The 2020 edition of Art Basel fair, which was deferred from June to September earlier this year, now stands cancelled following an “extensive analysis of the current global situation”, fair organisers announced on Saturday.
One of the largest art fairs in the world, the four-day event was scheduled to take place at Messe Basel from September 17-20, after having previously been postponed from June.
The organisers said the decision to cancel the event was made after “thorough consultation” with many gallerists, collectors, partners, as well as external experts, while keeping in mind “the fundamental health and safety risks related to the pandemic”.
The financial risks for exhibitors and partners, the ongoing impediments to international travel, and the fact that the regulatory environment around large-scale events has yet to be finalized by the Swiss Federal Council, were among other determining factors, they added.
“We are acutely aware that our galleries are facing unprecedented challenges and economic difficulties, and we had fervently hoped to support the art market’s recovery with a successful fair in September.
“Unfortunately, the uncertainties that we face remain too high. The best way forward for our Basel show is therefore to focus on delivering a fair of the same exceptional international quality that the artworld expects from us next June, as we continue to support our galleries by further developing our digital platforms and by delivering our upcoming shows in Miami Beach and Hong Kong,” said Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel.
The postponement of Art Basel comes after the cancellation of its Hong Kong edition, and Frieze, New York, earlier this year. Art Dubai’s 2020 edition was also postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic.