Several months ahead of the major art fair that takes place in Miami Beach each December, Art Basel has announced a new director: Bridget Finn. The veteran dealer and gallerist has been appointed director of Art Basel Miami Beach, a role she’ll assume in September.
Finn will “steer the direction of the Miami Beach edition as it continues to innovate, overseeing the team staging the fair, cultivating and expanding Art Basel’s network of galleries, collectors, and artists in the Americas, and working in concert with Miami and South Florida’s world-class museums, institutions, and cultural partners,” according to a statement from the fair. She will focus on strengthening Art Basel’s position as “the premier Modern and contemporary art fair in the Americas.”
Art Basel, which is owned by Swiss-based MCH Group, has faced challenges in recent years along with most major fairs, as competition remains intense—a situation which was further exacerbated by the pandemic, as most had to skip at least one annual edition and in some cases more than one. Consolidation also continues as with the recent announcement that the Frieze Art Fair snapped up both The Armory Show and Expo Chicago in an effort to expand its US footprint.
Art Basel has also had something of its own leadership shuffle in the past year. Longtime Basel executive Noah Horowitz left in 2021 for a brief stint at Sotheby’s, after which he returned to the organization. Horowitz was appointed CEO of Art Basel in late October 2022, succeeding Marc Spiegler, who had been the global director. Horowitz started his position in November 2022. Spiegler supported Horowitz through year-end, including through the Miami Beach show, after which he continued on with Art Basel in an advisory capacity for the following six months.
Finn will be based in New York. She will report to Vincenzo de Bellis, director of fairs and exhibition platforms, and will work closely alongside Maureen Bruckmayr, head of business and management, Americas.
Before joining the Detroit-based gallery Reyes | Finn as managing director in 2017, she directed the contemporary art program at Mitchell-Innes & Nash for four years, and held several roles at Anton Kern Gallery in New York. In 2008, as part of a gallerists collective, she established the collaborative curatorial project space Cleopatra’s in New York, which later expanded to Berlin, working collaboratively with hundreds of artists and cultural producers for a decade.
Earlier, Finn also served as the director of strategic planning and projects at Independent Curators International (ICI) from 2010 to 2013.