With officials across the United States taking drastic measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak, another major art event has been called off. The Frieze New York art fair, which was set to take place on Randall’s Island Park from May 7 through 10, is officially canceled. The event typically includes nearly 200 exhibitors and is regarded as one of New York’s most important fairs.
In a statement, the organizers of the London-based fair said, “We are grateful to everyone who worked so hard in preparation for this year’s fair, and thank all our participating galleries, curators, partners, staff, as well as our local New York and international communities for their unwavering support. . . . We look forward to Frieze New York 2021.”
The first major fair cancellation came last month when Art Basel Hong Kong called off its 2020 edition scheduled for March. (The fair, which would have taken place this week, announced it would offer exhibitors a chance to sell work through online viewing rooms, which went live to VIPs today.)
Most fairs, however, have opted for postponement over cancellation, with SP-Arte, Art Brussels, and Art Cologne among the many events that have said they will still hold their 2020 edition at a later date. The postponements could create a pile-up for the art world’s fall calendar, which is generally already packed with the openings of many gallery’s major shows as well as other important art fairs, biennials, and museum exhibitions.
Among the fairs that regularly hold editions in the fall are Expo Chicago (September 24–27), Frieze London and Frieze Masters (October 8–11), and FIAC (October 22–25). This year, Dallas Art Fair (October 1–4) and Art Cologne (November 19–22) are among those set to join them.
Late last week and over the weekend, following the lead of many European institutions that had said they would temporarily shutter, numerous museums in the U.S. said they would close their doors, to aid in the fight against the virus’s spread. Preeminent institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art, in New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, have shuttered indefinitely.