The last “normal” art-world event I attended, on March 12, was the opening of Kyle Staver’s exhibition at Zurcher Gallery, in downtown New York. The usual crowd gathered to savor Ms. Staver’s idiosyncratic updates on history painting—a waterborne Ophelia; Susanna in a hammock, flanked by tigers; the enigmatic Venus and the Octopus—and admire her exuberant conceptions, sinuous figures, and brooding color. The only sign of anything out of the ordinary was the absence of embraces. Just as at the art fairs the previous week, elbow bumps replaced air kisses. The next day, everything began to change. Isolation was recommended. Galleries and museums closed. Studio visits ended. Scheduled exhibitions were indefinitely postponed. Since it seemed irresponsible to write about art seen only virtually, my world altered abruptly.
Museums, galleries and artists adapted quickly to the new situation, expanding and intensifying their existing online activities, rapidly improving what was already there