Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms: An integral offering for the art community

Originally conceived as a complementary digital platform to the physical art fairs, the Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms have become an integral offering for the art community. The fourth edition of the Online Viewing Rooms will take place at the end of October – the "OVR:20c". 100 galleries will present works from 1900 to 1999.

Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms offer exhibitors an additional platform to showcase artworks to Art Basel’s global network of patrons, as well as new collectors and buyers. The original concept of the Online Viewing Rooms was to run in parallel to the shows – rather than replacing the physical experience of an art fair – allowing gallerists to showcase additional curated exhibitions of works not presented at the fair.

Given these extraordinary times, two standalone editions for the galleries of Art Basel in Hong Kong and in Basel took place in March 2020 and June 2020 respectively. The Online Viewing Rooms have been continuously developed both technically and in terms of content. The fall editions of the Online Viewing Rooms introduce a new live-chat feature that allows visitors to directly engage with galleries.

The inaugural edition of Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms featured presentations by 235 galleries over the course of seven days. The edition attracted more than 250,000 visitors from around the globe, allowing galleries to meet and engage with new collectors during this challenging time, as well as reconnecting with existing clients via the platform. More than 2,000 works were presented, all with either an exact price or a price range, and the overall value of works presented was estimated to be in excess of USD 270 million.

The galleries quickly and creatively adapted their presentations to a digital platform.

Marc Spiegler, Global Director der Art Basel

The June edition, featuring presentations by 282 leading galleries from 35 countries, attracted than 230,000 visitors from around the globe. Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel said: ‘Many collectors shared very positive feedback about our Online Viewing Rooms, noting how quickly and creatively galleries have adapted their presentations to fit a digital platform. For this second edition, many galleries also developed parallel programming, both digitally and physically where possible, that created further opportunities for dialogues, engagement and new discoveries, which have become ever-more pivotally important as we all continue to navigate together through this challenging period.’

For September and October, new formats of the Online Viewing Rooms were introduced. They are more focused in theme and scope and give Art Basel galleries the opportunity to present tightly curated exhibitions drawn from their programs. The edition at the end of September – “OVR: 2020” – was devoted exclusively to works created this year. The 100 participating galleries from 28 countries showed 600 exceptional works. The fourth edition – “OVR:20c” – will take place at the end of October. Once again 100 galleries will be taking part, presenting works from the 20th century.

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Another edition of Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms will be taking place this December, with VIP preview days from December 2 through December 4, and running from December 4 to December 6. ‘OVR: Miami Beach’ will feature galleries accepted to the 2020 edition of the Miami Beach show and will be accompanied by a program of online events, including talks and gallery walk-throughs.