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Art Basel’s Marc Spiegler will be a hard act to follow



As Art Basel’s executives gear up for this year’s 20th anniversary of their Miami Beach fair, they can look back on two decades punctuated with drama. Marc Spiegler, Art Basel’s outgoing director of 15 years, and his replacement, Noah Horowitz, acknowledge that the ride to this landmark year has not always been smooth.

From the outset this fair was buffeted by events beyond management’s control. Its opening was planned for 2001 but was cancelled after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which meant people were not inclined to travel, let alone buy art, and there was an accompanying economic downturn too. There were already huge doubts about whether the Swiss fair, then directed by Sam Keller, had made the right decision to take its weighty Swiss brand to an unlikely US city. “I thought it was a crazy idea. I had never been there, apart from via Grand Theft Auto: Vice City,” Spiegler says, referring to the video game set in a fictional version of Miami.

A man and woman wearing swim suits walk past a pink Art Basel advertising column protruding from the grass verge
At the time of the Miami launch, it was unusual for any fair to take its brand overseas © Dpa/Alamy

Others shared his caution — Miami was seen by many as a crime-ridden, cultural desert, at best a sunny retirement city, and a far cry from the real US art market action of New York and Chicago.

Like many of us, Spiegler admits he was proved wrong. He remembers visiting the first Art Basel Miami Beach in 2002 when working as an arts journalist based in Zurich. Ushered into a party in the garden of the collecting couple Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz, he says he was struck by two things that went on to define the fair’s success: the overlooked sophistication of the city’s highly engaged collectors, and the draw of events that now seem intrinsic not just to Art Basel Miami Beach (where they do a poolside party pretty well) but to the whole of the contemporary art market. “It wasn’t the done thing at the time,” Spiegler says.

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Miami’s other advantage, Spiegler realised, is how close it is to Brazil, a major collector base and a booming economy in the fair’s earlier years. And, of course, the weather helps. “Those first biting days of winter [in New York and Europe] make Miami appealing,” he says.

A woman views a rainbow-coloured rectangular art work on a wall while green flecks of plastic in the shape of raindrops hand from the ceiling behind her
Increased institutionalisation has been an inevitable trend as the market expands in popularity © Dov Makabaw/Alamy

At the time of the Miami launch, it was unusual for any fair to take its brand overseas, something that became de rigueur for the bigger companies in the intervening 20 years. “Art Basel Miami Beach proved that there was something about Art Basel’s success that could be exported,” Spiegler says.

This laid the ground for Art Basel in Hong Kong, a fair he opened in 2013 and, more recently in Paris — both launches among his highlights of his Art Basel career, which began in 2007. In both instances, the fairs replaced existing events rather than venturing into the complete unknown, as Keller had done in Miami. Art Basel bought out ArtHK, which had launched in 2008, while in Paris the fair group ruffled some feathers when it took the slot of the Fiac fair that had run for nearly 50 years. Increased institutionalisation is not to everyone’s liking in the nuanced art world, but has been an inevitable trend as the market expands in popularity, accompanied by soaring prices for art.

A circular artwork done in a style that evokes stained glass windows - with patterns and colours demarcated by curving black lines
‘Social Fabric’ (2022) by Nevin Aladağ © Galerie Krinzinger and the artist. Photo: Daniela Kohl

“I started out at a company that had two events and one office in Switzerland with a staff of 22. I am leaving a business that runs four fairs, has more than 100 people in offices around the word and a significant online presence,” Spiegler says. The growing international stature of Art Basel during Spiegler’s reign attracted the media scion James Murdoch, whose company Lupa Systems bought a controlling stake in Art Basel’s parent company MCH Group in 2020.

While Miami has helped Art Basel grow, the fair is certainly credited with helping to power Miami’s cultural scene — and gives a post-Thanksgiving boost to its hotels, restaurants and Uber drivers. “The city was ready for it, but the fair brought more great collectors, more great galleries to town. It delivered an audience, it was showtime,” Spiegler says, with characteristic zeal.

Photograph of Noah Horowitz standing in a dark suit and tie, smiling
Noah Horowitz will take over as chief executive of Art Basel © Courtesy of Art Basel

The more understated Horowitz, who worked for Spiegler as Art Basel’s director of Americas between 2015 and 2021 and now rejoins the fair group after a year at Sotheby’s, also saw the city change. “There were a handful of galleries in 2001 and more than 100 in 2019, though what I find more incredible is what has happened since,” he says.

