Is the Entire #MeToo the Third Most Powerful Person in the Art World? Yes, According to ArtReview’s Power 100

Is the Entire #MeToo the Third Most Powerful Person in the Art World? Yes, According to ArtReview’s Power 100

ArtReview’s annual ranking of the world’s most influential artists, curators, gallerists, and other powerful people just broke its own rules. This year, for the first time, the magazine has somewhat perplexingly given an entire movement—#MeToo—the third spot on its 100-person list. It is the only non-individual to appear in the magazine’s 17th annual ranking and places the international movement against sexual harassment just after international mega-dealer David Zwirner and artist Kerry James Marshall.


Artist Hito Steyerl, who made headlines for her surprise appearance at the top of the list last year, dropped from number one to number 4, while Chinese artist Ai Weiwei moved up to number five from 13. Swiss dealers Iwan and Manuela Wirth nudged one spot forward, from 7 to number 6.


The list was chosen by 30 anonymous international jurors during an intensive two-month period of discussion. Little more of their methodology is known, though ArtReview editor Oliver Basciano tells artnet News that it begins with a deep dive into the last 12 months of news coverage from the art world.


“We were really interested in the fallout from #MeToo,” Basciano told artnet News. “It’s interesting that this is a power list, and the third position is pointing out abuses of power that will no longer be tolerated.”


The magazine chose the broader movement over an individual whistle-blower or even an art-specific group such as #WeAreNotSurprised, which formed in the wake of #MeToo to condemn power abuses in the art world. (Jenny Holzer, whose artwork inspired the name of the group, appears on ArtReview‘s list for the first time, at 100.)


Is it strange to place such a monumental, culture-shifting movement at an arbitrary-seeming number 3? Basciano points out that the list reflects the realities of power, rather than the ideal scenario. “It’s at number 3 because there is still a lot of work to be done. We want to show power as it is, not as we want it to be.”


 


Who’s Up and Who’s Down


Zwirner, who came in at number five in 2017, hit international headlines this spring when he made the somewhat offhand suggestion that galleries as powerful as his should subsidize smaller ones by way of a tax-like system at art fairs. Just a few months later, news surfaced that fairs across the globe had previously or were preparing to launch new tiered pricing systems that they claim will create less of a burden for smaller businesses.


“When Zwirner speaks, the art world listens,” states ArtReview in a statement. “It is no wonder then that he gets to represent some of the most important artists working today, not least James Marshall.”


As for Kerry James Marshall, he is a timely choice as well: His painting Past Times became the most expensive work by an African American artist to sell at auction this past May at Sotheby’s. (Musician and producer Sean Combs paid $21.1 million for the work.) On the heels of his well reviewed traveling retrospective, his paintings have skyrocketed in popularity over the last year.



Kerry James Marshall, Past Times (1997). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Kerry James Marshall, Past Times (1997). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.



Several figures made first-time appearances in 2018. Poet and thinker Fred Moten, whose work in black studies provides a critical framework for African American art, comes in at number 10, while the theorist and curator Paul B. Preciado, who developed the public programming for documenta 14, came in at 23 (right in between mega-dealer Larry Gagosian and Art Basel honcho Marc Spiegler).


And who’s tumbled from on high? Former Stedelijk director Beatrix Ruf is noticeably absent this year after she left the museum amid controversy over conflicts of interest (Basciano says that he has every expectation that she’ll be back next year). She was later cleared of any blame, but has yet to take on a new position.


Meanwhile, another documenta figure, artistic director Adam Szymczyk, dropped from the fourth position all the way to 57 in the wake of investigations into the dual-city exhibition’s financial mismanagement.



David Zwirner tops ArtReview’s Power 100 for 2018. Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images.



This year’s list seems to be, perhaps more than usual, focused on those who have subverted normative structures of power in some way. Nan Goldin, a first-time entry, comes in at number seven on the list after she launched her direct-action group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), which set out to challenge the dark money surrounding the Sackler family, many of whom are vastly influential arts patrons who acquired their wealth through the sale and promotion of the drug Oxycontin.



Nan Goldin speaking at the protest at the Met’s Sackler Wing in New York City during P.A.I.N.’s direct-ction. Photo: Michael Quinn.



