LONDON, ENGLAND.- For the fifth year running the international art monthly ArtReview releases its list of the 100 most influential people in contemporary art. The ArtReview Power 100 appears in the November edition of the magazine, available on newsstands in the UK from 16 October and in Europe and in the US a few days later. To celebrate its fifth anniversary, this year the Power 100 comes in an extended supplement, sponsored by Giorgio Armani, which includes analysis of the results of this years list, as well as interviews, profiles and portraits of the personalities who figure on the list.
The list has changed drastically this year to conform to the changes the magazine has undergone, ArtReviews Editor-in-Chief, John Weich, explains. Half of those listed were not on the list last year, meaning a huge number has dropped off. One reason is that we are focusing less on modernism and more on contemporary art. The second is that the contemporary art world is extraordinarily dynamic and increasingly more global.
Pinault at number one - For the first time in the lists history, the number one is neither American nor British but French. François Pinault is more commonly known as one of the most powerful figures in fashion, as majority shareholder of PPR, the company behind such fashion heavy-weight brands as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen. However it is because of his other identity as a major collector of contemporary art and as owner of the auction house Christies that he figures at the top of this years Power 100 list.
It helps that Christies has had an amazing year, but the tipping point this year was Palazzo Grassi in Venice, says Weich; In just a years time Pinault rapidly created a new museum of contemporary art in Venice to house his extraordinary collection. Palazzo Grassi had political repercussions as well, being the latest blow to a French state that couldnt keep one of the most profound contemporary art collection in France.
While Pinault claims the top spot, this year has not been particularly strong overall for France which lies in fifth place in terms of influential nations. Pinaults rival Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury giant LVMH and a collector in his own right, also drops off the list entirely this year, having made his first appearance in 2005 in position 21.
The top 10 in 2006 is as follows, with brackets indicating their positions last year:
1. Francois Pinault (3)
2. Larry Gagosian (2)
3. Nicholas Serota (4)
4. Glenn Lowry (5)
5. Sam Keller (7)
6. Eli Broad (6)
7. Charles Saatchi (19)
8. Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp (33)
9. Bruce Nauman (9)
10. Jeff Koons (62)