The Covid pandemic brought more people and businesses to Miami, sunny, libertarian and low-tax, as real-estate moguls and sun-seeking snowbirds gave way to crypto bros and high-rolling financiers. The art scene jumped at the opportunity. “It’s not just the absolute numbers that have grown, but the depth and ambition of the galleries that are now here,” Horowitz says. He cites this year’s new entrants, Jupiter and Central Fine galleries, both in North Beach, as well as the growing influence of longer-time locals such as Nina Johnson. The evolution has not just been commercial: Horowitz notes cutting-edge and influential exhibitions at institutions such as the ICA Miami and The Bass Museum.

Horowitz and Spiegler have presided over some eventful editions. At Horowitz’s first show in 2015, there was a violent, though non-fatal, stabbing during the fair (many of us initially thought it was an artistic performance). The following year, the Zika virus threatened to ruin the fair, and then the Convention Center, which has always housed the event, went through a complex renovation, which cut into the exhibition space and was finally completed for the 2018 edition.

Smartly dressed people peruse the artworks on display inside a modern exhibition hall
Art Basel Miami in 2018 © Courtesy of Art Basel

Just when everything seemed back on track, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and forced the cancellation of the 2020 fair. Like the other Art Basel fairs that year, Miami had an online edition — which benefited from Horowitz’s experience at the ahead-of-its-time, digital-only VIP Art Fair — and kept business ticking over. Just before last year’s in-person return, by which time Horowitz had left Art Basel, the Omicron variant began to rage. “It was up to me to make Floridians wear a mask,” Spiegler semi-jokes.

This year, Spiegler — who hasn’t said what he is doing after a six-month transition — is handing over the reins, just as an economic recession looks to bite. Horowitz has a bigger company to run than his predecessor inherited in 2007 and comes in as the group’s first chief executive. There is a management structure to finalise — while the plan is for each of the fairs to have an artistic and managing director, the Miami and Basel events still lack direct leadership. Vincenzo de Bellis, until now a curator at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, and formerly artistic director of miart (the Milan International Fair of Modern and Contemporary Art), has been appointed to oversee all four fairs and to unlock new ways to expand the brand.

A painting that evokes cloudy skies and the ocean, with line drawings of naked women and a lemon and an orange plate floating amid the scene
‘Ice Flow II’ (2001) by David Salle © Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin

Horowitz has what he describes as a “bird’s eye view” and sees several opportunities to grow the “engine that is Art Basel”, not least in Asia. His year at Sotheby’s has helped him get a broader understanding of some of the commercial facets of the art business, he says. Now, his priority at Art Basel is to maintain Spiegler’s legacy of “an exceptionally strong baseline” of fairs, he says. As the Miami fair opens its biggest edition to date, in a relentlessly international and fragile market, the role is — Horowitz adds — “a high threshold to step into, at all levels”.

November 29-December 3,

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Combine Art Fair Returns to Griffin Art Projects for Its Second Year



Glenn Lewis, Photograph of Marilyn Monroe #2, Taken in 1953. Printed by Taki Bluesinger, signed and dated by the artist. Copyright stamp on reverse. Ilford Galerie fibre paper, archival finish, 20×16″, $800

Combine Art Fair returns to North Van’s Griffin Art Projects for the second year, December 8-11. Participating galleries include Vancouver-based Unit 17, Mónica Reyes Gallery, Wil Aballe Projects and – all the way from Montreal – first-timers, Galerie Hugues Charbonneau. Another new addition: a book fair where you can peruse exhibition catalogues, limited publications, and more.

The aim of this boutique fair is to offer fresh perspectives on contemporary art and collecting – whether you’re a veteran art collector or are simply interested in art and considering buying your first piece. Combine is a chance to view work by emerging and established artists, and chat with the gallerists who represent them.

Expect to see work by Inuk artist, Shuvinai Ashoona (whose work was at this year’s Venice Biennale), emerging artist, Manuel Mathieu (his new solo show opens in Miami next year), Métis artist and writer, Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill (recent exhibitions include at the Venice Biennale and The Museum of Modern Art in New York), and Governor General Award winner, Glenn Lewis; plus Chantal Gibson, Maggee Day, and many more.

