Art Basel may be seven months away, but the competition is already heating up.
The fair’s charismatic director, Samuel Keller -- widely regarded as one of the art world’s most influential figures -- was in town yesterday, not promoting, but partying. He's hosting an intimate bash at his swanky suite at the Delano Hotel in South Beach.
Keller, who launched Art Basel Miami Beach in 2002, shocked the art world this year by announcing he would resign from his position at both Papa Basel and its American sister fair in 2008. He will take the helm at the Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland, but there's no word yet on his successor.
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Before he settles permanently overseas, Keller and his Basel buddies are reportedly ruffling a few feathers here at home. New Times has learned that the Basel selection committee has snubbed Basel veteran exhibitor Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts.
Each year, artists and gallerists from around the world vie for one of 50 or so coveted booths at Basel’s official show at the Miami Beach Convention Center (aside from being willing to shell out upwards of $50,000, they also have to be deemed worthy by the judges). Lowenstein’s Wynwood-based gallery was one of just two other local spaces chosen last year; she also showed in 2005.
This year, apparently, she’s out. She could not be reached for comment.
No word yet on who’s in. --Joanne Green