Artscope’s publisher, Kaveh Mojtabai and I had expected to be at Art Basel, for which Artscope had accepted the invitation to mount its own booth in the Magazine Sector, in June 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on travel and Switzerland’s 1000-person limit at gatherings, Art Basel initially rescheduled the event for September 2020, but as that date approached, it became necessary to cancel the fair in Switzerland and adopt a virtual format with participating galleries and artists showing their work in online viewing rooms. The viewing rooms provided a silent space to contemplate the work, unimpeded by crowds, generally presenting well online and reflecting this extraordinary time.
They included many works on paper, using graphite, charcoal and other materials that do not demand studio access for artists, nor use of facilities required for producing sculpture, and limiting installations which, due to their size and configurations cannot be viewed adequately online, the work was mostly two-dimensional and black-and-white. The grisaille reflected the dour times in which we now live, and looked good online.