The organizers of Art Cologne, the world’s oldest contemporary and modern art fair, and Cologne Fine Art & Design have announced that the 2021 iterations of the events, originally scheduled for April 14–18, are being pushed to November 19–21, with preview days taking place November 18 and 19. The change, unsurprisingly, is related to the continuing Covid-19 crisis and its attendant travel restrictions.
“The November dates provide us, all participants and our partners, with the opportunity to prepare the trade fairs well in advance and to develop fresh perspectives,” said the fairs’ director, Daniel Hug, in a statement. “We will probably also not yet have entirely overcome the corona crisis in November. However, we can nonetheless plan with a certain amount of predictability and optimism.” The organizers have said that exhibitors at both trade fairs are not required to reapply. Registered exhibitors who wish to withdraw may do so at no additional cost.
These are the second editions of Art Cologne and Cologne Fine Art & Design to be postponed—although technically, the shift represents the third time the 2020 iterations were pushed back. Scheduled to take place April 23–26, the fairs were moved to November 18–22 with the pandemic raging in Europe. In October, officials announced that the events would be pushed forward again, to the April dates that were just discarded; Art Cologne instead offered a series of online programs in November.
At the end of May, the fair will launch its new online sales platform, Sigmar. Sponsored by the German Ministry of State for Culture and Media as part of its Culture Restart initiative, the platform will allow Art Cologne participants the chance to offer their works for sale over a ten-day period, with the details of the sale being hammered out directly between seller and buyer. The digital initiative is meant to boost networking between galleries and collectors.