Art Basel Miami Beach 2009 to boast double the exhibition space

Art Basel owners Messe Schweiz are in pole position to take charge of Miami venue


Art Basel Miami Beach will double its current exhibition space in 2009, The Art Newspaper has learned. Art Basel co-director Annette Schönholzer confirmed that next year’s show will spread over three halls instead of the current two, with a fourth used for storage. Neither she nor co-director Marc Spiegler would confirm how the space will be used, although both denied that the number of galleries would double from its current 200. “There are many things we want to improve from the exhibitors’ and visitors’ standpoint,” said Mr Spiegler.

In a separate development, it has emerged that Messe Schweiz (MCH), the parent company of Art Basel, is part of a bid to take over the management of the Miami Beach Convention Center. The five-year contract, currently held by the US firm SGM, expires on 30 September 2008 and is out to tender. The centre is owned by the City of Miami Beach.

Art Basel has confirmed that MCH is supporting a bid by Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum, a facility management company. However, the precise relationship between MCH and Global Spectrum is unclear. MCH spokesman Christian Jecker said: “We are not able to give details about the partnership between Global Spectrum and MCH. It is up to the decision-makers to decide on the bid, and if Global Spectrum is successful, we will be able to give more details then.”

A decision is expected in the next month. “Aside from fact that they [Messe Schweiz] partnered with Global Spectrum and submitted a bid, it is too early to confirm the outcome,” says Max Sklar, the director of tourism and cultural development, Miami Beach.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper Art Basel Daily as 'Art Basel Miami Beach to double its exhibition space'