Basciano also points out that the list is probably the most gender-balanced it has ever been. This year, the divide is 58 percent men and 42 percent women.


Here’s the full list of ArtReview‘s Power 100 for 2018.


1. David Zwirner (5)


2. Kerry James Marshall (68)


3. #MeToo (NEW)


4. Hito Steyerl (1)


5. Ai Weiwei (13)


6. Iwan & Manuela Wirth (7)


7. Hans Ulrich Obrist (6)


8. Thelma Golden (8)


9. Eyal Weizman (94)


10. Fred Moten (NEW)


11. Wolfgang Tillmans (11)


12. Pierre Huyghe (2)


13. Glenn D. Lowry (17)


14. David Hammons (19)


15. Michael Govan (36)


16. Yayoi Kusama (55)


17. Maria Balshaw (16)


18. Nan Goldin (NEW)


19. Adam D. Weinberg (12)


20. Miuccia Prada (33)


21. Monika Sprüth & Philomene Magers (20)


22. Larry Gagosian (15)


23. Paul B. Preciado (NEW)


24. Marc Spiegler (24)


25. Massimiliano Gioni (22)


26. Gavin Brown (10)


27. Marian Goodman (18)


28. Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (27)


29. Marc Glimcher (21)


30. Theaster Gates (23)


31. Bernard Arnault (28)


32. Nicholas Logsdail, Alex Logsdail & Greg Hilty (25)


33. Christine Macel (26)


34. José Kuri & Mónica Manzutto (37)


35. François Pinault (35)


36. Pamela Joyner (NEW)


37. Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi (41)


38. Maja Hoffmann (31)


39. Jay Jopling (47)


40. Ralph Rugoff (REENTRY, 73 in 2010)


41. Cao Fei (NEW)


42. Gayatri Spivak (NEW)


43. Sadie Coles (34)


44. Joan Jonas (14)


45. Philippe Parreno (60)


46. Adrian Cheng (46)


47. Stefan Kalmár (REENTRY: 94 in 2010)


48. Daniel Buchholz (30)


49. Adrian Piper (NEW)


50. Kara Walker (56)


51. Manuel Borja-Villel & João Fernandes (NEW)


52. Esther Schipper (61)


53. Anselm Franke (74)


54. Emmanuel Perrotin (40)


55. Christine Tohmé (50)


56. William Kentridge (58)


57. Lorenz Helbling (51)


58. Adam Szymczyk (4)


59. Eli & Edythe Broad (32)


60. Zhang Wei & Hu Fang (42)


61. Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (69)


62. Thaddaeus Ropac (65)


63. Nadia & Rajeeb Samdani (93)


64. Kader Attia (75)


65. Simon Njami (NEW)


66. Sunjung Kim (72)


67. Donna Haraway (3)


68. Hyun-Sook Lee (79)


69. Suhanya Raffel & Doryun Chong (59)


70. Klaus Biesenbach (57)


71. Liam Gillick (52)


72. Koyo Kouoh (92)


73. Haegue Yang (85)


74. Marina Abramović (89)


75. Tom Eccles (82)


76. Claire Hsu (70)


77. Yuko Hasegawa (90)


78. Delfina Entrecanales & Aaron Cezar (REENTRY, 100 in 2015/NEW)


79. Luisa Strina (49)


80. Bose Krishnamachari & Anita Dube (84/NEW)


81. Ute Meta Bauer (NEW)


82. Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi & Maurizio Rigillo (76)


83. Richard Chang (71) 84 Cecilia Alemani (78)


85. Matthew Higgs (REENTRY, 43 in 2010)


86. Almine Rech (88)


87. Arthur Jafa (81)


88. Pablo León de la Barra (98)


89. Tim Blum & Jeff Poe (38)


90. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (67)


91. Massimo De Carlo (66)


92. Wang Wei & Liu Yiqian (80)


93. Tim Neuger & Burkhard Riemschneider (73)


94. John Akomfrah (NEW)


95. Eugene Tan (95)


96. Vanessa Carlos (100)


97. Patrick D. Flores (NEW)


98. Felipe Dmab, Pedro Mendes & Matthew Wood (91)


99. Amanda Sharp, Matthew Slotover, Victoria Siddall, Ari Emanuel (97)


100. Jenny Holzer (NEW)


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