Europe Calling: Art & Design Fairs in June

08 Jun 2022

Europe is rich with creativity and innovation this June. Some traditional spots on the design and art calendar return at a different time, or with newly found focuses, such as sustainability, decolonization, and the resilience of humanity. From Italy to Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, there's a lot to discover across the continent this month.

Salone del Mobile (7-12 June) celebrates its 60th anniversary. The iconic design fair welcomes designers at an earlier date this year, and urges architects, press, design buyers and other professionals to explore how creativity and innovation can be connected to sustainability. The wider Milan Design Week, known as Fuorisalone, promises even more events all week and beyond, all free of charge, all over the city's many Design Districts.

Art Basel (13-19 June) can be considered the art fair of all art fairs. It has brought the international art world together since 1970 and prompts a region-wide art week each time. This year, it runs at its usual timing again and will include a mammoth 289 galleries, 19 of which are newcomers. A branch of the fair that was introduced in 2000, the Unlimited section, focuses on large-scale artwork that go beyond the classic booth concept. Don't miss the preview, one day before the main fair or the dedicated Unlimited Night on Thursday, June 16.

As usual Design Miami/Basel (14-19 June) coincides – but make no mistake, it's not just any satellite. This edition's theme hones in on The Golden Age: Rooted in the Past, celebrating the flexibility, resilience and adaptability of humanity. Pure forms and thematic selections of historic and contemporary design will fill the Messe location with cutting edge design once more.

Head to Berlin for that other legendary fair: Documenta. Held in Kassel, the fifteenth edition kicks off on June 15. It will be held under the artistic direction of ruangrupathe, a Jakarta-based artists’ collective. The values and ideas of lumbung, which directly translates as “rice barn”, will take center stage as an artistic and economic model rooted in principles such as collectivity, equal allocation and communal resource sharing.

A few days before, on June 11, the Berlin Biennale will also be worth a stop. Since its founding in 1996, it has become one of the most important international forums for contemporary art. The 12th edition will unfold around a set of questions about the decolonization of art and how it could be conceived in connection to non-Western feminist movements, the climate crisis, and other current issues.

The pre-eminent European Fine Art Fair, TEFAF in Maastricht, The Netherlands, can round off your art fair itinerary this June. Taking place from June 25-30, this has been the seminal place for antiques, Old Masters and Haute Joaillerie to contemporary painting, works on paper and 20th century design since 1988.

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Photo: Masterly