Noah Horowitz on How His Travels Have Shaped Art Basel

The Talks series includes writers Jori Finkel, Jillian Steinhauer, and Kenny Schachter.

Noah Horowitz.

When the talks programs at Art Basel in Miami Beach, revealed here at artnet News first, are announced broadly later today, those who pay attention to such things will notice that the participants and the cities from which they hail reflect the recent travels of Noah Horowitz, who in summer of 2015 joined Art Basel as its first director for the Americas.

Horowitz looked ahead to this year’s fair, and back on his first year, during an interview in Art Basel’s New York office, which he opened with a staff of 10. The workspace, on West 30th Street near Penn Station, is the Switzerland-based art fair’s first permanent roots in the Americas. It also, he says, “underlines the nature of my hiring” and the need “to have a deeper and larger footprint in the markets we operate in.”

 “I’ve spent a lot of time this past year not just traveling but putting foundations in place in this office so we can better service our clients and represent Art Basel in this market, which includes North and South America, on an ongoing basis,” he explains.

But New York, where he lives with his wife and two children, has been but a pit stop as he’s traveled the globe to connect with collectors, curators, artists, gallerists and cultural institutions of all shapes and sizes to cement long relationships and help bring new people and ideas to Art Basel’s three fairs. “There are younger collectors doing things in these different markets, there are upstart galleries or not-for-profits and our whole goal is to be able read these markets and then understand where within our platform we can plug them into.”

For Horowitz, North America has meant multiple trips to South Florida for on-the-ground planning; Los Angeles, where he met with Eli Broad and LA MOCA Philippe Vergne; Chicago during EXPO; the Bay Area; Portland, OR; Aspen, CO; Minneapolis; Philadelphia and Vancouver. In South America, he hit Colombia during Bogotá’s annual fair ArtBo (artist Bernardo Ortiz of Bogotá is participating in a talk); Mexico during Mexico City’s Zona Maco; Brazil during the Sao Paulo Bienal; and Argentina where, under Horowitz’s leadership, Buenos Aires is the first Art Basel Cities partner, which was described when announced last March as a way for Art Basel to help “create meaningful programming that will complement and amplify the city’s artistic offerings.” (One exciting talk during ABMB that developed out of that partnership includes the city’s mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta along with Orly Benzacar, of Buenos Aires’ Ruth Benzacar Galería de Arte and others.)

Of course, Horowitz has suffered jet-lag from the other direction too, with countless trips to Basel and—since his purview includes drawing galleries outside the Americas to Art Basel in Miami Beach—trans-Atlantic travel like London during Frieze week; Zurich, during Manifesta; and Copenhagen, whose Christen Andersen Gallery will be now participating in the Miami fair for the first time, in the Positions sector.


“Part of the reason I’m traveling so much is to be able to cultivate relationships and to be an eye on the ground with what’s happening with the gallery scene, but equally to create a very direct and high level touch-point with the private collectors, the media, the institutions that are active in this market,” he explains. Those in-person visits are, he says, “both to ensure that they are interested in and coming to Miami Beach but also that they are interested in and engaged with what we are doing in Hong Kong and in Basel.”

Art Basel in Miami Beach has a 98 percent re-application rate in the Galleries sector, and a 96 percent re-application rate overall. So the questions for him and his colleagues among the leadership is, “How do we keep things fresh?” and “how to create a platform in the [main] show for some ‘younger’ galleries that up until now had tended to feature in [the less prestigious] Positions and Nova sectors.”

The answers to the first question include four new exhibitors to the Galleries sector who have never participated with Art Basel in Miami Beach before:  Galerie Greta Meert of Brussels; Di Donna Gallery of New York, joségarcía from Mexico City and Los Angeles’ Marc Selwyn Fine Arts.

The answers to the second question are eight exhibitors who have moved from other sectors to Galleries for the first time: Cherry and Martin of Los Angeles; Bergamin & Gomide of Sao Paulo; New York’s Menconi + Schoelkopf; Labor from Mexico City; London’s Pilar Corrias; Berlin’s Galerija Gregor Podnar and   GALLERYSKE from Bangalore.

In particular, Horowitz points to the Los Angeles gallery Cherry and Martin as an example of “a gallery that is a great gallery who at some stage in their trajectory, we need to look at addressing ways we support them beyond keeping them limited to just doing a project.” Cherry and Martin is now among eight exhibitors who are showing with the main fair for the first time after participation in other sectors.

