COVID-19 outbreak: Art world self-isolates

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Art world self-isolates

Thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, uncertainty looms large over normal public life in many parts of the world, including India, and has also caused the Indian and global art world to go into a lockdown.

Among the temporary gallery closures due to COVID-19 are Art Heritage gallery, Threshold Art Gallery, Art Alive Gallery, Khoj Studios, while many like Vadehra Art Gallery are taking necessary precautions to guard against further spread. Triveni Kala Sangam has also suspended all its visual and performing art classes.

“On account of the COVID-19 pandemic, Art Alive Gallery will remain closed till 31 March as per the government directives. Our priority is the safety of our employees and of all our visitors. Art Alive Gallery is monitoring the situation, and will follow all government directives issued periodically.

“During this period the Gallery will go virtual and its ongoing show ‘Night Forest, a solo presentation by Chandra Bhattacharjee’ can be viewed online. The Art Alive team will be working from home,” the gallery said in a statement.

Many auction houses like Sotheby’s have also relocated their art auctions and sales from Hong Kong — one among the major affected areas — to other locations.

Internationally, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has temporarily closed all three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters — starting March 13, to support New York City’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

America’s National Gallery of Art has also postponed a major monographic exhibition on the work of artist Artemisia Gentileschi. Many of the exhibitions and collections can be viewed virtually on their websites.

In the UK, the Tate’s all four locations, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Barbican Art Gallery are also closing, among others.

Google Arts & Culture is also an online platform through which the public can access a vast repository of images and information on artworks housed in the initiative’s partner museums. The platform – available as an application and a website – is currently allowing over 500 virtual tours of collections around the world.

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