Art Basel Confirms September Dates for Swiss Edition
June 4th, 2021
Its confidence boosted after a successful outing in Hong Kong last month, Art Basel is moving forward with plans, originally announced this January, to hold its flagship Swiss edition this September, as confirmed by a letter sent to VIPs on Thursday morning. Visitors to the Basel fair, scheduled to occur from September 20–26, will need to provide a recent negative Covid-19 test, proof of full vaccination, or evidence of sufficient antibodies (similar precautions were taken by Frieze New York this May). The fair’s capacity will be curbed to 20 percent less than usual, and ticket sales will be reduced by a third during the days the event is open to the public, with the VIP opening prolonged by a day.
“While the situation surrounding the ongoing pandemic remains vastly different from region to region, the last month in Europe was marked by accelerating vaccination programs and loosening restrictions,” stated the letter from Art Basel, the world’s largest international art business.
Like most major art exhibitions, Art Basel last year had to scuttle its in-person edition, which usually opens in June, and implemented online viewing rooms instead. While other art fairs originally set for the fall, such as Expo Chicago and TEFAF in Maastricht, have called off their events, Art Basel hopes to build on the momentum of Art Basel Hong Kong, which welcomed 30,000 visitors and 100 galleries and enjoyed brisk sales despite severe international travel limitations and its smaller scale. As with its Hong Kong edition, Art Basel’s Swiss fair will be accompanied by ample virtual programming. Participating galleries will be announced in July.