And since the talks are an important part of keeping things fresh, for example, gallery co-owner Mary Leigh Cherry will be take part in an afternoon Salon moderated by Los Angeles-based art writer Jori Finkel on the role of geography in the Los Angeles art scene, along with Thao Nguyen, an agent for art, architecture and design wth Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency; independent curator Philipp Kaiser and artist Lita Albuquerque.

Also in the talks program, among the usual suspects like Hans Ulrich Obrist, HE Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, Bonnie Clearwater, Jens Hoffmann, Paul Schimmel and artnet’s own Kenny Schachter are some fresh voices who are sure to stir things up, like star poet and Yale professor Claudia Rankine, a recent recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, in conversation with artist Glenn Ligon. Then if he shows up, there’s the notoriously recalcitrant New York collector Hubert Neumann, in a salon on collecting modern art. A Salon likely to be standing room only will be artist Howardena Pindell in conversation with Valerie Cassel Oliver of Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum and the dynamic and whip-smart curator Naomi Beckwith of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

(Gender is such an important topic in the wake of the U.S. elections, so it’s disappointing to see a Salon program truculently titled “Why is Gender Still an Issue?” and to see that it features only white people. Moderated by Hyperallergic’s Jillian Steinhauer, it comprises artist Joan Snyder; Paul Schimmel of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel; Susan Fisher Sterling, the director of the heretofore ho-hum National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.; and Maura Reilly, the director of New York’s National Academy Museum (which is closed) and School. Hopefully, those smart people will think of ways to link the conversation to the bitter disappointment and fear many women are feeling both inside and outside the art world.)

For Horowitz, the extensive travel he’s done, he says, is all about building relationships and listening to keep the fair fresh and the quality high. “Based on many years of experience, those conversations and those relationships make a difference.”


Art Basel 2016 Talks Program: Conversations and Salons

There are two types of talks at Art Basel in Miami Beach, both in the auditorium in Hall C of the Miami Beach Convention Center. The first, the Conversations series, is open to the public free of charge each morning during the fair. The Conversations are typically conversations among several prominent members of the international art world in which each offers a unique point of view about producing, collecting, and exhibiting art.

The second, the Salon series, takes place each afternoon during the fair and is open only to those with a show ticket or an Art Basel VIP card. The Salons are organized as an open platform for short and often more informal presentations including artist talks, panels, lectures and performances. Salons include the voices of artists, curators, academics, collectors, architects, art lawyers, and critics.

Julio Le Parc, Continuous light cylinder of the Enlightenment Series, 1962 / 2012. Courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler.

Julio Le Parc, Continuous light cylinder of the Enlightenment Series, 1962 / 2012. Courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler.



All morning conversations take place 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., the last half- hour of which is devoted to Q&A.

Thursday, December 1, 2016 | Premiere | Artist Talk | Julio Le Parc

Julio Le Parc, Artist, Paris, in conversation with Dr. Estrellita B. Brodsky, Guest Curator,’Julio Le Parc: Form into Action’, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Miami

“On the occasion of Julio Le Parc’s major exhibition at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Le Parc talks with Estrellita B. Brodsky, curator of Julio Le Parc’s exhibition at PAMM. Le Parc, born in Argentina in 1928, has lived in Paris since 1958, where he became a leading voice among artist-activists and a pioneer in the use of light and color. He is a founding member of the artist collective Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV) and his experimental work is central to the Op and Kinetic art movements. He set out to challenge existing structures and systems by way of the unmediated experience – by shifting individuals’ perceptions.”

Friday, December 2, 2016 | Artist Talk | Artists’ Influencers

Glenn Ligon, Artist, New York, in conversation with Claudia Rankine, Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry, Yale University, New Haven

Moderator: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, London

“Conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist, this new series brings together artists with the individuals who have been of great influence to the development of their artistic practice. It partners artistic vision with the important thinkers who have informed and inspired them. In some instances the artists’ influencer is a leading figure in the art community; in others the creative force comes from alternative practices. The intersection of these pairs will address concerns in each of their works as well as timely matters. This conversation often serves as their first personal encounter.”

Saturday, December 3, 2016 | Public/Private | Debating Disruption: Has Technology Really Changed the Artworld?

