Citing ‘Ongoing Uncertainty,’ Frieze Cancels Its 2021 Los Angeles Fair and Plans to Move Across Town in 2022

The 2022 fair will move from Paramount Studies to a tent on Wilshire Boulevard.

Frieze Los Angeles has called off its 2021 edition, which had previously been rescheduled from February to July. Instead of readying a summer event, the fair will focus on its 2022 edition in February, which will be held at a new location: a cavernous tent at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard, adjacent to the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Frieze previously held its Los Angeles fair at Paramount Studios, which offered a dose of Hollywood glamour (outdoor art installations filled the legendary studio backlot), but often proved difficult for large crowds of fairgoers to access. Narrow streets and backlogged traffic were frequent frustrations, while the surrounding neighborhood offered few VIP perks. The new site should be somewhat friendlier to access and is far tonier, situated between the Hammer Museum and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

“With just 10 months until the 2022 dates, we have made the decision to focus on planning for next year’s fair rather than holding a July 2021 event in Los Angeles,” a representative for the fair said. “Although the situation in California has started to improve, the timeline constraints and ongoing uncertainty have made it clear that focusing our collective efforts on 2022 will make the best possible experience for all involved.”

A spokesperson for Frieze confirmed that the fair will host an online viewing room in July in lieu of the canceled fair. Dealers had not yet submitted payment for the summer edition. The cost to participate in the 2021 event will be consistent with previous editions of Frieze’s online fairs.

California has retained some of the most stringent public-health restrictions in the U.S. over the past year. While Los Angeles County eased its lockdown measures on Monday as vaccine distribution charged ahead, authorities have retained a 75 percent capacity limit for all retail operations and 50 percent for art institutions, restaurants, and other establishments. (Museums got the green light to reopen last month after more than one year.)

The art-fair calendar remains something of a question mark for the rest of 2021. Frieze is holding an attendance-capped event in New York in May (just don’t forget your vaccine card or PCR test!), while Art Basel is forging ahead with a slimmed-down Hong Kong edition next monthIts Swiss flagship fair remains on the calendar for September.

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