Art Basel’s Noah Horowitz Is Stepping Down After Six Years as Director of Americas for the Fair

Horowitz will remain in his role until August.

Art Basel’s Noah Horowitz speaking onstage during the Art Basel Miami Beach press conference at the Miami Convention Center, 2020. Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.

Art fairs have had a tumultuous year, and now Art Basel, the 50-year-old juggernaut that operates events in Switzerland, Miami, and Hong Kong, is facing another surprise turn of events.

Noah Horowitz, the fair’s director of Americas, resigned on July 2, after six years on the job, a representative for Art Basel has confirmed to Artnet News.

News of Horowitz’s departure, which takes effect at the end of August, comes at a pivotal moment for the fair. Organizers are currently planning its rescheduled Swiss edition in Basel, now taking place in September instead of June. (The full exhibitor list is set to be released sometime next week.) Meanwhile, the Miami edition, which Horowitz helmed, has just finished accepting applications for its in-person fair this December.

Sources said the decision to part ways did not appear to result from any conflict. Horowitz is leaving “to pursue other opportunities,” a fair spokesperson told Artnet News. “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Noah for his immense contribution to Art Basel and his instrumental role in growing our business in the Americas. We have greatly valued his leadership, dedication, and collegiality and would like to wish him the very best for his future pursuits,”

The search for a new director of Americas will begin immediately, and Horowitz, who previously ran the Armony Show, will work to ensure a smooth transition, according to organizers.

The Miami Beach Convention Center, where Art Basel take place each June, is currently a hospital and coronavirus testing site. Image courtesy of Art Basel.

The Miami Beach Convention Center, where Art Basel take place each June, is currently a hospital and coronavirus testing site. Image courtesy of Art Basel.

“My passion for the mission of Art Basel makes this an incredibly difficult goodbye,” Horowitz said in a statement. “The past six years have been the most profound in my career, and I leave full of appreciation, admiration, and confidence in the world-class team behind Art Basel. I can’t wait to follow Art Basel’s trajectory as it stages its successful return to in-person shows this autumn and continues to reshape what the fair of the future can be.”

Art Basel’s parent company, MCH Group, has also been in a period of flux. Last year, it reached a deal with investor James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, which now owns a reported $160 million stake in the conglomerate. As part of the deal, MCH agreed to make changes to its board, including appointing three members from Lupa Systems—Murdoch among them—to join, alongside three new independent members. Meanwhile, three veterans of the MCH board agreed to step down this year.

“We are deeply grateful to Noah for his tremendous contribution in the six years that he has worked with Art Basel,” global director Marc Spiegler said in a statement. “His many achievements include the ever-growing renown of Art Basel Miami Beach, the establishment of our presence in New York, the launch of the Art Market report, and most recently the spearheading of our digital efforts. I will be working closely with Noah in the coming two months to assure the smoothest transition possible and lay the groundwork for a highly successful Art Basel Miami Beach 2021.”

—Additional reporting by Katya Kazakina

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