Frieze And Basel 2021 Fairs Have A Rethink As COVID Takes Its Toll




Frieze Art Fairs seem to be having a rethink as a result of closures due to COVID. First off, the 2020 New York and London fairs were cancelled and put online as a consolation prize. Fairs online suffer in the same way that live television programming suffers. Imagine Strictly Come Dancing last year as opposed to this current season. You can have a similar format, but it all goes a bit flat when you don’t have an audience to play to. In other words, dealers play off of the buzz of the room, just like live theatre and this often leads to sales. Anyone can go online and unless you are specifically looking for an artist or know what you want, it’s a minefield. 

This brings us to Frieze Los Angeles

Today the Fair announced that it would move from February and take place the week of July 26, 2021. It will no longer be in the fabulous Art Deco surroundings of Paramount Studios but take a more nomadic approach which may mean it is scattered around the city.

For the third edition of the Fair, they are to introduce a new format celebrating Los Angeles’ unique architectural history, spaces and locations. Besides, Frieze Viewing Room will run alongside Frieze Los Angeles and will benefit from enhanced digital functionality and reach a global online audience. In 2022, the Fair will return to our February dates.

Overseen by newly appointed Director of Americas and Content, Rebecca Ann Siegel, Frieze Los Angeles will bring together the world’s leading contemporary art galleries to celebrate the city as a global arts capital.

2021 also marks the 30th anniversary of Frieze magazine. Frieze will kick off their anniversary celebrations in February with three days of special digital programming dedicated to the art and exhibitions that defined the last three decades, programmed by the editors of Frieze.

Frieze New York is also changing venues they will now move from Randall Island to The Shed a much smaller venue. It will take place, as usual in May.  Frieze London and Frieze Masters will take place in Regent’s Park in October, as usual. Frieze fairs are still supported by global lead partner Deutsche Bank, continuing a shared commitment to artistic excellence.

While We’re here, Art Basel is also in the same position. Art Basel Miami Beach will only take place online this December and an announcement made today, reminds us that all three editions of Art Basel have been cancelled in 2020 and organisers, are looking ahead to 2021 with the possibility of an effective vaccine to recover.

Organisers of the international fairs announced today that dates for the next edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, usually held in March, will now take place in May, due to the global pandemic including travel restrictions, according to a statement. The new dates will be May 21–23, with preview days slated for May 19–20. It will still be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.

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