Just hours after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic with more than 120,000 infected by the spreading coronavirus worldwide, two upcoming fairs said they would no longer take place as planned.
The L.A. Art Book Fair, which was scheduled for April 3–5 at the Geffen Contemporary space of L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art, was canceled with word of a return in 2021. In a statement, organizers said, “Our annual L.A. Art Book Fair is both a celebration and a critical platform for artists’ books and publishing activity from across the globe. We are grateful for the understanding of our participating artists and publishers, and want to acknowledge the time and effort they have dedicated to developing creative publishing projects for the fair. We encourage everyone to continue to support their work.”
Organizers of Paris Photo New York, which was to hold its inaugural edition from April 2–5 on Manhattan’s Pier 94, said they would postpone the event, with new dates to be announced as soon as possible. In a statement sent to ARTnews last week during the Armory Show, which was also held on Pier 94, Paris Photo New York’s organizers said, “We take the well-being of our customers seriously. We are working closely with the Piers and constantly assessing the situation with the COVID-19 virus. Should it change we will, of course, promptly keep our customers informed of the action to be taken.”
In a statement announcing the postponement on Wednesday, Michel Filzi, the president of Reed Expositions France (which is organizing Paris Photo New York) said, “The health and well-being of exhibitors, visitors, sponsors, media representatives, cultural institutions, and our employees from around the globe is and will always be our first priority.”