Art Basel is delighted to announce that Maike Cruse, presently Director of Gallery Weekend Berlin, has been appointed to the newly created position of Director, Art Basel in Basel, effective July 2023. In this role, Cruse will lead Art Basel's premier Swiss edition, overseeing the team in Basel and working closely with the fair's network of galleries, collectors and artists as well as nurturing close relationships with the city's leading museums, institutions and cultural partners. Reporting to Vincenzo de Bellis, Director, Fairs and Exhibition Platforms, and working in concert with Andreas Bicker, Head of Business and Management Europe, Cruse will be responsible for shaping the fair's direction and strengthening its pre-eminent position as a global platform for discovery and encounters that drive the art world. Cruse is returning to Art Basel, having served as Communications Manager from 2008 to 2011.
Maike Cruse is currently the Director of Gallery Weekend Berlin, the annual showcase of the city's dynamic gallery scene which just celebrated its 19th edition. Cruse brings extensive art fair experience, having previously led art berlin contemporary (2012-2016), and subsequently art berlin (2016-2019). She is well acquainted with Art Basel and the city of Basel's cultural landscape, having previously worked as Communications Manager for the fair from 2008 to 2011. She also held positions at the KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin and the Berlin Biennale and co-launched the groundbreaking "Forgotten Bar" project in 2008. Cruse has a background in Fine Art, a wide-ranging artworld network, and extensive track record in fostering meaningful partnerships and collaborative formats spotlighting contemporary artists and galleries.
“I am thrilled to welcome back Maike Cruse to Art Basel,” says Noah Horowitz, CEO, Art Basel. “Maike knows the art world intimately and has deep relationships with our global community of galleries, collectors, and institutional audiences, having been at the helm of art fairs and Gallery Weekend Berlin for many years. She has excellent understanding and appreciation of our brand and longstanding ties to the City of Basel and its cultural scene. I am confident that her entrepreneurial mindset, her consummate professionalism, and her unwavering commitment to contemporary art make her uniquely equipped to lead our flagship show in our home city and steering its future direction.”
Vincenzo de Bellis, Director, Fairs and Exhibition Platforms, says: “Maike is a proven leader in the field and an enthusiastic partner to galleries, artists, and collectors. In Berlin she has created an annual showcase that is deeply embedded in the city and unites its diverse cultural actors. Her collaborative spirit means she is uniquely positioned to foster close ties to our many partners and stakeholders in Basel. I could not be more thrilled to welcome back Maike to our team and I'm certain that under her leadership our Basel show will not only remain best in class but strengthen its position for years to come.”
“I am truly looking forward to returning to Art Basel and advancing the Swiss show into the future in collaboration with this exceptional team,” says Maike Cruse. “I have attended every edition of Art Basel in the last nearly 20 years and I have consistently been in active exchange with the fair as Director of Gallery Weekend Berlin. I am truly honored to lead this pre-eminent show in the art and culture city of Basel, to steer its next chapter and contribute to Art Basel remaining the most important platform for galleries worldwide.”
Cruse joins Art Basel on July 1st, 2023, and will lead the 2024 edition of the Swiss fair. She will work alongside Art Basel fair Directors Clément Delépine, Director, Paris+ par Art Basel, Angelle Siyang-Le, Director, Art Basel Hong Kong and the yet to be announced Director of Miami Beach, a position for which a search is underway.