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The 2014 ArtReview Power 100 broken down by world region (all charts made using infogr.am)

ArtReview has released its annual list of the 100 most powerful people in the contemporary art world and, once again, the only surprising thing about the list is how utterly unsurprising it is.

Tate’s director Nicholas Serrota takes top honors this year (up from number 6 in 2013), while last year’s top power broker, Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani of the Qatar Museums Authority, has tumbled to 13th. Staying steady in the 2nd and 3rd slots, respectively, are global megadealers David Zwirner and Iwan Wirth. The highest ranking artist or woman on the list, Marina Abramović, is up to number 5 from 11 last year. Larry Gagosian and MoMA director Glenn Lowry traded places, landing at number 8 and 4, respectively. There are a dozen first-timers on this year’s list — the highest-ranking is the duo of Centre Pompidou president and director Alain Seban and Bernard Blistène, four people neither gained nor lost power, and seven people who didn’t appear on 2013’s list reentered the rankings.

The total number of people featured in the 2014 ArtReview Power 100 by gender

The biggest mover this year, Jeff Koons, jumped up 49 spots to number 7 on the strength of his Whitney Museum retrospective. Ukrainian steel magnate and collector Victor Pinchuk took the biggest tumble in this year’s rankings, falling 47 slots to number 85.

The 2014 ArtReview Power 100 broken down by gender, including groups of two, three, and four people

As in years past, individuals and groups based in Europe and North America are wielding the most power in 2014, and men continue to hold the positions deemed most powerful by ArtReview. Of all the people featured on the list (117 when you break down all the duos, trios, and quartets), 72% are men.

The 2014 ArtReview Power 100 broken down by world region

Taken together, Europe and North America account for 70 entries, with the rest of the world (where some 5.85 billion people reside) logging just 30 power players. Africa’s lone representative, Senegalese curator Koyo Kouoh, appears at number 96. Notably absent, geographically, are Canada, Australia, and Iceland — apparently a slew of solo shows for Ragnar Kjartansson and an upcoming MoMA retrospective for Björk weren’t enough to get ArtReview‘s editors to Reykjavik. (For the purpose of our analysis, people based in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Turkey are counted as being based in Asia.)

The occupations of people featured in the 2014 ArtReview Power 100

For some semblance of diversity, let’s look at the occupational breakdown, where, despite the absence of a single art critic (no more love for The Smiths?), things do get a little more interesting. A healthy number of artists appear in the rankings (22 in all), with three cracking the top 10 (Cindy Sherman lands at number 10).

The occupations of people featured in the 2014 ArtReview Power 100

Just over a quarter of this year’s power players are dealers (27 total), though for such a market-driven feature the tiny number of auctioneers and art advisers (3) is surprising. After dealers and artists, curators and directors of museums (18) and collectors and trustees (14) are the most heavily represented on the 2014 Power 100.

The list’s most empowering feature, however, is one of its omissions: Damien Hirst is absent from the list he topped twice (in 2005 and 2008) for the second year in a row.

Stay tuned for Hyperallergic’s annual Powerless 20.

With additional number crunching by Jillian Steinhauer

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Benjamin Sutton

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...

10 replies on “Breaking Down ArtReview’s 2014 Power 100 List”

    1. I think MONEY has always been top dog (think Medici)… What’s changed is the speed and proliferation of data about the art market, packaged into tweets and posts (like this!) I don’t think people have the attention span anymore for lengthy art criticism… a luxury of a bygone era.

  1. It really is interesting though. Of the 100 most powerful..twenty two are artists. But in 100 years, those other 78 will be forgotten. Its been my theory for a long time that artists matter less and less in the field of..yes..ART. Why is that? Maybe because the bulk of art produced isnt very unique..and we need all these other shakers and makers there to tell everyone else that (example) a balloon dog is ART..and we need alot of them..repeating that mantra. Without the other 78..the balloon dog ceases to be art.

    1. I agree to an extent, but I think your broad dismissal of the capacity of artists and the hoi polloi art audience to bestow the mantle of “art” on objects that are made to be viewed and contemplated as representative or evocative of someone else’s experience or vision strikes me as facile. Yes, the movers and shakers do allow objects like the balloon dog to circulate in an economic market, an attentional, popular culture market, and to be inserted into a critical discourse, but that does not mean that without them the balloon dog would not be “art”. It might not be well noticed art, or successful art, or even good art, but it would still have presence only in a realm of aesthetic consideration. Where else could such an object exist? Perhaps in the prop factory of a movie set, but even there its function would likely be to represent “art”.

      I rather think that your argument better belongs being applied to popular (top forty) music where the musicians are often interchangeable and the singer’s personality or perspective does not matter as much as the producer’s, who puts a certain sound together that garners money and attention. Musician who participate in that world don’t seem to be nearly as important as the producers, but that is only one aspect of the entire world of music. In a similar fashion Jeff Koons is only one sliver of the human endeavor to make and give to each other new information, or a sense of surprise or shock or delight.

      1. Well, a good litmus test is to place the art outside of the artificial construct we call the art world.

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