The June edition of Art Basel's Online Viewing Rooms will feature an international lineup of 282 leading galleries from 35 countries and territories across Europe, North and South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. An events program consisting of live-streamed talks, curator tours, as well as digital events staged by galleries – from studio tours to performance – will accompany this second edition. The Online Viewing Rooms will run from June 19 to June 26, 2020, with preview days from June 17 to June 19, 2020.
Collectors will be able to discover over 4,000 exceptional works from the Modern to post-war and contemporary, including painting, sculpture, drawings, installation, and photography, as well as video and digital works.
Several galleries will present thematic viewing rooms reflecting on the current paradigm and the impacts of the pandemic, including: Jack Shainman Gallery’s ‘Reach out and touch me’, featuring works that highlight the power of physical intimacy in a time marked by a retreat from the public sphere and the decline of casual interpersonal contact; OMR’s selection of works that aims to encourage reflection upon the times we are living through, as we reconsider our priorities and rethink what we had once thought possible; works by Simryn Gill, Mrinalini Mukherjee, and Anwar Jalal Shemza at Jhaveri Contemporary that explore the abiding role of nature as an inspiration – both a sanctuary and resilient force – as it reclaims urban spaces in extended periods of lockdown; and Jan Mot’s ‘I’d Like to Hear Your Voice’, a group exhibition reflecting on current circumstances by elaborating on different dimensions of voice.
The vital themes of racial equality and justice will be addressed in various presentations. Select highlights include: Sikkema Jenkins & Co.’s presentation, which will include works by Deana Lawson that explore representations of the body within the context of contemporary Black diasporic life, as well as a new work on paper by Kara Walker – a monumental quadriptych from her 2019 ‘Fons Americanus’ archive, addressing the power systems of white supremacy that comprised the trans-Atlantic slave trade within Europe and America; ‘Personas’ by Yancey Richardson Gallery, featuring a selection of works by Zanele Muholi, Mickalene Thomas, and Tseng Kwong Chi, whose photographs explore race, gender, and personal identity through portraiture; a sculpture by Yinka Shonibare CBE that seeks to break with established Western canons of knowledge at Goodman Gallery; and a painting by Arjan Martins presented by A Gentil Carioca that depicts the young João Pedro, who was shot by the Brazilian police in 2020, addressing issues around violence and exploitation in Brazil today.
Some galleries will use their exhibition spaces in parallel to their participation in the Online Viewing Rooms. Over 20 galleries in Berlin are taking part in the ‘BaselbyBerlin’ project where they will be physically installing works from their online booths in their own galleries, so that collectors can see in person the works featured on the Art Basel platform.
The second edition of the Online Viewing Rooms will offer new features, such as the capability for users to ‘like’ and share their favorite works. Videos can now be embedded for every artwork, allowing galleries options such as close-up shots or short clips of artists talking about their own works.
An events program hosted by the participating galleries will accompany the Online Viewing Rooms, including Sanford Biggers in conversation with Franklin Sirmans, Director of Pérez Art Museum Miami, presented by Marianne Boesky Gallery; Rana Begum in conversation with Kate MacGarry in her studio with works exhibited in the Online Viewing Rooms; and Goodman Gallery’s digital representation of Yinka Shonibare CBE’s 'The African Library' installation, as well as an online program of Shirin Neshat's preeminent films. Hans Op de Beeck will present his newest creations in an intimate tour of his studio with Galleria Continua, while Jan Mot will showcase David Lamelas’ online performance ‘Time’ (2020), revisiting his iconic piece from 1970s. Art Basel will also hold a series of talks with gallerists on special sectors – Jasmin Tsou from JTT on ‘Statements’, Prateek Raja from Experimenter on ‘Feature’, and Carolina Nitsch from Carolina Nitsch on ‘Edition’– as well as tours with curators, all of which will be free and open to the public upon registration. The full program of events can be found on artbasel.com/ovr.
Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel said: ‘In addition to the exceptional presentations of the highest-quality works by our galleries, the second edition of the Online Viewing Rooms will also feature a range of programs throughout the duration to foster conversations and provide greater context to the galleries’ presentations. While we know that the digital platform cannot replicate completely what our physical shows offer, we hope it will provide strong support to our galleries and their artists as the art world continues to navigate these difficult times.’
The Online Viewing Rooms will be available via the Art Basel website under artbasel.com/viewing-rooms and the Art Basel App.