Recently, online viewing rooms have become a popular mechanism for high-end art dealers. Art Basel is launching online viewing rooms, an exclusively digital platform for its galleries and collectors. The viewing rooms will run jointly with its fairs in Miami Beach, Basel and Hong Kong. The platform has been in the works for some time, but its debut has been moved to March to allow exhibitors an opportunity to sell the works they planned to show at the fair in Hong Kong, meant to run from 17 to 21 March, which was cancelled recently due to concerns surrounding coronavirus. 

With the 2020 Hong Kong fair an exception, the viewing rooms are not meant to take the place of the experience of going to the fairs, but to act as an accompaniment. Marc Spiegler, the global director of Art Basel, hopes the online viewing rooms will “provide galleries with a further possibility for engaging with our global audiences, complementing the essential personal interactions that continue to underly the art market”. 

On the platform, galleries can use the platform to show up to ten works simultaneously. The platform will go live to the public from 20 to 25 March through the Art Basel app and the website, with VIP preview days from 18 to 20 March. “As the art market continues to evolve, Art Basel has continually investigated how new technologies can give us new opportunities to support our galleries” says Spiegler.