is the most powerful person in the art world. That’s according to ArtReview
’s Power 100 ranking of the most influential artists, curators, dealers, gallerists, and other movers, shakers, and philosophers (there are two on the list!) of the art world. The 16th iteration of the annual list, released Friday morning in London, was chosen by an international panel of 20 art-world insiders, whose identities are kept anonymous so “that power-crazed art people don’t hassle them or enact various types of cruel revenge,” according to ArtReview.
So what makes someone in the art world powerful? It’s not whether or not the judges like their work. The panel is asked to suspend their own taste and judge their peers on their impact beyond their own national boundaries and on “the type of art that’s being produced right now,” among other factors. The size of the art world and how it functions can vary by region; a second panel double-checks the first’s evaluations to ensure that they applied criteria fairly across continents.
Artists and curators continue to be listed among the most powerful in the art world. Steyerl rose to number one from number seven, displacing 2016 topper Serpentine
artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist (now number six). And artist
hopscotched up 22 places to the number two slot. Curator Adam Szymczyk remains in the top 10 at number four, a drop of two places from last year, even as allegations of financial mismanagement swirl around his Documenta.
The ArtReview Power 100 is, of course, highly subjective. Power means different things to different people, and takes different forms in different places. The list changes very slowly over time. Still, it serves as an invaluable benchmark of who art world experts think are powerful. We broke down the numbers by race, gender, place of birth, and occupation, and compared this year’s list not just to last year’s list, but to the first-ever edition from 2002. If you think this year’s list is still too white and too male, it’s a marked improvement from 15 years ago.