The effects of the continuing Covid-19 crisis are beginning to spill into 2021, with Art Basel Hong Kong and Frieze Los Angeles both announcing the postponement of events originally scheduled for the coming year.

Art Basel Hong Kong on Monday said that it would push its March event to May, citing travel restrictions that would make holding the fair in March untenable. The 2020 iterations of Art Basel’s fairs in Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Miami Beach were canceled owing to the pandemic. When it finally takes place, Art Basel Hong Kong will be the first Art Basel event to take place IRL since 2019.

“We believe shifting the fair to May is the right decision given the current development of the pandemic and its impact on international travel restrictions. By taking the decision early, our aim is to support our galleries in advance planning for their 2021 programs, ” said Adeline Ooi, Art Basel’s Asia director, in a statement.

This morning brought the news that Frieze Los Angeles will be moving its 2021 fair ahead by five months, from February to July. Additionally, the fair will be leaving Paramount Studios, which has been home to the two most recent editions of the fair. The move is in response to Paramount’s production schedule, which has taken on the characteristics of a logjam owing to the coronavirus situation.

Ann Siegel, Frieze’s publisher and recently appointed director of the Americas and content, noted that “Paramount Studios is an actual studio and, following the pandemic, their filming commitments require limiting the number of people onsite. For the health and safety of everyone involved, we will be introducing a new model.”

There is no word yet as to the fair’s new home, though The Art Newspaper has speculated that a number of the many galleries recently emptied out amid the pandemic, as well as private residences designed by architects Richard Neutra and John Lautner, could conceivably host the event’s 2021 iteration.


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