Woman tops ArtReview 'power 100' list for first time

 

An American-born Italian-Bulgarian curator little known outside the art world has topped ArtReview magazine's annual Power 100 list, the first female to do so in its 11-year history.

Previously topped by familiar names like artists Damien Hirst and Ai Weiwei and gallery supremo Larry Gagosian, the 2012 title went to Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev best known for curating the marathon Documenta 13 art fair staged in Kassel in Germany.

An art historian who wrote for newspapers before taking up curating in Italy, Christov-Bakargiev has been widely praised for staging a critically acclaimed edition of Documenta, held every five years and lasting for around 100 days.

Some 860,000 people visited the Kassel show, spread across the city's parks, galleries, cinemas and train station in what Christov-Bakargiev likened to "an exploded museum".

Another 27,000 attended a satellite event in Kabul in a bold extension of a fair founded in 1955 by an artist who was banned by the Nazis and whose aim was to revive culture.

"I don't think you get extra points for being famous," said Mark Rappolt, editor of ArtReview, commenting on a less than obvious choice of the art world's most powerful individual.

"Art is about people who have an influence over what other people are producing."

He praised Christov-Bakargiev for the "global scale and great ambition" of Documenta, and suggested that some members of the panel which came up with the 100-strong list had argued for more commercial figures in the art world to be at the summit.

"It's not like it wasn't contested," Rappolt told Reuters. "I think the power of money is always pushing, as it were, but she was a contender all along.

"There are two strands, and both reflect the proximity of art to the real world. One is a quest for bigness, monumentality and globalisation and the other is a belief that art needs to be socially responsible and interactive."

Underlining his argument was the fact that in second place this year, up from fourth in 2011, was Gagosian, with fellow gallery owners Iwan Wirth and David Zwirner in fourth and fifth.

Dissident artist Ai, who has been in the headlines for his ongoing confrontation with the Chinese authorities, was placed third after being first in 2011.

And German artist Gerhard Richter, who set an auction record for a living artist earlier this month when an abstract painting fetched $34.2 million at Sotheby's, rose to sixth from 11th.

But the biggest mover was Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani, daughter of the Emir of Qatar who also heads the Qatar Museums Authority which has gone on an aggressive expansion and acquisition drive to fill new museums with art.

She jumped to 11th place on the power list from 90 last year, largely due to Qatar's spending spree on some of the world's most expensive works of art.

The Economist estimated that the al-Thani family has spent at least $1 billion on Western art over the last seven years, including a version of Paul Cezanne's "The Card Players" for over $250 million, believed to be a record for a work of art.

Asked whether he thought women were finally approaching equal footing in a traditionally male-dominated world, Rappolt replied: "It's difficult to answer that question as a man, but it's probably changing more slowly than some people would like."

Russian punk band Pussy Riot was a new entry on the list at 57, recognising the jailed members' success in highlighting the issue of free speech internationally.

And Rappolt noted the rise of art world figures from Asia and Latin America, reflecting the comparative strength of economies and culture in those regions.

"The list is more diverse than it has been in the past, and to an extent it reflects the real world more closely."

Reuters

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game