Victoria Siddall, Frieze’s director of the board, has announced that she will step down next month. The surprise announcement marks the latest in a string of high-level departures from Frieze’s fair team in recent years.
Her last day will come at the end of February, following the run of Frieze’s Los Angeles fair. She has been with the company for 18 years.
“As you can imagine, this was a very difficult decision, given what an incredibly important part of my life Frieze has been,” Siddall wrote today in an email to colleagues, a copy of which was shared with Artnet News. The director added that she will remain on the board of the business and “continue to advise on key initiatives, including Frieze Seoul.”
A spokesperson for Frieze explained that the company will not hire a replacement for Siddall’s role. Instead, each fair will be run by a dedicated director, the positions of which are already filled. Nathan Clements-Gillespie has headed Frieze Masters since the fall of 2018; Eva Langret was appointed director of Frieze London a year later. Christine Messineo was tapped to lead Frieze’s US fairs in New York and Los Angeles last November, weeks after Patrick Lee was named as the head of the company’s newest event, Frieze Seoul.
“On behalf of everyone at Frieze, I want to thank Victoria for everything she has achieved over the past 18 years,” said Frieze’s CEO Simon Fox in a statement. “We wish her all the very best for the future. She will always be part of the Frieze family and we are delighted that she will remain on the board.”
Siddall started at Frieze in a development position in early 2004, just months after the company’s first fair in London. Since then, she’s risen up the ranks, spearheading the creation of Frieze Masters as the event’s inaugural director in 2012, before eventually being elevated to the global director of Frieze Fairs in 2014. In 2020, she moved on to her current role as board director.
“When I started it was one fair and a magazine. Now, we’re about to launch our fifth fair in Seoul and publishing has grown exponentially,” she told the Art Newspaper. As for what’s next, Siddall said in her email today that she would announce her future plans soon.
The media and events company has seen a number of notable names move on in recent years. Rebecca Ann Siegel, Frieze’s director of Americas and content, left in August of 2021; Loring Randolph, director of Frieze New York since 2019 and artistic director of the Americas for Frieze Art Fairs from 2017, departed in 2020; and Bettina Korek, the executive director of Frieze Los Angeles, resigned in 2019.
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