The Art Angle Podcast: Marc Spiegler on the Evolution of the Art Business (and Life After Art Basel)

The former fair executive sits down for his first extended interview since announcing his exit.

Former Art Basel head honcho Marc Spiegler. Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images.

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For Art Basel, the most well known art fair in the world, the fourth quarter of 2022 marked the end of one era, and the beginning of another. In early November, leadership of the company transitioned to Noah Horowitz, who returned after a roughly year-long stint at Sotheby’s to become the first ever CEO of the same fair brand where he served as director of the Americas from 2015 to 2021.

But clearing Horowitz’s path to the chief executive’s office was the one and only Marc Spiegler. Spiegler shocked the art world in October 2022 by announcing that he would end his decade-long campaign as Art Basel’s global director at the end of that year (though he will stay on as an advisor through June of this one).

During his time at the helm, Spiegler oversaw a transformation of the company across multiple dimensions, including doubling the annual number of Art Basel fairs; dramatically expanding the company’s digital presence; quintupling the size of its staff; responding to a global pandemic; and much more.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that, if you look closely at these shifts, they mirror back some of the most important ways that the art business as a whole has morphed during the 21st century. Spiegler sat down for his first extended interview since announcing his exit from Art Basel with Artnet News’s Tim Schneider, to discuss the past, present, and future of the art world.

 


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