This week would have been so-called "gigaweek", with the major auctions of Impressionist, Modern and contemporary art in New York. The events have, of course, been postponed. But are collectors buying art online instead? An explosion of digital initiatives and online galleries or viewing rooms followed the cancellation of fairs and the closure of auction houses and galleries over recent months due to the coronavirus. So this week, we’re looking at the implications of going digital for the art market.
We talk to Scott Reyburn, who writes on the art market for The New York Times as well as The Art Newspaper, and our art market editors Anna Brady and Margaret Carrigan take us through some of the initiatives including their experience of the viewing room for Frieze New York. Also this week, in the latest in our Lonely Work series, exploring art behind closed doors in museums… Rebecca Salter, the president of the Royal Academy in London, tells us about Cemetery (1900-02) by the Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert, and gives us an update on the RAs exhibition programme.
UPDATE: A new version of this episode was uploaded on 21 May to rectify an incorrect statement made by Scott Reyburn that the Frieze Viewing Rooms were only accessible to VIPs. After the initial VIP days, the Viewing Rooms were in fact open to all from 8-15 May.