Sure, you can visit these galleries anytime (although it’s a bit more of a trek to visit Galerie Hugues Charbonneau), but the nice thing about the art fair format is that it allows you to visit all five galleries in one go, while also meeting the gallerists and asking questions in a convivial environment. In fact, they encourage it!

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Participating galleries will be exhibiting a diverse range of work from their artists. However, we asked each Vancouver-based gallery to name just one work they’ll be showing (around the $1000 price point), as well as one tip for first-time art fair goers. (What’s “okay” to ask? What’s not “okay”?) Read on to find out…

Wil Aballe, Director, WAAP

For his recommendation, Aballe shares that he will have a suite of 11 vintage prints of Marilyn Monroe, taken in 1953 by Glenn Lewis, for $800 each (an example of one is pictured above).

“So the story goes, Glenn, who is now 87 and a Governor-General Award winner, was in his last year in high school at the time, working as a dishwasher in the kitchen of the Banff Springs Hotel. He had just received his first ever camera, a brownie, gifted by his mother. Marilyn was filming, and the day before the photographs were taken, she stepped in a gopher hole and injured her ankle. These photos were taken the next day on her day off, but oddly the pictures feature a Mountie, Marilyn in a canoe, and Mt Rundle in the background. These fibre prints are the last that Glenn and I are aware of to be available; so while theoretically printed in an edition of 75, there are much fewer copies out there and these are the last few. In the mid-20th century, many vintage photographs by well known photographers are open editions and these have not affected the value they can have, as collectors mostly care about whether the print was signed/stamped and printed within the artist’s lifetime.”

Tip for the first time fair-goer:

“To not be intimidated, and to look with curiosity and use the opportunity of Combine to get the broadest sense of what art can be. I am open to any questions anyone sincerely wants to know about, so ask away!”

Terrence P.R. Turner, Wish Me Luck (fingers crossed), Black powder coated cut-out aluminum wall sculpture, 12×5.5 ×1/8″, Edition of 25, $950

Mónica Reyes Gallery is thrilled to be bringing this artwork – a wall sculpture by Terrence Turner – to the fair, that is both fun and affordable.

Tip for the first time fair-goer:

“Ask where the artist is from, or how old are they, as these questions help us tell the viewer more in terms of the artist’s CV — whether or not they are up-and-coming, where they have studied, and what shows they have been included in that may be helping their careers and notoriety. “What’s the inspiration behind the work?” is also a very good question to ask.”
“I can only think of one question [not to ask]: “Are you the artist?” This is a solid no-no. We are the art dealers that represent the artists; we are the ones who exhibit their works, take them on the road, connect them with our audience, and help them place their work in private, corporate and institutions at large. Our role is different.”

Tobin Gibson, Director, Unit 17

Tristan Unrau, Idol 2, 2021, Bronze, 9×5×9cm, Edition of 3, $1,500 (excluding hand painted, modular plinth)

While most works on view from major museum artists including Anne Low, Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, and Tristan Unrau, range from $6,000-$30,000, there will be a gem of a bronze sculpture on view by Unrau from the artist’s 2021 exhibition at Unit 17, False Idols.

Tip for the first time fair-goer:

“This fair is unlike any other, in that it’s a boutique event. I would say to people who are not used to fairs to take a chance and ask the pressing questions that come to mind. All gallerists are extremely approachable and interested in conversation with a range of participants in the visual arts. Also, look at the didactic information. It can give a lot of information without needing to ask a question, persay. Another tip is to always inquire about a payment plan. Galleries more than ever are open to accepting sales that are paid out each month over a set period of time.”

While visiting Combine at the Griffin Projects Residency space, be sure to pop in next door to Griffin’s main exhibition space to see Allegories of the Present, by renowned visual artist, Stan Douglas, who represented Canada at this year’s Venice Biennale, (closing Dec. 11, 2022). The exhibition brings together photographic works from the 1990s to the present, primarily concerned with architectural and social spaces, to produce what Douglas calls, ‘allegories of the present.’ Guided tours led by Griffin Art Projects’ Indigenous Curatorial Assistant, Emmett Hanly, take place on Sunday afternoons. Sign up here.

