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Art market journalist Melanie Gerlis’ new book tells the story of art fairs’ rapid ascent and reflects on their uncertain future. The book brings to life the people, places and philosophies that enabled art fairs to take root, examines the pivotal market periods when they flourished, and maps where they might go in a much-changed world. London Art Fair is delighted to host a panel discussion chaired by Jeffery Boloten Sotheby’s Institute, with Melanie Gerlis, joined by Sarah Monk, and Robert Travers, Piano Nobile to discuss the role of art fairs in the 21st-century on January 20, 2022, 4pm. Issues addressed will include how fairs were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the look and feel of the revived in-person events, and how these stay relevant in the new art world order.

Melanie Gerlis: became the weekly art market columnist for the Financial Times in 2016. She was previously Art Market Editor for The Art Newspaper (2007-2016), before which she was a financial communications adviser at Finsbury in the City of London (1996-2005). She has a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University and an MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Her book, Art as an Investment?, was published in 2014 and her forthcoming book, The Art Fair Story: A Rollercoaster Ride, will be published in December 2021 (Lund Humphries). Read a complimentary excerpt here.

Jeffrey Boloten: is the Art and Business Programme Leader at Sotheby’s Institute of Art (London), and the Co-Series Editor of the Hot Topics in the Art World book series (Lund Humphries). He is Co-Founder and Managing Director of ArtInsight Ltd., the education partner of art market research firm, ArtTactic. He was a director with several leading international publishers, including Penguin Books, and has held posts at the Tate and as General Manager of a London art college. Boloten is a frequent speaker and lecturer at international art fairs and conferences on topics including the global art, photography, and art investment markets. He is a Founding Member of PAIAM, Professional Advisors to the International Art Market, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Photo Shanghai Art Fair.

Dr Robert Travers: is a specialist in Modern British Art and founded PIANO NOBILE in 1985. The gallery has been based in London for over thirty years and is today run by Robert and his son Matthew Travers. Robert advises clients on their acquisitions, helping them to build remarkable collections and works closely with leading museums and institutions. Robert has mounted several critically acclaimed exhibitions, notably in recent years, SICKERT The Theatre of Life (2021), Leon Kossoff: A London Life (2019) and From Omega to Charleston: The Art of Vanessa bell and Duncan Grant (2018).

Sarah Monk: is the Portfolio Director of London Art Fair, which encompasses museum-quality Modern British art and international and emerging contemporary art. Every year, London Art Fair connects over 130 of the best galleries from around the world with both seasoned and aspiring collectors, providing a unique opportunity to discover and champion the most outstanding modern and contemporary art of our time.

After studying Fine Art at the University of Ulster, Belfast, Sarah worked for the Serpentine Gallery and Public Programme’s at the Hayward Gallery and National Touring Exhibition’s, before moving to Upper Street Events to launch a Fair for emerging artists. Sarah became Director of London Art Fair in 2014 developing new initiatives such as the highly acclaimed Museum Partnership and Dialogues section encouraging new forms of presentation and exchange between international and UK emerging galleries. Sarah has also sat on several Art Prize jury’s including The Solo Artist Award and Art Prize CMB.

Sotheby's Institute has a long-standing partnership with the London Art Fair, from faculty talks to Master's degree students providing VIP tours. Check out the London Art Fair website here for more information about event tickets and panel discussion updates.

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