London Art Fair is the latest to postpone 2022 edition due to Omicron surge

The fair is the most recent casualty of the new Covid-19 variant, moving its opening back by three months

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The Business Design Centre in Islington, home of the London Art Fair

The Business Design Centre in Islington, home of the London Art Fair

The 2022 edition of the London Art Fair, due to take place 19-23 January, has been postponed “in light of the continued uncertainty and disruption caused by the recent Omicron variant”, its organisers announced today. The fair will now be held three months later, on 20-24 April.

“Whilst we could have continued with the event as planned within government guidelines, we are keen to deliver the best possible fair for our galleries, sponsors, partners and visitors,” the fair’s organisers, Immediate Live, said in a statement. As of 6 January more than 182,000 people are testing positive for Covid-19 every day in the UK, with the caseload doubling over the past fortnight, according to the New York Times. The fair, which takes place in London’s Business Design Centre in Islington, plans on presenting a full roster of more than 100 contemporary galleries during its new dates in the spring.

Collectors and connoisseurs should not be taken by surprise by the fair’s cancellation. As Covid-19’s Omicron variant continues to spread, the art world’s collective social calendar becomes more and more a carbon copy of early 2021. The 2022 edition of the Winter Show, originally scheduled for 20-30 January, was postponed two days before Christmas thanks to a surge of Covid-19 cases in New York City. Organisers have yet to announce new dates as the coronavirus situation in New York is as uncertain as it is contagious.

The India Art Fair, South Asia's largest, announced on 30 December it would postpone its 2022 edition from February to April in light of rising Covid-19 case numbers and restrictions issued by the Indian government.

Still, for those hoping to socialise safely in the presence of art there are still options, including FOG Design + Art in San Francisco (20-23 January), Zonamaco in Mexico City (9-13 February), and Frieze Los Angeles (17-20 February), which are all moving ahead as planned. Frieze will soon issue special health and safety guidelines for its Los Angeles fair, which will feature more than 100 participating galleries.

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