Art Basel Names Rising Dealer Bridget Finn as Director of Miami Beach Fair

After two years without a director of its main US fair, Art Basel has announced that Bridget Finn will be the new leader of Art Basel Miami Beach. Finn will be based in New York and begin in her role in September.

Finn has an extensive and varied résumé in the art world, having worked in galleries and on curatorial projects. After over a decade in New York, Finn moved back to her hometown of Detroit to cofound, with Terese Reyes, the gallery Reyes | Finn in 2017. (As part of a mutual decision by the two partners, Reyes | Finn will wind down operations this month.)

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

In the time since, Reyes | Finn has established itself as a gallery to watch, with notable appearances in several US art fairs, including the past two editions of Art Basel Miami Beach. (The gallery’s solo presentation of LA-based artist Nikita Gale in the fair’s Positions section was named one of the 2022 edition’s best booths by ARTnews.)

“Art Basel Miami Beach has been the cornerstone of the creative ecosystem in the Americas for over 20 years,” Finn told ARTnews in an emailed interview. “The show is at the physical and cultural juncture of North and South America. It is hard to overstate its importance for galleries, artists, and art communities in the region and well beyond, and the vital role it continues to play for cultural discovery and exchange.”

While in Detroit, Finn launched an initiative to support the city’s art scene called Art Mile Detroit that featured digital exhibitions from the city’s galleries, institutions, and artist-run spaces. She also started Flourish, a fundraising effort that included a charity auction at Christie’s to support research for STXBP1 disorder, which her daughter has.

Prior to Reyes | Finn, she led the contemporary art program at the blue-chip Chelsea gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash from 2013 to 2017; served as director of strategic planning and projects at Independent Curators International (ICI) from 2010 to 2013, where she is now a board member; and had several roles at Anton Kern Gallery from 2007 to 2010. She also cofounded the collaborative curatorial project Cleopatra’s in Greenpoint with several other dealers, including Bridget Donahue and Colleen Grennan (now a senior director at Pace); that venture lasted from 2008 to 2018, the length of the enterprise’s lease.

“Firstly, Bridget is beloved among the galleries and artists of her generation,” Vincenzo de Bellis, Art Basel’s director of fairs and exhibition platforms, said in an email to ARTnews. “She is an inspired leader and thinker and is deeply committed to creating opportunities for galleries, artists, and art communities, which she will carry forward as the Director of our Miami Beach show. Bridget brings to this position a deep knowledge of the gallery ecosystem, an intimate understanding of the North and South American art markets, and an extensive art-world network across the region.”

Finn’s first edition will be the 2024 fair, while the 2023 show will be led by de Bellis, to whom Finn will report to. The application period for this year’s fair has now closed, and the full exhibitor list will be announced in September.

Speaking of her vision for as the new Miami Beach fair director, Finn said in her email, “Of course the first step will be to intake before I can dig my heels in in the Director role. I am excited to work closely with our team and our many collaborators in Miami Beach, as we look to continue to build on the show and its offering for our galleries, collectors, partners, and local and international audiences now and in the future.”

Finn’s title—director, Art Basel Miami Beach—is technically a new role; the Miami Beach fair was previously led by Art Basel’s Americas director. The fair has been without a dedicated leader since July 2021, when Noah Horowitz left Art Basel and then joined Sotheby’s, prior to returning as Art Basel’s CEO, also a newly created position.

This represents a broader leadership change at Basel, with each fair having a dedicated director, all reporting to de Bellis, a former curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis who joined the company a year ago. In that time, the fair has named dedicated directors for the Hong Kong and Basel fairs—Angelle Siyang-Le and Maike Cruse, respectively. (The Paris+ fair named a standalone fair director, Clément Delépine, about seven months before the inaugural edition launched.)

Speaking of the structural changes, Horowitz said in an email, “This structure enables us to deliver the highest quality show in each city that is both a draw to international exhibitors and audiences and relevant to the local and regional culture.”

In announcing Siyang-Le’s promotion to director of the Hong Kong fair, Art Basel also said that Adeline Ooi, who had long led that fair would retain her position as Asia director with a focus on “steering the strategic development of Art Basel’s initiatives” across the region, like its upcoming collaboration with Art Week Tokyo in November. At this time, Horowitz said that Art Basel does not plan to create an Americas director as part of the new structure, nor are there any plans to launch a new art fair.

“Delivering the best art fairs globally is our primary mission,” Horowitz added. “We are firmly committed to exploring how to grow our brand through compelling value propositions to both existing and new audiences.”


No votes yet.
Please wait...