Art Basel postpones its Switzerland fair from summer to fall because of COVID-19

Andres Viglucci
·1 min read

The Art Basel organization is postponing this year’s edition of its original fair in Switzerland from summer to fall.

In a statement released Thursday, Art Basel Global Director Marc Spiegler said the postponement from June to September was motivated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting worldwide travel restrictions. The fair in Basel is now scheduled to take place from Sept. 23 to Sept 26.

“While the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination programs started in many parts of the world last month, 2021 is a year in which planning remains complex due to many uncertainties,” Spiegler said in the statement. “By moving our Basel fair to September, we hope to offer our galleries greater possibility for successfully preparing their year.

“Following 10 months of vaccination programs in many countries, we anticipate broad international participation in our Basel show in September, because all our conversations within the art world indicate a strong desire to see art in person and engage face-to-face with the global cultural scene.”

Art Basel also said it will present three more Online Viewing Rooms. The virtual sales program has replaced live fairs during the pandemic. It’s been successful enough that organizers expect it to continue as an online supplement once fairs restart in person.

Those additional “OVRs,” each with its own theme, will take place in March, June and November.

Spiegler has said he expects this year’s edition of Art Basel Miami Beach to take place as usual, live in early December.