2018: An ambitious art calendar for the new year

If it was not for visual fatigue, one could spend literally from one day to the next over a stretched art calendar that offers fresh enticements around the world. It’s now easier than ever to view the masters of the world of art juxtaposed alongside their contemporary peers in ways one could hardly have imagined. The plethora of art fairs and the increasing number of important exhibitions continues to rise, so there is the continuous fear of missing out. This laundry list of major art events and exhibitions is just a tiny vignette of what’s on offer for the art-lover in 2018.

LA Art Show & Art Los Angeles Contemporary

Los Angeles Convention Centre and The Barkar Hangar
January 10-14 and 25-28 

Hollywood and art have always enjoyed a cosy companionship, and here’s your chance to divvy up on some of the best of contemporary American and world art at two consecutive events, where you might run into collectors Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Madonna or Tobey Maguire. 

Singapore Art Week
January 17-28

From the eighth edition of Art Stage Singapore to a major retrospective of street art, and an exhibition of two important Singaporean collections of Indonesian and Singaporean art, alongside pop-ups and a calendar filled with events, here is evidence that Singapore isn’t as boring or sterile as one had thought. 

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg

Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
February 3-May 6

The Japanese pop artist is a major contemporary art icon whose exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago saw record crowds. Here’s your chance to catch a glimpse of his oeuvre in a major retrospective. 

Dutch Artists in Paris

Petit Palais, Paris
February 6-May 13

Vincent van Gogh, Van Dongen and Mondrian come together in this exhibition, a dual nationalism that resulted in some of the finest instances of modernism in the 20th century. 

India Art Fair

NSIC Grounds, New Delhi
February 9-12

The recent MCH takeover has resulted in the return of Mumbai and international galleries to this important Indian art exposition which remains the country’s largest cultural and social outing.


Contemporary Art University Museum, Mexico City 
Feb 24-July 29

Curated by French art historian Georges Didi Huberman, this exhibition looks at the theatre of protest across the world. Does Kashmir feature in it? There’s only one way to find out. 

All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life

Tate Britain, London
February 28-August 27

Observing people is an artistic occupation, and the results can range from the magical to the creepy. A good reason to be in London, but get there before the critics ruin the show for you.


Maastricht, The Netherlands
March 9-18

Art, antiquities, collectibles, this is one of the finest fairs that curates a collection annually worthy of being in any museum.

The World of the Fatimids

Aga Khan Museum,
March 10-July 2

As trouble foments in the former caliphate, it’s time to learn of the sophisticated Fatimid dynasty’s contribution to the arts and sciences — ceramic lusterware, rock crystal, ivory and other objects from the 10th-11th centuries. 

Art Dubai 

Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
March 21-24

There’s a fair representation from South Asia at this regional art fair that is gaining voice as a platform for art from the Middle East, and a reason to discover dining and shopping in the emirate.

About Guernica

Musée Picasso, Paris
March 27-July 29

A lesson in the history of probably the most discussed painting in the world after Mona Lisa. 

Art Basel Hong Kong

Hong Kong Convention Centre
March 29-31

This Hong Kong art fair has become the voice for contemporary art in the region and is the haunt of Chinese billionaires.

Exhibits from ‘All Too Human’ at the Tate Britain in London (left) and the Singapore Art Week

Frieze Art Fair

Randall’s Island Park, New York
May 3-6

Emerging and contemporary galleries are represented in one of the art world’s most looked-forward to events.

The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition

Royal Academy of Art, London
June 12-August 19

The annual outing of the Royal Academy has wall-to-wall paintings of some of the leading names to have graced its walls — from Joshua Reynolds to Wolfgang Tillmans — and now two-and-a-half centuries of its highlights will recall familiar names and scenes. Wonder what Raj-baiter Shashi Tharoor would make of it.

Art Basel

Messe Basel
June 14-17

This venue in Switzerland is where the world’s richest head for in their private planes to pay homage to the greatest contemporary artists with potloads of serious money.

Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe

V&A, London
June 16-November 4

Frida Kahlo was no minimalist, and her wardrobe will get an airing at the venerable V&A that will lay out her frocks, corsets, jewellery and accessories to the public gaze for the first time.

Masterpiece Art Fair

The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London
June 28-July 4

Expect surprises by way of carpets, statuary, jewels and art that would make any connoisseur gawp. An additional attraction is that it coincides with a thrilling exhibition on the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, at the National Portrait Gallery.

33rd Sao Paulo Biennial

Sao Paulo
September 7-December 9

Arguably South America’s most contemporary art event, its 
broad sweep includes the still unknowns with the stars of the international contemporary, 
edgy art world for a discourse 
that has echoes all over. 

Frieze Masters

Regent’s Park, London
October 4-7 

The masters here span thousands of years — any reason to say any more?

Art Basel Miami Beach

Miami Beach Convention Centre
December 5-10

When it’s cold in the northern hemisphere, Miami offers the sun, sand and art for what is described as one of the biggest art sales.

Kochi-Muziris Biennale

December 12-March 29, 2019

India’s most successful art event for its international reach has its first woman curator in Anita Dube. Expect some far-reaching conversations around feminism in this destinational outing where the first artist whose name has been announced is 
Nilima Sheikh. 

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