ArtReview’s Power 100 Research

ArtReview’s Power 100 list reveals art-world battle for supremacy (2012) Magazine’s survey of most important figures in contemporary art dominated by visionaries – and dealers for super-rich

2012 Power 100
1. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

“Impressive work, and there’s no doubt that Christov-Bakargiev has the ear of the artworld, where she has created a large, engaged conversation. Does this mean the exhibition was a ‘game-changer’? Documenta 13 certainly seemed to relieve the pressure on big exhibitions of this type to cover all the particular concerns of now from right across the globe, or to gesture at some generalised power of art. It was far more ambitious than this. Documenta 13 allowed artists to speak for themselves through their work, and to make their own sets of rules. And by pitting artists with and against quantum physicists, military historians, biologists, economists and activists, Christov-Bakargiev and her team treated art as strong enough to hold its own in furthering debates, building meaning and extending thought, addressing the world not from an ivory tower, but from being in the world. In this way it made art itself seem more important, more vital and more powerful.”

dOCUMENTA (13) exhibition.
“documenta is an exhibition of modern and contemporary art which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany. It was founded by artist, teacher and curator Arnold Bode in 1955 as part of the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Horticultural Show) which took place in Kassel at that time,[1] and was an attempt to bring Germany up to speed with modern art, both banishing and repressing the cultural darkness of Nazism.[2] This first documenta featured many artists who are generally considered to have had a significant influence on modern art (such as Picasso and Kandinsky). The more recent documentas feature art from all continents; nonetheless most of it is site-specific.”

2012 Power 100
2. Larry Gagosian

“This year ArtRio was a must-see fair, and not because Brazil is now the artworld’s ‘it country’ (there’s a reason ArtReview gave you a guide to the place in September). No. ArtRio was different because Larry was there, and in a very Larry way. With both a booth and a temporary exhibition space outside the fair, as well as $130 million worth of art to sell, Gagosian meant business, and ArtRio had arrived.

No other dealer commands such attention – our attention. Isn’t this what power is about? By one estimate, even without the addition of the temporary Rio space, Gagosian’s total global exhibition square-meterage, including a new depot designed by Jean Nouvel at Le Bourget airport (private jets only) outside Paris, now exceeds Tate Modern’s (Tanks included) by 700sqm (throw in a six-bed, six-bath Manhattan penthouse and you’re almost there). ”

ArtRio (Portuguese)

ArtRio at Artsy (English)

2012 Power 100 – The List

“David Zwirner doesn’t have too much trouble maintaining his place in the thinner atmosphere of the artworld power elite. It certainly helps, at least from the perspective of this list, to have just opened a palatial space in London’s Mayfair, in a townhouse that once belonged to a British prime minister (Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury) and then to Helena Rubenstein, whose spa and cosmetics store could be found at 24 Grafton St for nearly 50 years (how’s that for heady a combination of aesthetics and politics?). In addition to this new 930sqm of townhouse, though, in 2013 Zwirner unveils a new multistorey, 2,800sqm-ground-up-constructed, first-ever-LEED-certified (ie, ‘green’) gallery space in New York City, which will be located on 20th St in Chelsea, just a block away from the current HQ. And as with everything Zwirner, including the Mayfair townhouse and the dealer’s own abode in New York’s East Village, the new gallery is designed by Annabelle Selldorf. The first exhibitions? Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, natch. ”

2012 Power 100
5. David Zwirner

David Zwirner London

21. François Pinault

“If this were fashion’s top 100, it’s likely the majority shareholder of Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent would place higher still. While Pinault, a two-time number one on this list, has dropped down a bit, it’s not because his influence as a collector (with more than 2,500 works among his holdings and a pair of museums in Venice in which to show them off) has significantly diminished. Rather, it’s because, while he owns Christie’s auction house (which turned over $5.7 billion in art last year, 14 percent up from 2010) and the Haunch of Venison gallery (which opened a second London space this year), there have been others pushing ahead, changing the face of art.”