Frieze New York will fully refund galleries and launch an online viewing platform.

Justin Kamp
Apr 1, 2020 5:28PM, via ARTnews

Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze.

Frieze New York will completely refund booth fees for the nearly 200 exhibitors that were set to participate in the fair before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ARTNews reported that refunds will be paid out over two periods—half on May 20th, and half on June 20th. Frieze will also refund other advance payments exhibitors may have made, including deposits and construction fees. Additionally, exhibitors have the option to roll over refunds into payments for the 2021 edition of the fair.

An email sent to exhibitors and signed by Frieze executives Victoria Siddall, Loring Randolph, and Kristell Chadé read:

As you know, this is a very challenging time and we face similar issues to many galleries and other businesses. If your circumstances allow, we hope you will consider rolling over the second payment into Frieze New York 2021 or to one of our other fairs to which you are selected to participate. Those who choose this option will benefit from additional incentives.

In addition to the planned refund, Frieze New York is also offering participants the option to display works in its new online viewing room platform for free. The platform, which had been in development before the fair’s cancellation, will be available in both app and browser format.

Frieze is one of many art fairs finding new ways to navigate a socially-distanced art world. Art Basel in Hong Kong, which offered a 75 percent booth fee refund for exhibitors after its 2020 edition was canceled, launched its online viewing rooms last month. Other fairs, such as Art Brussels, Art Cologne and Art Basel’s marquee Swiss fair, have been postponed due to the pandemic.

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Justin Kamp