Lee Cavaliere has been appointed the new Artistic Director of VOLTA art fairs beginning July 2023. Cavaliere will replace Kamiar Maleki, previously Director of VOLTA (2019 – 2022), now the Director of Photo London. Cavaliere is committed to aligning the fair’s positioning with the developments of a rapidly changing art market.
Cavaliere is an accomplished arts professional and expert in contemporary art, with experience in both the institutional and gallery sector. After working with the Tate’s Collection displays, Cavaliere employed his expertise in the commercial market, delivering contemporary exhibitions at Max Wigram Gallery and the Fine Art Society on Bond Street, London.
As Head of Sales at the London Art Fair, Cavaliere applied an international focus in his curation of galleries that he carried forward in pursuit of independent curatorial initiatives. Notable curatorial work includes Cat Street Gallery’s solo presentation of Jacky Tsai at Art Central Hong Kong, One IFC in Kuala Lumpa (both 2016); We Must Cultivate Our Garden in Margate, UK, featured 17 Turner Prize artists, including Tracey Emin, Jeremy Deller and Damien Hirst; Collectible, Brussels (both 2019) and most recently (2022) touring the Atos Art Exhibition that featured Andy Warhol, John Giorno and Misha Milovanovich to Paris, London, Munich and Chicago.
Cavaliere founded and directed VOMA, the world’s first online art museum, founded the arts education charity The Sixteen Trust and works internationally with numerous charitable, community, and NGO projects. With this intention, Cavaliere is committed to spotlighting new artistic perspectives, emphasizing gallery access to emerging markets and discovery for existing and aspiring collectors seeking meaningful acquisitions.
Cavaliere’s focus lies in furthering the fair’s commitment to cutting-edge curation. Whilst building relationships with Volta’s robust family of existing galleries, he aims to introduce a fellowship program encouraging new galleries to curate presentations that boldly present the unique perspective of their artists to the emerging market. An advisory committee will ensure the selection of the most innovative galleries from all over the world, focusing on fast-growing markets within and beyond the traditional art world capitals.
The VOLTA art fair is a contemporary art fair established in 2005. It is known for its focus on solo artist projects, providing a platform for individual artists to showcase their work to a global audience. The fair is held annually and has gained recognition for its curated and innovative approach to presenting contemporary art.
VOLTA was founded by dealers Kavi Gupta of Chicago and Friedrich Loock of Berlin. The “volta” in poetry inspired the fair’s name, which refers to a shift or turn in thought. This concept is reflected in the fair’s curatorial model, where artists are invited to present cohesive and independent projects.
The inaugural VOLTA art fair took place in Basel, Switzerland, in 2005, running concurrently with Art Basel. It quickly gained attention for its unique approach, providing a counterpoint to the traditional art fair model. The fair’s emphasis on solo artist projects allowed for a more focused and immersive experience for visitors.
Following its success in Basel, VOLTA expanded to other art capitals, including New York City in 2008 and London in 2009. Each edition of the fair continued to uphold its dedication to showcasing emerging and established artists through solo presentations, challenging the conventional group booth format.
VOLTA’s curatorial model sets it apart from other art fairs. Each participating gallery is invited to present a solo exhibition featuring the work of a single artist. This approach allows artists to create a cohesive and meaningful presentation, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of their artistic vision and practice.
Over the years, VOLTA has attracted galleries and artists worldwide, making it a truly global platform for contemporary art. It has continued to expand its reach, holding editions in cities like Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach and São Paulo during SP-Arte.
Today, VOLTA remains a prominent and influential art fair known for its commitment to supporting individual artists and providing a fresh and dynamic approach to presenting contemporary art. Its dedication to curatorial excellence and fostering meaningful connections between artists, galleries, and collectors has solidified its position as a vital event in the international art calendar.
As the art world continues to evolve, VOLTA’s focus on solo artist projects and its unique curatorial vision continues to shape and enrich the contemporary art fair landscape.
Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2023