Frieze Los Angeles Is Overhauling Its Format for the Social-Distancing Era, Moving From February to July and Spreading Out Across the City

The fair plans to return to its February dates in 2022.

FRIEZE Los Angeles held its VIP opening on Thursday, February 13, 2020 in the Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood. Photograph by Casey Kelbaugh

Frieze Los Angeles has announced that it will delay its February fair until July 26, 2021. The third edition of Frieze’s typically star-studded West Coast fair will also feature a new format, trading the crowded central tent at Paramount Studios for a more spread out experience at a variety of sites across the city.

“Frieze’s strong commitment to the city of Los Angeles, its galleries and institutions, is reflected in the dates and format, as they offer the best opportunity to continue the success of previous editions of the fair,” said a Frieze spokesperson, in a statement. “Frieze Los Angeles will implement the highest health and safety standards and employ the appropriate policies and procedures to ensure the safety of visitors, galleries, and staff.”

The postponed fair will still “benefit from enhanced digital functionality and reach a global online audience” through the Frieze Viewing Room, which was previously used for the New York and London events, the spokesperson said.

Possible in-person venues include Midcentury Modern private residences from architects Richard Neutra and John Lautner, according to the Art Newspaper. A return to Paramount Pictures was not possible, because health guidelines for the film studio currently limit the number of people on the premises.

The move comes on the heels of Art Basel’s decision to push back its Hong Kong fair from March to May, which follows the cancellation all three of its flagship in-person events—in Hong Kong, Basel, and Miami—in 2020.

FRIEZE Los Angeles in the Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood. Photograph by Casey Kelbaugh

FRIEZE Los Angeles in the Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood. Photograph by Casey Kelbaugh

Frieze also cancelled its physical fairs in London and New York this past year. Next year, the New York edition is moving from Randall’s Island to the Shed, a cultural center on Manhattan’s west side, and scaling back from some 200 exhibitors to just 60.

Salon del Mobile, the Milan design fair, will likely move its 2021 dates from April to September, according to Dezeen.

Most art fairs have held their 2020 editions virtually, though Shanghai saw the opening of ART021 and the West Bund Art & Design fairs earlier this month, some of the first large-scale in-person art fairs to take place since lockdown began in the spring.

In place of its February fair in Los Angeles, Frieze will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year with three days of special digital programming from Frieze magazine, celebrating the best art of the past three decades. It plans to return the LA fair to its regular February dates in 2022.


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