The Frieze London and Frieze Masters fairs have been canceled.
Visitors at the 2018 edition of Frieze London. Photo by Linda Nylind. Courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.
Art fair franchise Frieze has canceled the 2020 editions of its marquee expos, Frieze London and Frieze Masters, due to COVID-19. The fairs were slated to take place in London’s Regent’s Park from October 8th to 11th; they will be replaced with an edition of Frieze’s online viewing rooms similar to the virtual edition of Frieze New York this past May. Fair management informed participating galleries of the decision today. A Frieze spokesperson said the decision to cancel was a result of “continued unprecedented challenges regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), and following an extended period of consultation with all relevant stakeholders.”
In an email sent to exhibitors announcing the cancellation, Frieze Fairs global director Victoria Siddall, Frieze London artistic director Eva Langret, and Frieze Masters artistic director Nathan Clements-Gillespie wrote:
Due to considerable logistical challenges regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), including continued restrictions placed on events and the complications around travel quarantine, we have no choice but to cancel. We simply cannot ask you to participate in such uncertain conditions. Please accept our heartfelt apologies that we could not make this happen.
The Frieze spokesperson said none of the participating galleries had paid any of their fair fees at the time of cancellation. Organizers had previously explored the possibility of holding a modified and scaled back version of the fairs.
Frieze London and Frieze Masters are the latest major art fairs forced to cancel their 2020 editions due to the ongoing pandemic—including the Hong Kong and Basel editions of rival art fair franchise Art Basel. Frieze’s newest fair, Frieze Los Angeles, was one of the last to take place before much of the world went into lockdown.