Some European galleries are operating on a timeline just behind their counterparts in Seoul and Hong Kong. Last week, on April 22nd, Berlin-based gallery GNYP
reopened. It was a quiet affair: Four visitors arrived across the span of six hours. In compliance with social distancing and hygiene regulations, visitors must now keep one and a half meters from one another, or around five feet. They can also wash their hands in the gallery bathroom (which raises an intriguing question—will American galleries finally make their bathrooms available to all visitors now?).
Masks aren’t currently mandatory in Germany, so they’re not mandated at GNYP, either. “If this changes, we’d obviously control that as well,” said gallery co-partner Giovanni Springmeier. His team must be flexible as governmental recommendations change.
Perhaps the greatest inconvenience to GNYP—and many newly reopened galleries—is the slowdown of international travel. GNYP must be considerate of artists and collectors who live in countries that are experiencing different stages of the pandemic. On May 15th, the gallery will open an exhibition of work by Brooklyn-based artist
. Many international collectors have had to cancel their plans to attend the opening in person.
The reception itself will be spread throughout the day, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., to accommodate social distancing regulations. GNYP is asking guests to RSVP and select a time slot, so the gallery can coordinate the flow of attendees. Because the artist won’t be able to fly across the Atlantic, she’s making a film for the event, with help from her boyfriend. “You will see the artist in her everyday studio telling the public about her work and exhibition,” said Springmeier. “We like very much the spontaneity and casualness of such a video.”