Art Basel has announced the creation of a new role, that of director of fairs and exhibition platforms worldwide, which it has awarded to Vincenzo de Bellis, a curator at the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis. Marc Spiegler will remain as global director of Art Basel. Speaking with The Art Newspaper, Spiegler explained de Bellis’s new position in relation to his own. “I will always be closely involved in the shows, which remains the core of our business,” he said. “Vincenzo coming in to help manage the fairs allows me to devote myself more fully to the strategic development of our organization.” Spiegel additionally illuminated the phrase “exhibition platforms” as it relates to de Bellis’s job description, saying, “They are not fairs but physical exhibitions drawing upon our art world network and relationship with galleries.”
Before arriving to the Walker, de Bellis from 2012 to 2016 served as artistic director of the Milan International Fair of Modern and Contemporary Art, with exhibitor numbers doubling under his watch. “I’m excited to expand the spectrum of exhibition platforms to further explore ways in which Art Basel can provide opportunities of exchange between local and global art scenes and communities of artists, gallerists, collectors, art institutions, as well as present and future art lovers,” he said in a statement.
De Bellis will assume his new role in August. Art Basel is still seeking a director of the Americas, a year after Noah Horowitz announced his resignation from the post. The organization is also planning to name a director for its Basel iteration. “Coming out of the pandemic, we now have a fourth fair in Paris in addition to new initiatives—both physical and digital—that extend our engagement beyond the fairs, so it is only natural that we need to strengthen our leadership team,” said Spiegler. Art Basel in March announced Clément Delépine, the former codirector of Paris Internationale, as the director of its new Paris art fair, Paris+, which famously displaced FIAC from its home of nearly forty years at the City of Light’s iconic Grand Palais.