After Frieze New York’s virtual debut wraps up on May 15th, the next major test of the art market’s resilience and adaptability will come in the latter half of June. From June 17th to 26th, Art Basel will hold its second online-only fair (timed to the usual dates of its hometown edition). And beginning the week of June 22nd and continuing through the end of the month, Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s will find out if anyone will actually show up in person to their rescheduled bellwether auctions in New York—or if perhaps collectors will continue to opt for the safety of bidding on blue-chip trophies from home, even as the art world cautiously reopens.
For Frieze, part of the recipe for success online was in concocting something that conjured the atmosphere of the real-life experience. “We did as much as we could to create the energy of the actual fair,” Randolph said. “Dealers got excited, they had something to look forward to, and collectors came out to support artists and galleries.”