It’s 1 December so that must mean mince pies, Miami (ahoy) and (drum roll please)…. the Art Review Power 100 list, the ranking of arty personalities that divides the art world (rather like Marmite). The photographer and activist Nan Goldin takes the top spot this year for her “blend of personal intimacy and public advocacy [which] has influenced a generation of artists”, from her AIDS activism in the 1980s to her protests in recent years against some members of the Sackler family through the addiction advocacy group Pain.
She heads a top ten filled with artists “who are using their platforms not just to discuss freedom, both of expression and in the greater sense, but to practise it too, intervening through deeds as well as words (and images) in the pressing social and political issues of the current moment”, says a weighty statement. German artist Hito Steyerl is at no. 2 while Ibrahim Mahama, Steve McQueen and Cao Fei also make the top 10. As does the Karrabing Film Collective, the Indigenous Australian media group known for their experimental, activist films.
The mega dealer Larry Gagosian pops up at no. 12, just pipping the Hauser & Wirth team at no.14. The Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa, who everyone will be following next year when he takes on the Venice Biennale, jumps in at no.15. Other curators getting their moment of glory include headline-hitting Iwona Blazwick (no. 59), the curator of the 18th Istanbul Biennial, and Raphael Fonseca (no. 88) of Denver Art Museum.