Who were the most influential people in 2018 contemporary artworld?
ArtReview’s annual ranking of the world’s most influential artists, curators, gallerists, and other powerful people just broke its own rules. This year, for the first time, the magazine has somewhat perplexingly given an entire movement—#MeToo—the third spot on its 100-person list. It is the only non-individual to appear in the magazine’s 17th annual ranking and places the international movement against sexual harassment just after international mega-dealer David Zwirner and artist Kerry James Marshall.
The list was chosen by 30 anonymous international jurors during an intensive two-month period of discussion. Little more of their methodology is known, though ArtReview editor Oliver Basciano tells artnet News that it begins with a deep dive into the last 12 months of news coverage from the art world. This year, the divide is 58% men and 42% women.
As for Kerry James Marshall, he is a timely choice as well: His painting Past Times became the most expensive work by an African American artist to sell at auction this past May at Sotheby’s. (Musician and producer Sean Combs paid $21.1 million for the work.) On the heels of his well reviewed traveling retrospective, his paintings have skyrocketed in popularity over the last year. In July, the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation unveiled a new public art project A Monumental Journey that celebrated the legacy of African American attorneys who in 1925 founded the National Bar Association in Des Moines, Iowa. But it is Kerry James Marshall’s personal campaign to counter the whitewashing of art history by populating it with black bodies – to make history by painting that history – that has proved influential!