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New Management Team for Art Basel

BASEL.- On January 1, 2008, a new management team will be taking over at Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach. Supported by an appointment committee of international experts, Messe Schweiz has decided that the current Director, Sam Keller, will be succeeded by a triumvirate: Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, Annette Schönholzer, and Marc Spiegler will be assuming joint responsibility for the international art shows. Cay Sophie Rabinowitz will become Artistic Director, Annette Schönholzer will be in charge of Organization and Finances, and Marc Spiegler will be responsible for Strategy and Development. The reinforcement of management capacities is aimed at giving Art Basel even greater artistic, organizational, and strategic strength, fostering its future development, and guaranteeing personal service to galleries, artists, collectors, museums, sponsors, the media, and other partners.

The international Appointment Committee began inviting and evaluating candidates at the beginning of this year. The Committee was headed by Dr. Cyrill Häring, Chairman of the Art Basel Appeals Commission, and consisted of the following members: Rolando Benedick, Chairman of Manor Basel; Ulla Dreyfus, art collector, Basel; Sara Fitzmaurice, President of Fitz+Co, New York; David Juda, owner of Annely Juda Fine Art, London; Marc Payot, partner, Hauser+Wirth, Zurich/London; Beatrix Ruf, Director of the Kunsthalle Zurich. Messe Schweiz based its decisions on the Appointment Committee’s recommendations.

Cay Sophie Rabinowitz was born in the USA in 1965. She is married and lives in New York and Berlin. Ms. Rabinowitz studied Literature at Reed College and Emory University, and spent 1995-1996 at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin on a DAAD exchange fellowship. Bet-ween 1996 and 2003, she curated several exhibitions at museums and galleries. She has been a Contributing Editor to the art magazine Art Papers since 1996 and has written numerous catalog texts and articles on contemporary art both for leading art magazines and for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Financial Times. Since 1999 she has been Senior US Editor of the well-known Swiss art publication Parkett and on the faculty of the Parsons New School for Design.

Annette Schönholzer was born in 1964. A dual citizen of Switzerland and the United States, she lives in Basel. After studying English, film, and German at the University of Zurich from 1987 to 1994, she graduated from the International Centre for Culture and Management (ICCM) in Salzburg with an MAS in 2000. A member of the Program Committee and Curator of the VIPER International Film, Video, and Multimedia Festival from 1994 to 1998, she has also worked for various public and private institutions promoting the arts, most recently between 1997 and 2001 as Co-Head of the Cultural Competence Center of Canton Aargau. She was Project Manager of the BIOPOLIS show at the Swiss National Exhibition, Expo.02, from 2000 to 2002. Ms. Schönholzer has been Show Manager of the Art Basel Miami Beach international art show since December 2002.

Marc Spiegler was born in 1968. A dual citizen of France and the United States, he is married and lives in Zurich. He studied Political Science in the USA between 1986 and 1990, and attended the Medill School of Journalism in Chicago from 1992 to 1994, earning a Masters of Journalism. He has been a freelance art journalist and columnist since 1998, writing for such magazines and newspapers as The Art Newspaper, Monopol, Art & Auction Magazine, ARTnews Magazine, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and New York Magazine. He has served as moderator and panelist at various symposiums.

The new management team unites profound knowledge of art and the art market with a broad network of contacts and valuable experience in organizing international art fairs. In the words of René Kamm, CEO of Messe Schweiz: «We are convinced that this management team will enhance Art Basel’s position as the world’s leading art fair and strengthen cooperation with our partners.»

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