All images: June Art Fair 2019
Though galleries and museums are cautiously opening across Europe, a new zeal for digital strategies has decisively taken over the business of art, and will likely be permanently transforming it. Of course, another casualty of the pandemic (following Art Basel Hong Kong and Frieze New York) was Art Basel in Basel, the original fair which turned 50 this month in a sadly less-than-ceremonious way.
One innovative initiative brings the June Art Fair together with ArtReview and art powerhouse Hauser & Wirth, for a digital viewing experience that will take place August 20-31. The former—collaboratively founded by galleries VI, VII of Oslo and Christian Andersen of Copenhagen—burst onto the scene during Basel Art Week 2019, setting up in a concrete bunker turned exhibit space designed by Herzog & De Meuron. Rather than just adding to the din of the fair, June was instead a more exclusive, even secretive, in-the-know affair, meant to re-focus attention on established but perhaps under-appreciated artists, as well as promoting a well-curated program of emerging talent.
But with Basel Art Week shifting online, so has the June Art Fair, only at a later date.
“We are super excited to be collaborating with ArtReview in supporting June Art Fair this summer,” enthuses Hauser & Wirth Partner Neil Wenman. “By hosting the fair on our digital platform we aim to increase the exposure and audience for the participating galleries. New digital endeavors are challenging the art landscape and redefining how we can all connect.”
Participating galleries will also include Croy Nielsen, Vienna; Document, Chicago; Embajada, San Juan; Empty Gallery, Hong Kong; Green Art Gallery, Dubai; Misako & Rosen, Tokyo; Neue Alte Brücke, Frankfurt; and Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam XYZ. So it will yet be a genuinely international affair, brought together by contemporary technology.
“We are very grateful to Hauser & Wirth and ArtReview for supporting our first digital initiative,” says June co-founder Esperanza Rosales. “The inaugural edition of June was a proposal for new models, and continuing along that trajectory, we are thrilled to be able to experiment in finding ways to support artists in new and dynamic ways—this time online.”