Marc Spiegler decided to step down as global director of Art Basel, after more than a decade at the helm. To replace him, the art fair’s prodigal son Noah Horowitz will return and take over in the newly created role of Art Basel CEO in November 7.
“Leading Art Basel is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” – Noah Horowitz
Marc Spiegler will remain at Art Basel’s parent company, MCH Group, in an advisory role for six months. After that, he will leave, so that he could “explore the next phase of his art world career”, according to an official release.
Noah Horowitz worked as Art Basel’s Americas from 2015 to July 2021. He decided to leave Art Basel at that time, and started working at Sotheby’s, in a newly created role. The focus was on private sales and gallery services.
“I had an awesome time at Sotheby’s and saw a long and fruitful career there, but to lead Art Basel is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”, Horowitz says. Despite his brief run, Horowitz says it was “eye-opening” to work in the “other side” of the industry.
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This experience will prove vital for Art Basel’s next chapter, Horowitz says. Adding that he now hopes to redeploy some of these strategies “in a different direction” at the fair company. His return comes as “boundaries between old and new in the industry are rapidly shifting”, he says.
Marc Spiegler said in a statement that Horowitz is “the perfect person to carry Art Basel forward.” “I am leaving Art Basel on a high note,” Spiegler said in a statement. “Leading the next stage of Art Basel’s evolution will take many years and a different set of skills … It has come time to pass the baton.”
Marc Spiegler Made Art Basel Into So Much More Than a Fair Brand
Horowitz will also have his title changed from “global director” to “chief executive”. This indicates how the organisation continues to evolve, and now requires someone with a different skill set.
While it is early days, Horowitz says he is unable to comment on what specific changes are in store for Art Basel, but growing digital channels will be key to its success. Nonetheless, he maintains that live events will remain at the brand’s core: “Coming out of Covid, there is an enormous appetite for IRL events—art still needs to be appreciated in person.”
He says he will continue to build on the legacy of his predecessor, who grew Art Basel into “something more than a fair brand.” Marc Spiegler, a citizen of the US and France, began his art world career as a journalist, writing for publications including New York Magazine and The Art Newspaper.
The departure of the long-time head of the fair won’t be immediate. Marc Spiegler will stay on to help oversee Art Basel Miami Beach’s 20th anniversary edition, coming up fast in early December. He will also remain with the team until the end of the year to support Horowitz through the transfer of power. He will also continue in an advisory capacity for six months after that.