Combine Art Fair dates and hours:

Thursday, Dec. 8 | 5-7pm, followed by a public opening reception from 7-9pm
Fri-Sun, Dec. 9-11 | 12-5pm
Admission is free.

Griffin Art Projects Residency
1180 Welch St.
Griffin Art Projects
1174 Welch Street, North Vancouver

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Artists have until December 15 to apply for City of Peterborough’s indoor-outdoor public art project



Inside the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre, one of the municipal facilities where two-dimensional public art installations will be located in the City of Peterborough Public Art Program's "Indoor-Outdoor: The Public Art for Public Facilities Project." (Screenshot of City of Peterborough virtual tour)
Inside the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre, one of the municipal facilities where two-dimensional public art installations will be located in the City of Peterborough Public Art Program’s “Indoor-Outdoor: The Public Art for Public Facilities Project.” (Screenshot of City of Peterborough virtual tour)

Peterborough-area artists have until next Thursday (December 15) to submit their proposals for two-dimensional public art installations at municipal facilities across the city.

“Indoor-Outdoor: The Public Art for Public Facilities Project,” administered through the City of Peterborough Public Art Program, is a two-stage public art project that will integrate artwork created by local artists into city parks, recreation facilities, and City Hall. The indoor stage of the project will be completed in early 2023, with the outdoor stage completed later in the year.

For the indoor stage of the project, the city is seeking original new, recent, or past artworks that will be installed and displayed for a year to 18-month term at either City Hall, the Kinsmen Civic Centre, the Healthy Planet Arena, or the Sport and Wellness Centre. The artworks will rotate between sites at the end of the first and each subsequent term.

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The intention of the project is to enrich these public spaces and people’s exposure to art by bringing art to places where people frequent. The indoor artworks will be mounted in the main foyers of each facility and will be among the first things visitors see upon entering.

Artworks envisioned for each space will help create an inviting atmosphere where visitors will feel comfortable playing, exercising, and gathering. Artworks should also speak in some way to the spirit of sport and consider the inherent relationship between beauty and skill.

All submissions must be completed online by 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 15th. Successful artists will be notified in early January, with art to be delivered and installed by early February.

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The call for submissions is open to professional artists and cultural practitioners living in the City of Peterborough, the County of Peterborough, and Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations. A selection committee will discuss each submission and select four artworks based on artistic merit, relevance, and feasibility.

The commission value for each artwork is $4,500.

For more information including submission guidelines and to apply, visit

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Our Land, Our Art – Musée canadien de la nature



New exhibition reveals the beauty of Nunavik inspired by the collections of Avataq Cultural Institute

Ottawa, December 1, 2022— A new exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature reveals perspectives on Quebec’s Nunavik region through the works of Inuit artists—each inspired by their deep connection to nature and their home communities.

Our Land, Our Art was developed by the Avataq Cultural Institute, based in Inukjuak, Nunavik, and in Montreal, with the support of the museum. It opens to the public on December 2, 2022 and will remain on view until October 2024.

“We are honoured to present this latest exhibition in our Northern Voices Gallery, a space curated by northern communities that is dedicated to their art, culture and relationship to the land,” says Dr. Danika Goosney, museum President and CEO. “We look forward to sharing the rich heritage of Nunavik through the perspectives of the artists who were inspired by the Avataq Cultural Institute’s collections.”

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Presented in English, French and Inuktitut, Our Land, Our Art features original and varied forms of artworks, including photography, visual art, performance art, and throat singing. Each piece or installation reveals the artist’s strong relationship to the land.

Rhoda Kokiapik, Avataq Cultural Institute’s Executive Director, says: “This exhibition is an unprecedented opportunity for us to reach Canadian and international visitors at the Canadian Museum of Nature through this special project that shows the talent of our artists. Our relationship with the land is central to their creative process and it is something we can all relate to.”

The artists are Qumaq M. Iyaituk and Passa Mangiuk (drawings); Lucasi Kiatainaq (photography and video); Evie Mark and Akinisie Sivuarapik (throat singing); Taqralik Partridge (beadwork and visual art) and Tupiq A.C.T. (circus performers).

