11 Fall Art Fairs Worth the Flight

ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Image courtesy of ART021 Shanghai.

Fall has arrived, replete with pumpkin-spice lattes, plaid shirts, and golden-hued foliage. But if leaf-peeping isn’t your thing, we just might have the antidote for art lovers this season.

This fall, as museums trade summer blockbusters for autumn exhibitions and auction houses prepare for a bustling sale season, galleries and dealers rev their engines for an ambitious lineup of key art fairs in nearly every major city across the globe. With so many events and so little time – how do collectors determine which art fairs are worth the trip? From Shanghai to Miami, our editors explore 11 art fairs that offer blue-chip paintings, installations by emerging artists, and a spectacular setting among other nearby events. See who made the list below.

1. Contemporary Istanbul

Contemporary Istanbul

View from Contemporary Istanbul 2014. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

When: September 20-23
Where: Istanbul Congress Center (ICC) and Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC)

Turkey may not be the first country you think of when considering art world hubs, but Contemporary Istanbul brings together galleries, artists, and collectors from the Middle East, Europe, America, and Asia. The September fair, which hosts 85 galleries from 21 countries, is its 13th edition. While in Istanbul, be sure to take advantage of the unique Eurasian influences evident in the country’s architecture, culture, and cuisine.

2. Art Berlin

Art Berlin

Tanya Selzer, “Subrosa,” during Berlin Art Week 2012. Image courtesy of Janine Bean Gallery.

When: September 27-30
Where: Flughafen Tempelhof, Hangar 5 and 6

The second edition of Art Berlin will take place in the hangars of Tempelhof Airport. The fair, which was born from a collaborative relationship between abc art berlin contemporary and Art Cologne, was scheduled later in the month in order to coincide with the week of exhibitions and performances known as Berlin Art Week.

Make the most out of your time in Germany by visiting some of the city’s best-known institutions, including the Pergamon Museum, among other notable highlights throughout this booming art metropolis.



EXPO CHICAGO 2017. Image courtesy of EXPO CHICAGO. Photography by Jeff Schear.

When: September 27-30
Where: Festival Hall at Navy Pier

EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, is populated by leading international galleries as well as emerging talents. The fair will take over the city’s Navy Pier again for a rigorous program of art-related talks, installations, and happenings. The EXPOSURE section features solo and two-artist shows by galleries eight years and younger. /Dialogues offers panel discussions and artistic discourse, while IN/SITU features large-scale sculptures and site-specific works inside and around the fairgrounds.

The 2018 edition of EXPO CHICAGO coincides with Art Design Chicago, a city-wide partnership with Chicago’s cultural organizations that results in hundreds of events.

4. Frieze London

When: October 4-7
Where: Regent’s Park

Frieze London features more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries. The international contemporary art fair takes place in Regent’s Park alongside Frieze Masters, a similarly-sized fair for antiquities, Asian, ethnographic, medieval, modern and post-war art. 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair and PAD London Art + Design take place concurrently to Frieze’s London editions. With a plethora of diverse options on offer, spending time in London is a must for art lovers in October.

5. Accessible Art Fair

Accessible Art Fair (ACAF). Courtesy of Accessible Art Fair.

When: October 4-7
Where: BOZAR, Brussels

Now in its twelfth year, this annual contemporary art event offers a rare opportunity for collectors to connect directly with working artists who are vetted by a panel of experts including Simon de Pury (formerly of Phillips de Pury and of Sotheby’s). This year’s select group of artists were chosen from a pool of over 300 applicants.

6. Texas Contemporary

Texas Contemporary

Texas Contemporary 2016. Image courtesy of Texas Contemporary.

When: October 4-7
Where: George R. Brown Convention Center – Hall A3, Houston

After postponing its seventh edition due to Hurricane Harvey, Texas Contemporary returns to Houston in October of 2018. According to its organizer’s Instagram, the modern and contemporary fair will feature 75 exhibitors along with a program of special projects and public installations. What’s more, the fair partners with powerhouse cultural institutions around the city including the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Menil Collection.

7. ARTBO | International Art Fair of Bogotá

When: October 26-29
Where: Corferias, Bogotá, Colombia

ARTBO is the largest art fair in Colombia, an emerging hotbed for contemporary art practice. The fair is presented by the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, which invites participants to experience Colombian art across the city as well as inside the fair. The 14th edition will take place in 2018.


When: October 18-21
Where: The Grand Palais, Paris

Remarkably, FIAC is hosting its 45th edition in October. This preeminent fair will be taking over the Grand Palais, hosting over 193 galleries in the stunning historic venue. FIAC Projects and FIAC Hors les Murs will also present sculptures, installations and architectural projects around the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Jardin des Tuileries, Place Vendôme, and the Musée national Eugène Delacroix.

If your interest lies in photography, consider extending your stay or stopping over for FOTOFEVER PARIS & PARIS PHOTO, both of which run from November 8-11.

9. ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair

ART021 Shanghai Contemporary

Image courtesy of ART021.

When: November 9-11
Where: Shanghai Exhibition Center

In recent years, Shanghai has become a global capital of the art world. The city leveraged this status to develop a group of events in November that draw in members of the local and international collecting community alike. ART021 is part of the Shanghai International Arts Festival, which takes place alongside the West Bund Art & Design and the 12th Shanghai Bienniale. Whether you’ve explored China extensively or are planning your first trip, there’s no better time than this fall to visit and explore the art offerings Shanghai has to share.

10. Abu Dhabi Art

When: November 14-17
Where: Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Cultural District

Abu Dhabi is at the forefront of the art world’s collective mind thanks to the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi late last year. Since 2017, the city has engaged in a diverse public programs schedule that culminates with Abu Dhabi Art in November. This fair focuses on modern & contemporary galleries, with separate sections for solo or two-artist shows by participating galleries as well as Focus, a section that includes shows by the event’s guest curators.

11. Art Basel Miami Beach

When: December 6-9
Where: Miami Beach Convention Center

Art Basel Miami Beach 2017. © Art Basel.

No list of art fairs is complete without mention of Art Basel Miami Beach. This fair has reinvented its surrounding area, turning it for a short while into the premier location for art collectors and celebrities to rub elbows and purchase works. The 2018 list of exhibitors to Art Basel Miami Beach features 200 of the world’s leading international Modern and contemporary art galleries and will boast artworks by over 4,000 artists. Though the fair has a grandiose aura, visitors can find a range of works from editioned prints to museum-caliber paintings and sculptures.

With CONTEXT Miami Beach, UNTITLED, and PULSE taking place simultaneously, Miami Beach should be number one on your list for an end-of-year getaway.