As the first month of 2021 comes to a close, the art world’s calendar remains in flux as fairs and exhibitions continue to shift their dates. Citing the unpredictability of the ongoing pandemic, the European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) will delay its main fair in Maastricht, the Netherlands, from May until September and postpone its spring fair in New York until 2022.
Last October, TEFAF announced that it would stage its Dutch fair in May as opposed to its traditional dates in mid-March. Its new dates of September 11–19, with two preview days beginning September 9, put the event a week before Europe’s other major fair, Art Basel in Switzerland, which announced earlier this month that it would push its June fair to September.
“The unpredictability and endurance of the pandemic has cast a new light on our work and our lives over the past year. TEFAF looks with great enthusiasm toward the future,” TEFAF chairman Hidde van Seggelen said in a statement. “We are confident our decision to postpone TEFAF Maastricht to September 2021 will create the opportunity for both a physical and online fair this year, serving our community and the art world in the best possible and safest way.”
Last year, as the coronavirus pandemic was beginning to grip the world in mid-March, TEFAF went forward with its in-person fair in Maastricht. That decision proved to be unwise, as the fair wound up having to close four days early after an exhibitor tested positive for the coronavirus. The Art Newspaper reported that at least 25 other people who had attended the fair soon also reported having symptoms. TEFAF Maastricht became one of the first art-world events where Covid cases appeared to have been widespread.
As part of its 2021 schedule update, TEFAF also announced that it would hold another online iteration in the fall, similar to the one it hosted on its website last November. The fair did not give dates for when the 2021 online fair will take place. It also did not provide dates for when in spring 2022 the next edition of TEFAF New York will take place.