Aug 12, 2020
News

The Liste art fair canceled its 2020 edition.

Visitors at the 2019 edition of Liste. Photo by Diana Pfammatter, courtesy Liste.

Visitors at the 2019 edition of Liste. Photo by Diana Pfammatter, courtesy Liste.

The Liste fair in Basel, Switzerland has called off its forthcoming edition, which had been scheduled to take place from September 17th to 20th. The decision came as a result of both the worsening health situation in Switzerland—the 8.6-million person country has had more than 37,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and is currently averaging 164 new cases per day—as well as the increase in travel restrictions that are preventing many galleries from participating.
The fair, which focuses mainly on emerging artists, had previously been rescheduled from its usual June time slot to September in order to run alongside the now-canceled Art Basel in Basel mega-fair at a smaller and more open location than its usual warehouse. After Art Basel canceled its 2020 edition, Liste originally said it would proceed as planned, albeit with a smaller group of gallerists. To offset the constant reshuffling, Liste offered reduced booth fees to any gallerists still willing to participate, with the caveat that any fees incurred may not be refunded in the event of future cancellation.
Joanna Kamm, director of the fair, told Artnet News:
In this exceptional year, we agreed with them that we only charge the extra costs necessary to host the event itself, rather than the entire costs that have already been incurred by us this year. In return, we have agreed with the galleries that in case the fair must be cancelled, each gallery is paying a pro rata amount equivalent to the expenses incurred so far since the end of June.
Liste will still run its digital edition, Liste Showtime, from September 14th to 20th, with a VIP preview running September 11th to 13th. The platform will feature 72 galleries, each presenting one artist. It will also present an additional artists’ project, titled “Rewriting Our Imaginations,” which will focus on posters created by artists that will be available for purchase online and on view around the city of Basel from September 2nd to 15th.
Liste is the latest in a string of fall art fairs that have been forced to cancel their upcoming editions due to the prolonged disruptions caused by the pandemic. Last week the Dallas Art Fair canceled its upcoming edition, slated for early October. Last month, Frieze pulled the plug on its marquee fairs, Frieze London and Frieze Masters, which had been scheduled to run in early October as well. Amid those cancelations, a few smaller fairs have opted to go ahead with physical editions this fall.