Art Basel Shifts to September Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Art, Art Basel, Coronavirus, Covıd-19, Marc Spiegler, Switzerland, Conventions And Trade Shows

Art Basel has postponed its June edition in Switzerland until September as a result of the coronavirus pandemic

Art, Art Basel

3/26/2020

Art Basel has postponed its June edition in Switzerland until September as a result of the coronavirus pandemic

The 50th edition of the world’s biggest modern and contemporary fair joins a growing list of canceled and postponed art events.

Masterpiece London fairs are among the raft of significant events to have been canceled or postponed. Hundreds of galleries have either temporarily closed or reverted to “by appointment only” arrangements. They are struggling to do business as best they can through digital platforms. “It’s hard to sell anything online at the moment other than new works by blue-chip contemporary artists,” said Fergus McCaffrey, a New York-based gallerist who is a regular Art Basel exhibitor. He described his sales from Art Basel Hong Kong’s online rooms as “very modest.” “But September is a pretty open moment; it could work, but people are going to be very cautious,” Mr. McCaffrey said. Art dealers have become increasingly dependent on fairs, which in 2019 contributed about 45 percent of the value of their sales, according to the latest annual Art Basel & UBS Art Market Report. In 2010 they contributed 30 percent of equivalent sales, according to the report. Dealers have also pointed out that the fair’s final days coincide with Rosh Hashana (Sept. 18-20), which is likely to be a complication for some visitors and exhibitors. But others are just enthused by the prospect of Europe’s art market coming to life again. “The postponement is very sensible,” said Philip Hoffman, founder and chief executive of the Fine Art Group, a London-based consultancy. “It’s an awful time for the art trade,” Mr. Hoffman added. “By then clients will want to spend money.” Advertisement Read more: The New York Times

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