MCH Group, the Swiss expo conglomerate, announced in a press release today that it will be increasing its involvement in the international art market, building “a new portfolio of leading regional art fairs,” a strategy that could involve creating new fairs or partnering with existing ones.The release stressed that these fairs would not be involved whatsoever with the art fair group it already owns—Art Basel, the world’s leading series of art fairs. Nor, it added, would it entail opening fairs in cities where Art Basel already has a fair: Basel, Miami, and Hong Kong. The new fairs would be overseen by local teams that will maintain autonomy.The release also maintains that “Art Basel will not be expanded by new fairs.” Speculating on Art Basel’s next colony is a common parlor game, but perhaps this news means MCH Group will limit all of its art fair expansion to these regional, separate fairs, rather than expand the Art Basel empire.As for where the first of these regional fairs will open, it remains to be seen. The press release mentioned that MCH is in discussions with British event companies SME London and Angus Montgomery, whom MCH worked with in its acquisition of the Art HK fair, which is now Art Basel Hong Kong.
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