In March, the Frieze New York art fair sent a letter to exhibitors announcing that its 2020 edition, originally scheduled to open May 6, would be canceled because of the coronavirus crisis. At the time, more than 200 international galleries had planned to showcase artworks at Randall’s Island. Now, those galleries will simply put their offerings on the internet through the fair’s online viewing rooms program.
“It was always intended that this initiative would debut alongside this year’s edition of Frieze New York, and under our current circumstances, our launch has become even more timely,” Loring Randolph, director of Frieze New York, said in a statement, adding, “While the Viewing Room could never replace the meaningful connections that come from being with each other physically or experiencing an artwork in person, I hope that this digital version of Frieze New York will inspire our community to come together in the same way our fair does—in support of artists, galleries and non-profits from around the world.”
The viewing rooms will be open to the public from May 8–15, with a VIP preview on May 6–7, making their run a few days longer than the fair was originally supposed to be. Each digital booth will include augmented reality options for viewers to see the works to-scale on their walls.
Additionally, the website will host online tours of the fair’s featured exhibitions, including “Diálogos,” a celebration of artists belonging to Latin American and the Latinx diaspora, and “Chicago Tribute,” which pays homage to Chicago’s visionary female artists.
Frieze’s viewing rooms come just months after Art Basel Hong Kong showcased over 2,000 works online following the cancelation of its 2020 edition, originally planned for mid-March. Meanwhile, major galleries such as David Zwirner and Gagosian have also begun ramping up their digital offerings as well.