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Mar 26 2020

Art Basel In Basel Postponed to September

by ArtAsiaPacific

*Last updated: March 27, 2020.

Messeplatz, home to Art Basel in Basel, with an igloo-like temporary structure for ALEXANDRA PIRICIs performative installation Aggregate (2017–19). Photo by HG Masters for ArtAsiaPacific.

The leading international commercial art fair, Art Basel, announced on Thursday that the fair’s 50th anniversary edition in Basel will be pushed back from June until September 17–20, due to concerns about the global Covid-19 pandemic. The decision upends the year’s calendar for the commercial art market.

The statement from Art Basel made on Thursday, March 26, said: “The decision was taken in close consultation with a wide range of gallerists, collectors, partners, and external experts, with the goal of both protecting the health and safety of our community and ensuring that that the fair will be attended by the largest number of collector, curators, and arts professionals from our global network.”

The news follows the cancellation of Art Basel’s edition in Hong Kong in March and Frieze New York in May, as well as other regional fairs, which have opted to delay or even nix their editions in the first half of the year.

Several satellite fairs take place concurrent with Art Basel in Basel. The most important of those, Liste, also announced that it was postponing until September 14–20. Volta Basel has not yet said it will follow suit, but it is expected.

Marc Spiegler, global director, Art Basel, thanked exhibitors for their understanding of the fair’s “highly complex decision to postpone,” and promised to closely monitor the developments with Covid-19.

Art Basel also said that it would, “continue to invest in and enhance its new digital platform — the Online Viewing Rooms — as a way to support galleries in these challenging times.”

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