Art Market

David Zwirner opened its online viewing room platform to 12 New York galleries.

Justin Kamp
Mar 30, 2020 5:20PM, via New York Times

David Zwirner at Yayoi Kusama's 2013 "I Who Have Arrived In Heaven" Exhibition. Photo by Andrew Toth via Getty Images.

Mega-gallery David Zwirner has invited 12 smaller galleries to use its online viewing room platform in a bid to help alleviate the financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. The joint display, titled “Platform: New York,” will run from April 3rd to May 1st, and will bring together New York-based galleries, including 47 Canal, Bureau, James Fuentes and Magenta Plains, many of which have seen their spring shows canceled or cut short.

Participating galleries will display two works by a single artist for “Platform,” allowing them to bypass the expensive process of building their own online showroom from scratch. David Zwirner is not charging the galleries for the opportunity, nor is it taking commission on sales. The “Platform” initiative will continue with a London iteration, the details of which will be announced in April.

A statement from the gallery read:

Platform emerged from conversations between gallery directors and their peers about the challenges facing all galleries in this current moment. With physical galleries temporarily closed due to the global health crisis, the art community has increasingly turned to digital spaces to share the work of artists, and to engage audiences all over the world.

The mega-gallery’s namesake, David Zwirner, has advocated for larger galleries to support the smaller spaces that form the bedrock of the art industry. In 2018, he called for a subsidy-like system whereby bigger galleries could help offset the costs of art fair participation for smaller outfits. Several fairs introduced such measures subsequently.

Institutions across the art world have migrated online in response to the spread of COVID-19. Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central kicked off their online versions last week after the in-person editions were cancelled in February. The Biennale of Sydney closed its public exhibitions on March 24th, with displays now viewable through the Google Arts & Culture platform.

Justin Kamp