Sebastian Cwilich, President and COO, Artsy, New York; Laurent Gaveau, Head of the Lab, Google Cultural Institute, Paris; Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of Digital Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Simon Denny, Artist, Berlin

Moderator: András Szántó, Author and Cultural Consultant, New York

“Technology has had a profound effect on almost every walk of life. Every other week, it seems, new digital ventures are launched in the artworld. When it comes to the fundamentals, has technology already left a mark on the artworld? Compared to other fields, digital disruption in cultural institutions and markets is still in its infancy. What will transformative disruption look like? Where will the game-changing technologies come from? Departing from a note of healthy skepticism, the conversation seeks to clarify what is truly new and what digital innovation holds in store for the artworld of tomorrow.”

Sunday, December 4, 2016 | Artist Talk | The Artist and the Gallerist

Jill Magid, Artist, New York, in conversation with Pamela Echeverría, Owner, Labor, Mexico City

Moderator: Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Curator of Contemporary Art, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York/Caracas

“This panel offers a frank and informal conversation about the unique and fundamental relationship between artists and their gallerists. Jill Magid, conceptual artist and writer, speaks with gallerist Pamela Echeverría. Moderated by curator Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, they discuss how they met, how they came to work together, and if and how their working relationship has changed over time. How has the dynamic of an emerging market affected, if at all, the development of the artists’ work? What is the significance of this relationship and how does it differ from other relationships? What have they learned from each other and what are their plans for the future?”


Kenny Schachter. Courtesy of Art Basel.



Thursday, December 1, 2016

 2pm to 3pm | Art Basel Cities Discussion | The Future of Buenos Aires’ Cultural Landscape

Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Mayor, Buenos Aires City, Buenos Aires; Diego Radivoy, Director General, Creative Industries of Buenos Aires City, Buenos Aires; Orly Benzacar, Owner and Director, Ruth Benzacar Galería de Arte, Buenos Aires; Alec Oxenford, Collector and Founder of OLX & Letgo, Buenos Aires

Moderator: András Szántó, Author and Cultural Consultant, New York

3pm to 4pm | Discussion | Biennial Commissions: Impact and Complications

HE Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; Damián Ortega, Artist, Mexico City; Gabriele Horn, Director, Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, Berlin

Moderator: Kate Sutton, Writer, Zagreb

4pm to 5pm | Discussion | Why is Gender Still an Issue?

Maura Reilly, Director, National Academy Museum and School, New York; Joan Snyder, Artist, New York; Susan Fisher Sterling, Director, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; Paul Schimmel, Vice President and Partner, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, Los Angeles

Moderator: Jillian Steinhauer, Senior Editor, Hyperallergic, New York

5pm to 6pm | Debate | Public Museums & Private Partnerships

Neal Benezra, Director, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Norah Stone, Trustee, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Howard Rachofsky, Collector, Dallas

Moderator: Carol Kino, Freelance Journalist, WSJ. Magazine, The New York Times, 1stdibs, Cultured, and others, New York

6pm to 7pm | Discussion | New Biennials in the Americas

Ngahiraka Mason, Curator, Honolulu Biennial, Honolulu; Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Curator, Site Santa Fe, and Senior Curator, El Museo del Barrio, New York; Trevor Schoonmaker, Artistic Director, Prospect.4, New Orleans, and Chief Curator, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham; Pablo León de la Barra, Curator, Site Santa Fe, and Guggenheim UBS Map Curator Latin America, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Moderator: Jens Hoffmann, Co-Artistic Director, Front International, Cleveland, and Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programs, The Jewish Museum, New York

7pm to 8pm | Lecture Performance | 18 Low Resolution Stories

Bernardo Ortiz, Artist, Bogotá


Friday December 2, 2016

1pm to 2pm | Art Market Talk | Post-Election Art Market

Heather Podesta, Founder and CEO, Heather Podesta + Partners, Washington D.C.; Daniel H. Sallick, Chairman, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Founder and Partner, Subject Matter, Washington D.C.

Moderator: Josh Baer, Advisor and Publisher, Baer Faxt, New York

2pm to 3pm | On Collecting | What is Modern, Really?

