Nikola Dietrich Named Artistic Director of Liste Art Fair

14June 11, 2024

Nikola Dietrich Named Artistic …

German art historian Nikola Dietrich has been announced as the new artistic director of Basel’s Liste Art Fair, effective September 1. She succeeds Joanna Kamm, who had occupied the role since 2018 butdepartedearlier this year following an illness. Dietrich is currently curating KölnSkulptur 11 at Skulpturenpark Köln in Cologne. She will take the reins from founding director Peter Bläuer, who, as interim director, is overseeing the fair’s twenty-ninth iteration, which kicked off June 10 with a VIP day. Bläuer in a statement lauded Dietrich as possessed of an “independent, strong personality” and praised her for being “unafraid to take action, even when it is unpopular but necessary.”

Born in 1972, Dietrich studied art history, modern German literature, and journalism in Munich and Berlin. She is deeply enmeshed in the international art exhibition scene and has a strong reputation in artist, gallery, and collector relations, and in fundraising. Prior to her work on KölnSkulptur, Dietrich from 2018 to 2023 served as director of the Kölnischer Kunstverein. Before that, she was head of contemporary art at Kunstmuseum Basel/Gegenwart, from 2008 to 2014. From 2004 to 2007, she worked as a curator at Portikus in Frankfurt.

“[Dietrich] understands the needs of young galleries, artists, and collectors from her own experience,” said Urs Gloor, president of Stiftung Liste Basel, in a statement. “As long as they are satisfied with what Liste has to offer, the fair will remain successful. The management of Liste must continue to identify new trends in art early on to stay attractive.”

“Liste is a unique institution that has maintained its position as the world’s leading contemporary art fair for nearly thirty years,” said Dietrich in a statement. “It is a great pleasure and honor for me to build on its continued relevance and success in the ever-changing landscape of contemporary art while finding new ways to create quality and focused art encounters for all. I believe it is important to create an irreplaceable space where many different voices are heard, lively discourse and diverse experimental approaches occur, and artworks are presented that both promote the art market and foster a vibrant art community. I look forward to working with the Liste team to continue the valuable work of Joanna Kamm and Peter Bläuer in a city like Basel, which is more passionate about art than almost any other.”