Art Basel has had a very tough year. Could it be the Murdoch curse? (Media mogul James Murdoch bought a controlling stake in MCH Group, Art Basel’s parent company in August). Due to the COVID pandemic’s impact, Art Basel has announced the cancellation of its Miami Beach fair. The organisers stated, given the current situation regarding the pandemic’s impact, which spans from South Florida to other parts of the country and the world; limitations and uncertainty about the staging of large-scale events; international travel restrictions and bans, as well as quarantine regulations within the United States and internationally, alongside other factors, Art Basel has no other option but to cancel the 2020 edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach. Art Basel in Miami Beach was scheduled to take place from December 3 to December 6, 2020 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
It is with great regret and disappointment that we announce the cancellation of our December show in Miami Beach
Noah Horowitz, Director Americas, Art Basel said: ‘It is with great regret and disappointment that we announce the cancellation of our December show in Miami Beach, as we know how crucial our show is for our galleries, as well as for the greater Miami arts community and economy. We thank everyone who shared their perspectives and insights with us over the past months and weeks and look forward to returning to Miami Beach next year to deliver a successful show.’
As the artworld continues to face momentous challenges, Art Basel remains firmly committed to supporting the global gallery community in the best way possible through its digital initiatives and by hosting its upcoming 2021 shows in Hong Kong, Basel, and Miami Beach. Art Basel’s digital initiatives will continue this fall with two individual thematic editions of its Online Viewing Rooms: ‘OVR: 2020’, dedicated to artworks produced during 2020 and running from September 23 to 26, and ‘OVR: 20c’, presenting works created between 1900 and 1999 from October 28 to 31. These digital events will be followed in December by Online Viewing Rooms that will be open to all galleries accepted to the 2020 edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach. Further details on the upcoming Online Viewing Rooms will follow in the coming weeks.
As has been communicated previously, galleries selected for Art Basel in Miami Beach 2020 will not be charged any participation/booth fees for the December show and application fees will be rolled over to 2021 for accepted galleries.
This bad news follows in the wake of the flagship Art Basel Switzerland fair which was cancelled twice in 2020, once in June and again in September.
The next edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach will take place from December 2 to December 5, 2021, with preview days on December 1 and December 2, 2021.