Qumaq M. Iyaituk and her sister, Passa Mangiuk, grew up in Ivujivik, and are inspired by the themes of family, community, and the land. Their three drawings depict a motorized canoe and a qamutiq (dog sled), which have traditionally been important means of transportation.

Photographs and a video (That Spring feeling) by Lucasi Kiatainaq from Kangiqsujuaq reveal moments in Inuit life. Inspired by Nunavik’s land and animals, Lucasi has spent many hours camping and hunting with his father, learning from his wealth of experience, and deepening his connection with nature.

Artwork by Taqralik Partridge, a visual and spoken-word artist from Kuujjuaq who now lives in Ottawa, features a large beaded amautik (woman’s parka). Inspired by themes of the environment and ancestral connections to the land, her work addresses life in the North as well as in southern urban centres.

In a special tupiq (tent) installation, a video introduces Nunavik’s first professional circus troupe: Tupiq A.C.T. Created in 2018, the troupe has members from across Nunavik, as well as the Greater Montreal Area. Their circus creations are inspired by oral stories from their ancestors, the land, and the language. The creation in Our Land, Our Art is inspired by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

An installation featuring throat singers Evie Mark and Akinisie Sivuarapik honours women and their connection to the land. By standing within two hanging felt pods, visitors can enjoy the unique sounds of the duo’s throat singing. Embroidered on the felt are traditional tattoo patterns, or tunniit, designed by Evie. The two women have performed together for many years, contributing to the revitalization of the Nunavik style of katajjaniq (throat singing).

The exhibition also features 32 traditional objects, artworks, and artifacts from the Avataq Cultural Institute’s collections, which provided inspiration to the artists.

Among them are artifacts that were used by Early Inuit 800 to 350 years ago: a pana (snow-knife blade) and panak (knife handle), both made of walrus ivory; a cooking pot called an ukkusik, a qulliq (oil lamp) made of soapstone, and a wooden figure possibly used as a doll. Dating back 350 to 50 years ago is a selection of Inuit objects, such as igaak (snow goggles), a nariarsaq (fishing lure), an ajaqaq game of skill using a wooden rod and seal bone (similar to a cup-and-ball game), as well as contemporary carvings.

Our Land, Our Art will be on view until October 2024 and is included with museum admission. The Northern Voices Gallery is located within the museum’s Canada Goose Arctic Gallery. The Canadian Museum of Nature is located at 240 McLeod St., Ottawa. (at Metcalfe St.). Visit the Museum at and follow it on these social media channels:,, and LinkedIn.

Interesting facts:

  • More than12,000 Inuit live in Nunavik—60% of whom are younger than 30. Inuktitut is the main language spoken.
  • Nunavik includes 14 villages along the coasts of northern Quebec. The region covers 507 000 sq. km and accounts for a third of Quebec’s total area.
  • Ancestors of today’s Inuit, the Early Inuit (also called Thule Inuit), migrated to the Eastern Arctic around 800 years ago. Their culture emerged in the Bering Strait region of Alaska.
  • Early Inuit were specialized in hunting large whales. They travelled across long distances by umiaq (large skin boat), qajaq (kayak) and qamutik (dog sled).
  • In summer, Early Inuit lived in tupiit (skin tents) and in winter, qarmait (semi-subterranean sod houses) or igluit (snow houses).
  • Katajjaniq is the Nunavik style of throat singing. An old Inuit tradition, throat singing is mostly a women’s practice. It often refers to familiar sounds (from animals, nature elements, or women’s tools) that provide a connection to the land.

About Avataq Cultural Institute
Avataq Cultural Institute provides a strong foundation for the living culture of today’s Inuit. Since its inception in 1980, Avataq has built a solid reputation as the cultural leader for Nunavik Inuit and as an important resource for Inuit culture in Canada and beyond. Our goal is to ensure that Inuit culture and language continue to thrive into the future, so that our descendants can benefit from the rich heritage passed down to us through the wisdom of our ancestors.

About the Canadian Museum of Nature

Saving the world through evidence, knowledge and inspiration! The Canadian Museum of Nature provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature’s past, present and future. It achieves this through scientific research, a collection of 14.6 million specimens and artifacts, education programs, signature and travelling exhibitions, and a dynamic web site,

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