Today Art Review released its ninth annual list of art world power-players, continuing with its well-established mix of globetrotting curators, directors of major institutions and commercial galleries, blue chip collectors, museum-approved international artists and two art critics—husband-and-wife New York Mag and Times tag-team Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith, the former passing his spouse this year, presumably on the strength of his ubiquity during the inaugural season of Bravo’s Work of Art. Other New Yorkers making moves include gallery mogul Larry Gagosian moving up four spots to take number one; like-minded Chelsea gallerist David Zwirner who got exclusive rights to the estate of Donald Judd and a whole new building, moving him from 12 to the four spot; and MoMA director Glenn Lowry lost three spots to land at number 5. Big surprises await after the jump.
Bice Curiger (who?) debuts at number six: The Swiss co-founder and current editor-in-chief of art mag Parkett, publisher of the Tate’s TATE ETC. magazine, long-time curator at Zurich Kunsthaus, and recently appointed curator of the 2011 Venice Biennale had never made the list before, and here she is smack in the middle of the Top 10, the highest-seeded woman since Kathy Halbreich at number three in 20088. Curating the Venice Biennale will do that for you.
Ai Weiwei leaps 30 spots to 13: In light of the Chinese artist’s general outspokenness and high-profile output over the last twelve months (including a brand new installation at the Tate’s Turbine Hall that looks amazing) his rise to become the top-seeded artist seems appropriate. It also underlines how biased towards the Western hemisphere the rest of the list is. Speaking of…
Takashi Murakami falls 22 spots to 39: You’d think the big to-do over his Versailles show and his participation in the upcoming Thanksgiving Day parade here in New York would be sufficiently high-profile, but the Japanese Pop artist’s continued demotion (he made the Top 10 in 2003 and 2004) stems from the cancellation of his annual Miami art fair—a potent display of power if there ever was one.
Jeff Koons tumbles 34 spots to 47: It was a big year for the stainless steel balloon artist, but not necessarily in a good way. He curated a New Museum exhibition of his billionaire Greek patron buddy’s blue chip collection that was panned pretty aggressively and universally; he designed a BMW and a CT scanner; and he showed some special people his
factory studio. Or, as Art Review puts it, deliciously: “Jeff Koons became a grandfather this year, and 2010 saw the artist slip into elder-statesman mode, cherry-picking pet projects.”
The Bruce High Quality Foundation debuts at 99: The Bushwick-born collective not only made it into this year’s Whitney Biennial and PS1’s Greater New York, but held their very own Brucennial in posh Soho and started a university (yep, just like that). They also had an exhibition in Chelsea, because why not, you know? Whoever you are, BHQF, your balance of power and invisibility is mightier than any gallery mogul can ever hope to be.