New features of the June edition included providing galleries with the option to embed a video for every artwork, allowing for a variety of options such as close-up shots of the individual works or short clips of artists talking about their own works. Additionally, visitors now had the capability to ‘like’ and share their favorite works and galleries in the viewing rooms, providing a more interactive and personal experience of the platform.
Adding further dimensions to the second edition of the Online Viewing Rooms was an events program of over 100 live-streamed talks, gallery-led tours of their presentations, curator tours, as well as digital events staged by galleries from studio visits to performance. Highlights included: a virtual studio visit with artist Ju Ting presented by Galerie Urs Meile, live performance of David Lamelas’ historical work ‘Time’ presented by Jan Mot, as well as intimate talks with artists such as William Kentridge presented by Lia Rumma and John Akomfrah presented by Lisson Gallery.
More than 4,000 works were presented, all displayed with either an exact price or a price range, which spanned from USD 500 to USD 10 million. At the time of the opening, the overall value of works presented was estimated to be in excess of USD 740 million, and hundreds more works were rotated in the Viewing Rooms over the run of the event.
As part of its ongoing efforts to support galleries by further developing its digital initiatives, Art Basel will look into ways to further adapt the Online Viewing Rooms platform to serve all Art Basel galleries later in the year. More details will be shared in the coming months.
Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel said: „Many collectors shared very positive feedback abou tour Online Viewing Rooms, noting how quickly and creatively galleries have adapted their presentations to fit a digital platform. For this second edition, many galleries also developed parallel programming, both digitally and physically where possible, that created further opportunities for dialogues, engagement and new discoveries, which have become ever-more pivotally important as we all continue to navigate together through this challenging period.“
„Until last week, BANK was an Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms virgin. While we were disappointed that we couldn’t relish the experience of being in the physical fair, the online initiative was certainly a beautiful thing. We were completely enchanted by the quality of the fair’s tender services, its global reach, prominence and caliber of the clientele. Our gallery will never be the same again!“
Mathieu Borysevicz, Founder and Director, BANK, Shanghai
„This yearwewere happy to participate in the new format of the Online Viewing Rooms, which I think is a great option in the current circumstances. It’s interesting to see the unique energy that this format created, and we found the response from collectors to be positive“
Stefan von Bartha, Director, von Bartha, Basel, S-chanf
„We had a remarkable experience with the Art Basel Online Viewing Room. As always, the eyes of the world are on what works are presented at the fair. Even though this year’s edition was online only, we made a great effort to gather the best and most exciting new works by gallery artists, because while the world slows down, creative production does not. The new work presented online served as evidence of this, and collectors responded.“
Tanya Bonakdar, Founder and Director, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, Los Angeles
„It is clear that early uncertainties about the art fair’s online initiatives have now fully disappeared. The public continuesto respond positively,and the latest online fairshavegrown into full-fledged events. Though these can never replace the experience of a physical art fair, many people are still looking for ways to develop and expand their collections, and moreover, to pursue their love for art. Passionate collectors continue to respond to quality, regardless of how and where they are being offered work.“
Xavier Hufkens, Founder, Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
„In its second iteration, Art Basel delivered a significantly improved Online Viewing Roomsexperience, providing a more robust and interactive platform for visitors and clients alike. No doubt in part because of this and clients‘ increasing familiarity and comfort with the concept of the online art fair viewing experience, it resulted in improved sales and serious inquiries about other available works.“
Thomas Kelly, Director, Sean Kelly, New York
„Within just three months we saw a visible growth in the quality of the Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms, the most noticeable being the addition of video capabilities in order toenhance virtual viewing experience. This ever-burgeoning emphasis on the online presence bolsters our belief that the art world’s traditional methods of operation have shifted for the better and will most likely endure even beyond the pandemic.“
Bo-Young Song, Managing Directorand Principal, Kukje Gallery, Busan, Seoul, New York
„This is our first time participating in an Art Basel initiative of any kind and we are very happy and surprised at the same time about the experience. None of us really knew what to expect but we ended up selling several works and made very interesting new contacts globally.“
Isabella Ritter and Katharina Schendl, Directors, LambdaLambdaLambda, Pristina
„While there is no substitute for the feeling of community and conviviality,we allcherish when we’re on site together at the annual fair, our gallery’s team is very proud to translate the spirit of that cherished annual event into our online presentation for Art Basel. We have gathered great works of art as well as stories and videos that translate the experience of the fair ‚in person‘, and we’re thrilled to bring some of that pleasure and optimism to our work in the digital realm. Our clients have responded with enormous enthusiasm.“
Dominique Lévy, Co-founder, Lévy Gorvy, Hong Kong, Zurich, London, New York
„Communicating the visual component of the aesthetic experience without physical presence is almost impossible. However, this second iteration of ArtBasel’s Online Viewing Rooms has proved that the digital sphere can be a greatally for galleries and artists. It will never replace the physical fair but it can certainly support it. In our case, Online Viewing Rooms triggered the curiosity of old and new collectors and increased their demand for detailed information about each piece.“
Cristóbal Riestra, Owner and Director, OMR, Mexico City
„Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms have allowed us to bring a large number and greater variety of artworks in different media and forms. There is no doubt that the Basel team put in a greateffort to improve the Online Viewing Rooms, as we find the June iteration a lot more convenient to use than the March edition. From a gallerist’s perspective, it is apparent that Art Basel has continuously demonstrated that this online initiative is a crucial and constructive platform for the entire industry during such unprecedented times.“
Qu Kejie, Founder andDirector, Magician Space, Beijing
„Regen Projects is pleased to have been part ofthe second edition of Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms. We experienced strong sales and terrific feedback on our presentation. It has been wonderful to connect with clients and to have dialogues about art with many of the people we would normally have seen at this time. While an online fair will never replace the analog version, Art Basel’s commitment to providing a virtual alternative is crucial and greatly appreciated during this time.“
Shaun Caley Regen, President, Regen Projects, Los Angeles
„While weare thrilled that local art centres across the world are beginning to open up, and our galleries in Berlin, London and Los Angeles have now been able to reopen; the Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms have once again proven to be a vital platform for us to connect with our international peers virtually. An international discourse is more important than ever to help us all make sense of the momentous changes the world is going through.“
Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers, Co-owners, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, London, Los Angeles
„We are thrilled with the success that the gallery has had on Art Basel’s OVR platform. Not only has the presentation resulted in a series of strong sales to important collectors in the United States, Europe and Asia, but it has also encouraged new conversations with individuals eager to learn about thework of Peter Saul. Clearly the Online Viewing Roomsplatform has true breadth with their reach.“
Anna Christina Furney, Partner, Venus Over Manhattan, New York
MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd