Art Basel postponed again due to Covid-19

Art Basel as seen in 2019 © Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

The world’s biggest art fair, Art Basel, has been postponed to the autumn due to the coronavirus.

This content was published on January 22, 2021 - 09:50
Art Basel/Bloomberg/SWI

The international art organisation said on Thursday that the Basel show would be moved from June until September this year, “due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic and travel restrictions worldwide”.

Last year’s edition was cancelled entirely after a similar postponement to the autumn.

“While the first phase of Covid-19 vaccination programmes started in many parts of the world last month, 2021 is a year in which planning remains complex due to many uncertainties. By moving our Basel fair to September, we hope to offer our galleries greater possibility for successfully preparing their year,” said Marc Spiegler, Global Director of Art Basel said in a statementExternal link.

“Following ten months of vaccination programmes in many countries, we anticipate broad international participation in our Basel show in September, because all our conversations within the artworld indicate a strong desire to see art in person and engage face-to-face with the global cultural scene.”

The organisers plan to continue online activities to promote Art Basel galleries to buyers and art fans.

Art Basel is traditionally the final stop on the spring/early summer global art buying tour. Unlike other art fairs, where galleries bring comparatively affordable work, the Swiss fair is a showcase for the best dealers have to offer. Galleries will often hold back their most expensive pieces specifically so that they can present them to Art Basel’s nearly 90,000 visitors.

In 2019, the last time the fair took place, featured an estimated $4 billion (CHF3.54 billion) worth of art.

Comments under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Join the conversation!

With a SWI account, you have the opportunity to contribute on our website.

You can Login or register here.