VOLTA is an international art fair that is held along with the famous Art Basel in Switzerland and attracts a broad audience as an art market. Focusing on painting, sculpture, and textile art, the art fair has been held in different cities such as New York, Miami, and Basel. Over the past years, more than 79 galleries have attended this event. Volta Art Fair provides a platform for newly established galleries and galleries that plan to arrange solo shows for their artists.
Volta Art Fair was founded in 2005 in Basel. During 15 years of activity, Volta has introduced many galleries and artists to the art market that now display their works in the most prominent art fairs across the globe. In the beginning, Volta was known as Volta Basel and was a gathering of art practitioners and art dealers. In 2019, with Kamiar Maleki – curator and art collector – as Volta's new director, the art fair developed to a higher level, and in 2020, it arranged a great show in New York. Volta Art Fair is now performed in New York, Miami, and Basel.
Kamiar Maleki, director of the Volta Art Fair since 2019, is an Iranian art collector and curator who lives in England and actively works in the field of culture and arts. He has fifteen years of curatorial and art directorial background. Maleki was also the director of Contemporary Istanbul from 2016 to 2018.
Volta Basel is the initial and main event for the Volta Art Fair, which is annually staged in the COOP distribution center and attempts to join the Art Basel – a well-established art fair – with the young Liste Art Fair.
Volta Basel is usually held in June every year, but last year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it had to change the schedule, as many other art fairs did. Therefore, the event was arranged to be held concurrently with Art Basel Week from September 20 to 26, 2021. Many Iranian artists and galleries attended Volta Basel 2021. Bavan Gallery presented works by Elham Etemadi and Keiman Mahabadi. Mohsen Gallery exhibited artworks by Majid Biglari, Zahra Ghyasi, and Samira Hodaei. Like many other art fairs, Volta Basel has a special section for solo exhibitions of galleries' artists. Yet, it is possible to perform a duo presentation by one gallery. In this section titled "Special Presentation" in Volta Basel 2021, Saradipour Art Gallery staged an exhibition of works by Abbas Nasleshamloo and Mahdieh Abolhasan. The 17th edition of Volta Basel will be held from June 13 to 19, 2022. Alireza Varzandeh is among the Iranian artists taking part in the event.
Volta New York
The first Volta New York was held concurrently with the Armory Week. In 2020, with Kamiar Maleki as the director, Volta New York featured 53 international galleries and returned to the art scene. The art fair was canceled in 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
This year, Volta New York and Frieze New York were simultaneously held from May 18 to 22, 2022, in a new place located on 548 West 22nd Street. Based on concepts of "Discover," "Connect," and "Collect", Volta New York featured artworks by 49 national and international galleries in its 2022 event.
Several artworks by Iranian artists will be presented at this art fair. Roya Khadjavi Projects displayed four untitled works by Morteza Pourhosseini and other pieces by Parastou Ahovan, Atiyeh Sohrabi, Azita Moradkhani, and Roxana Manouchehri. Barbara von Stechhow Gallery presented five works by Alireza Varzandeh, and Leila Heller Gallery displayed artworks by Praniaz Eleish, Reza Derakhshani, and Soraya Sharghi.
In 2019, Volta Art Fair's ownership was transferred to Ramsay Fairs, owner of Pulse Miami Beach Art Fair. Consequently, the Pulse Miami Beach art fair was incorporated in Volta Miami.