ArtistsArt Business 03-11-2017

Art Review’s Power 100 | German artist Hito Steyerl tops the list

It’s that time of the year again: the London-based contemporary art magazine Art Review has just published its Power 100 for 2017, listing the most powerful — and influential — personalities of the art world, chosen by an anonymous panel of 20 experts, spread across the five continents. This year, 26 artists, 39 dealers, 10 museum directors, 15 collectors, 17 curators, 5 writers, 6 fair directors and 8 other art world personalities make the list.

With almost twice as much men as women, the art world has still a lot to do to bridge the gender gap: only 46 women make the list, as compared to 80 men. However, the coveted position goes to a woman and an artist: Hito Steyerl, who was also the highest ranking artist last year. The filmmaker and writer was featured at the Skulptur Projekte Münster, where she presented her video HellYeahWeFuckDie. Steyerl succeeds to Hans Ulrich Obrist, who topped the list last year but remains in the top ten at position #6.



For the first time, three feminist theorists and writers make the list: Donna Haraway, who is ranked #3, alongside Judith Butler (#47) and Chris Kraus. (#77) Haraway’s influence on gender studies over the last forty years is unquestionable, with her A Cyborg Manifesto, published in 1986, representing a cornerstone of feminist studies. At a time when fairs such as Frieze are opening up to the work of radical feminists, but gender equality within the art world remains unattained in virtually every country, the influence of intellectuals like Haraway, Butler and Kraus on the production of contemporary art remains large.

Attesting to the success that the collaborative initiative CONDO has had on the ways galleries work together, founder Vanessa Carlos makes the list for the first time at position #100. In less than a year, CONDO has launched a New York installment and has inspired similar initiatives internationally, including Germany’s Okey Dokey.



As far as ethnicity goes, 64% of the art world’s most powerful are — of course — white, with 17% of Asians, 7.2% of the list from the Middle East, 5.6% Blacks and 5.6% of Latinos. Racial equality seems also to remain a chimera, despite several of the art world’s most influential collectors, philanthropists, museum directors and curators hailing from the East, Africa and South America.

Despite the controversies surrounding them, both Adam Szymczyk and Beatrix Ruf make the list, at position #4 and #29, respectively.


The full list is available via Art Reviews website.

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