The decision was made after extensive discussions and analysis in consultation with gallerists and collectors, as well as external experts, putting foremost the health and safety of all concerned while aiming to achieve the broadest possible international attendance for the show.
Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel said: “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. By moving our Basel fair to September, we hope to offer our galleries greater possibility for successfully preparing their year. Following ten months of vaccination programs in many countries, we anticipate broad international participation in our Basel show in September, because all our conversations within the artworld indicate a strong desire to see art in person and engage face-to-face with the global cultural scene. Naturally, we will continue our digital activities connecting Art Basel galleries with global patrons, as we prepare our return to staging physical fairs in the post-pandemic period.”
Continuing digital activities
In 2021, Art Basel will present three Online Viewing Rooms, to which all galleries accepted to Art Basel’s shows between 2016 and 2021 will be invited to apply. “OVR: Pioneers”, taking place from 24 to 27 March 2021, will be dedicated to artists who have broken new grounds aesthetically, conceptually, or socio-politically. A second thematic Online Viewing Rooms will take place from 16 to 19 June2021, with Art Basel curators determining themes and helping to select the participating galleries. In the beginning of November, “OVR:2021” will exclusively feature artworks created this year. Further details will be announced in the coming months.