David Fleiss, Co-Owner and Director, Galerie 1900-2000, Paris; Niklas Svennung, Partner and Senior Director, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Ahmed Alsoudani, Artist, New York; Hubert Neumann, Collector, New York

Moderator: David Ebony, Contributing Editor, Art in America, New York

3pm to 4pm | Artist Talk | Francesco Clemente: Sleep of Reason

Francesco Clemente, Artist, New York, in conversation with Bonnie Clearwater, Director and Chief Curator, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Florida

4pm to 5pm | Art Market Talk | The State of the Emerging Art Market

Beat Raeber, Co-Owner, RaebervonStenglin, Zurich; Rob Teeters, Principal, Front Desk Apparatus, New York and Artistic Director, The Power Station, Dallas; Shelley Fox Aarons M.D., Collector and Supporter of Contemporary Art, New York; Kenny Schachter, Writer, Dealer and Lecturer, London

Moderator: Sarah Douglas, Editor-in-Chief, ARTnews Magazine, New York

5pm to 6pm | Artist Talk | Mark Dion: South Florida Endeavors

Mark Dion, Artist, New York, in conversation with Tim Rodgers, Director, Wolfsonian-FIU, Miami Beach

6pm to 7pm | Discussion | Air Space, Third Space and Monumentality

Christian Wassmann, Founder, Studio Christian Wassmann, New York; Matías Duville, Artist, Buenos Aires; Laura Raicovich, President and Executive Director, Queens Museum, New York

Moderator: Arie Amaya-Akkermans, Head of Programmes, Ab/Anbar, Tehran/Moscow


Saturday, December 3, 2016

1pm to 2pm | Crowdfunding | Reclaiming Networks: Global & Local

Wafaa Bilal, Artist, New York; Stefan Benchoam, Artist and Exhibition Maker, Director of Proyectos Ultravioleta and Co-Director of NuMu, Guatemala City; Katy Diamond Hamer, Art Journalist, New York; Chana Budgazad Sheldon, Director, Locust Projects, Miami

Moderator: Renaud Proch, Executive Director, Independent Curators International, New York

2pm to 3pm | Discussion | LA and the Proximity Factor

Mary Leigh Cherry, Co-Owner, Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles; Thao Nguyen, Art, Architecture and Design Agent, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Los Angeles; Philipp Kaiser, Independent Curator, Los Angeles; Lita Albuquerque, Artist, Los Angeles

Moderator: Jori Finkel, Journalist, The Art Newspaper and The New York Times, Los Angeles

3pm to 4pm | Artist Talk | Howardena

 Pindell: Travelogues

Howardena Pindell, Artist, New York, in conversation with Naomi Beckwith, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and Valerie Cassel Oliver, Senior Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston

4pm to 5pm | Debate | Spectacle, Events & Arts

Juan Andrés Gaitán, Director, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; Hrag Vartanian, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder, Hyperallergic, New York; Lady Bunny, Drag Queen, Nightclub DJ and Founder of Wigstock, New York; Nicholas Baume, Curator of Art Basel’s Public Sector and Director and Chief Curator of Public Art Fund, New York

Moderator: Stan Parish, Editor-in-Chief, ‘The Future of Everything’ at The Wall Street Journal, New York

5pm to 6pm | Discussion | Latin American Collaborations

Catherine Petitgas, Collector and Patron, Chair of the Board of Gasworks/Triangle Network and Member of the Tate Latin American Acquisitions Committee, London; Alexandre Arrechea, Artist, Havana

Moderator: Ricardo Porrero, General Director and Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Código, Founder and Director, Gallery Weekend México, Mexico City

6pm to 7pm | Artist Talk | Sun Xun: Reconstruction of the Universe

Sun Xun, Artist, Beijing, in conversation with Barbara Pollack, Art Critic and Independent Curator, New York


Sunday, December 4, 2016

1pm to 2pm | Discussion | Artists’ Resale Royalties in the US

Lauren van Haaften-Schick, Art Historian, and Associate Director at The Art & Law Program, New York; Tony Matelli, Artist, New York; Maxwell Graham, Director, Essex Street, New York

Moderator: Franklin Boyd, Founder, Xipsy, New York

2pm to 3pm | Artist Talk | The Artist as Composer

Molly Palmer, Artist, London; Susannah Stark, Artist, London; Kathryn Mikesell, Founder, The Fountainhead Residency and Studios, Miami; Rachel Mason, Artist, Los Angeles

Moderator: William J. Simmons, Lecturer in Art History, City College of New York, New York

With an introduction by David Gryn, Curator of Art Basel’s Film sector and Founder of Daata Editions and Artprojx, London



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