melbourne, The New Fair will present five galleries and an art bookstore from regions including America, Australia and New Zealand.

According to Kaliman and Rawlins, “the New Fair aims to take the approach of some of the world's most influential fairs by creating an intimate event that caters for the newcomer as well as the experienced collector”.

Since 2008, Kaliman and Rawlins have entertained the idea of developing a more measured approach to Australian art fairs, tailored to a knowledgeable audience as opposed to the conventional bulk approach.

The idea to keep The New Fair modest and boutique was, in the pair's opinion, the best way to focus on presenting the highest quality contemporary art at an Australian art fair.

A second edition of The New Fair, already in development, will be held outside of Australia in 2013 and will include more participating galleries from Australia.

Nic Forrest, Executive Editor of Artinfo Australia, was recently afforded the opportunity to ask Vasili Kaliman some questions about the fair.  His responses are below.

What inspired you to launch another art fair in Melbourne?

We've always been interested in the smaller-scaled fairs we've seen around the world like Liste, NADA and Zoo and we're keen to see something like that in this part of the world. We knew that a few other galleries were thinking along the same lines so the opportunity kind of presented itself. We also recently opened the new gallery together and had been talking about doing some kind of art fair together since 2008, so we thought now was a good time. 

How will The New Fair differ from the Melbourne Art Fair?

The New Fair has almost nothing in common with the Melbourne Art Fair so the differences are many. The New Fair is a small scale event with five galleries and one art bookstore. Participation in the new fair is by invitation, not by application. The new fair caters more for a knowledgeable audience, people who spend a lot of time engaging with contemporary art and contemporary art galleries. It's more of a collectors event rather than something for the uninitiated. That said, it will also be a very exciting place for the newcomer to visit, and it's free to come.

What will The New Fair offer collectors and investors?

Five great galleries from Australia, New Zealand and the US who will all be presenting very new, exciting art. Collectors will able to see the work of artists they have not heard of before and discuss the work with the dealers. There will be a great variety of contemporary art being presented so collectors with varied approaches will be catered for. Also, it will be a great opportunity to meet a handful of really interesting dealers from outside Australia. 

Will the fair have a specific focus?

Not really. All the participating galleries have a connection with Australia in that they have Australian artists in their current programs and share artists with each other. The only really shared characteristic is that we are all presenting what we consider to be very good examples of contemporary art from different parts of the world. 

What will differentiate The New Fair from other international art fairs?

The size, five galleries, we can't think of another art fair that has five galleries which is because the business structure of the large art fairs requires bulk participation in order for the event organisers to turn a profit, whereas the new fair has been structured differently, more of a co-operative organisational structure. That's the primary difference. 

Will the fair remain Australian based?

We are currently looking at holding the event in Sydney in the future, and have plans in place to do an edition of The New Fair outside of Australia in 2013. 

Fair Details:

The New Fair

2 — 5 August 2012

Melbourne, Australia


Foxy Production, New York

Michael Lett, Auckland

Hopkinson Cundy, Auckland


Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington

Perimeter Books, Melbourne


9 Ellis Street, South Yarra, Victoria 3141

Australia Fair Opening Hours:

Thursday 2 August, 7pm — 10pm (VIP Preview by invitation only)

Friday 3 August, 12pm —

Saturday 4 August, 12pm —

Sunday 5 August, 12pm — 5pm

Admission free