Art Basel Appoints Maike Cruse as Its First-Ever Switzerland Director

Cruse has close ties to the art fair, having previously worked for Art Basel as communications manager.

Blonde white woman wearing white dress with colorful crochet pattern.
Maike Cruse is returning to the international art fair. Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images.

Maike Cruse will leave her position as director of Gallery Weekend Berlin to become director of Art Basel’s Switzerland fair in a newly-created role.

Joining Art Basel in July, Cruse will work with galleries, collectors and artists as she oversees its 2024 show in Basel, the international fair announced today (May 4). She will be responsible for shaping the direction of its Switzerland edition and strengthening its relationships with cultural institutions across the city.

“I am thrilled to welcome back Maike Cruse to Art Basel,” said Noah Horowitz, the fair’s CEO, in a statement. “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 steer its future direction.”

Maike, who previously worked at Art Basel as communications manager between 2008 and 2011, has also held positions at the KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin and the Berlin Biennale and led the art berlin contemporary and art berlin fairs before heading Gallery Weekend Berlin.

“I am truly looking forward to returning to Art Basel and advancing the Swiss show into the future in collaboration with this exceptional team,” said Cruse in a statement, adding that she has attended nearly every edition of Art Basel in the past two decades and had consistent contact with the fair while working at Gallery Weekend Berlin.

Younger and mid-sized galleries should be a focus for art fairs, “because they are our future and it’s a lot tougher for them,” noted Cruse in an interview with The Art Newspaper. “That’s something I think we should not forget about.”

Art Basel has added several new executives

Cruse is joining a roster of newly-appointed fair directors and executives at Art Basel, which holds shows in Basel, Hong Kong, Miami Beach and Paris.

Art Basel’s Paris edition was launched last year alongside its director Clement Delepine, while Angelle Siyang-Le was appointed to lead the Hong Kong edition in Nov. 2022. The international art fair, which was founded in 1970, said it is still actively searching for a director to head its Miami Beach show, which was previously overseen by Horowitz.

Art Basel Appoints Maike Cruse as Its First-Ever Switzerland Director