Director of Tate Sir Nicholas Serota has taken the number one spot in ArtReview‘s 2014 Power 100 rankings, making him the world’s most powerful individual in contemporary art.
The list is compiled by a panel of 26 individuals from across the world working in the art industry, and aims to be “a guide to those individuals who are influencing what art gets circulated and what art gets produced.”
The reasoning given for Serota’s position is not so much due to his personal contribution, but is more a reflection of the power of Tate as an institution. Not only do museums have increasing importance in society, but they are becoming increasingly influential across the art world, acting as collectors might and offering certain galleries and artists validation. Tate in particular is recognised for its international reach, but mainly as the “current chief proclaimer of this system”.
The list is made predominantly of collectors, dealers and gallerists; that is, distributors instead of producers. This is due to the nature of the list, reflecting as it does power and influence. The top 5 is thus made up of Serota, gallerists David Zwirner and Iwan Wirth (of Hauser & Wirth), Director of MoMA Glenn D. Lowry and artist Marina Abramović (whose high position owes something to her summer Serpentine show “512 hours” as well as her work for the Marina Abramović Institute). Other high-ranking artists include Jeff Koons, who climbs 49 places from last year to 7th thanks to his highly popular Whitney retrospective, American photographer Cindy Sherman and Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei. New entries on the list include President and Director of Paris’ Pompidou Centre Alain Seban & Bernard Blistène at number 12, with a re-entry at number 21 for Adam Szymczyk, recently-appointed artistic director of documenta 14.