MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Every year, art lovers and celebrities from around the world flock to Miami Beach for Art Basel, but organizers say they have been forced to cancel this year’s event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Art Basel’s Director Americas Noah Horowitz said in a statement. “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.”
Organizers said they were left with no option but to cancel due to quarantine regulations in the U.S. and abroad, as well as limitations and uncertainty about the staging of large-scale events and international travel restrictions and bans.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Art Basel canceled fairs in Switzerland and Hong Kong this year. The organizers of the Dec. 3-6 fair in Miami Beach sent a letter to exhibitors earlier this summer giving them more time to decide whether or not they would be attending.
We regret to announce that the 2020 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach has been canceled. As the artworld continues to face momentous challenges, we remain firmly committed to supporting the global gallery community and look forward to when we can meet again. #artbasel pic.twitter.com/PfrFdLuunl— Art Basel (@ArtBasel) September 2, 2020
“It is still challenging to predict what the global situation will be like in December,” organizers wrote. “We nevertheless remain deeply committed to holding the fair in Miami Beach if at all feasible.”
Art dealers are expected to be deeply impacted by the Miami Beach event’s cancellation.
They earn about half of their income when they conduct private sales through galleries and the other half at art fairs. They typically earn very little from purchases online.
According to a statement from organizers, Art Basel Miami Beach will next be held from Dec. 2 to Dec. 5, 2021, with preview days on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, 2021.