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New York galleries start to close due to coronavirus concerns

Pace, Hauser & Wirth and some others have confirmed that they will temporarily shut down

The Pace headquarters at 540 West 25th Street in Manhattan © Thomas Loof/Pace Gallery

Several galleries in New York, including Pace and Hauser & Wirth, will temporarily close starting on Friday due to recent developments surrounding the spread of Covid-19.

In a statement, Pace says it is "looking into creative ways to engage audiences digitally" during the closure. The gallery will continue scheduling private viewings on a case-by-case basis, will remain open in London and Seoul, and will have special opening hours in Hong Kong. "While we firmly believe that communal engagement with art is crucial in these challenging times, our first priority is to take every possible measure to ensure the safety of our visitors, artists and staff," says the statement. The gallery's forthcoming programmes have been postponed.

Hauser & Wirth will close its New York and Los Angeles locations and has suspended all of its public programming. Its London, Somerset and Zurich spaces will remain open, while its Hong Kong and St. Mortiz locations will be open by appointment only. In a statement, the gallery says it has "halted all global and transcontinental travel by its partners, directors and staff" and that employees are working remotely. "In the locations where our spaces remain open to the public, we have created split work schedules so that staff can alternate days working remotely and minimize exposure," it says.

David Zwirner gallery says it will temporarily close all of its spaces starting on Monday to "prioritize the safety of our staff and visitors". Talks and events have been cancelled or postponed. Gagosian will also close its five New York galleries starting tomorrow.

Venus Over Manhattan will also close temporarily. The gallery "will hopefully reopen soon", says the dealer Adam Lindemann. "This is all very unfortunate and I hope for good news soon."

Nancy Margolis Gallery will be open by appointment only until the end of March, when it will re-evaluate its decision. The gallery plans to launch a virtual tour of its current exhibition.

At the time of this publication, James Fuentes, the Fortnight Institute, Kasmin, Perrotin, Metro Pictures, Andrew Kreps, Gladstone, Cheim & Read, Regen Projects, James Cohan, Mitchell & Nash, David Lewis and numerous other galleries have also announced they will close to the public until further notice.