Art Basel to Display Over 4,000 Works in Online Viewing Rooms This June

Including a monumental quadriptych by Kara Walker from her 2019 ‘Fons Americanus’ archive.

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Although its Swiss flagship fair is cancelled this year, Art Basel is getting ready to launch its June edition of Online Viewing Rooms. The international art organization previously launched its first virtual fair last March as a replacement for its Hong Kong installment due to COVID-19. The second digital presentation will see a lineup of 281 galleries from 35 countries across the globe. A total of 4,000 works from the Modern to post-war and contemporary periods will be presented online including paintings, sculptures, drawings, installation, and photography, as well as video and digital works.

Galleries will also host their own thematic exhibitions. Jack Shainman Gallery will launch “Reach out and touch me” that will encompass works that explore “the power of physical intimacy in a time marked by a retreat from the public sphere and the decline of casual interpersonal contact,” as per a statement. Moreover, OMR’s lineup of pieces will focus on the time of coronavirus, aiming to “encourage reflection upon the times we are living through, as we reconsider our priorities and rethink what we had once thought possible.”

Most notably, crucial themes of racial equality and justice will also be addressed in numerous presentations including Sikkema Jenkins & Co.’s online viewing room that will include works by Deana Lawson that question the multifarious identity and materiality of Black culture through carefully staged portraits of subjects. Within the same presentation, a new work on paper by Kara Walker will go on show. Walker’s “monumental quadriptych from her 2019 ‘Fons Americanus’ archive, addressing the power systems of white supremacy that comprised the trans-Atlantic slave trade within Europe and America.”

The Online Viewing Rooms will run from June 19 to June 26, 2020 on Art Basel’s website with preview days from June 17 to June 19.

Elsewhere in art, Theaster Gates explores racial ideologies and western culture in a new video work.

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