Exhibition Inquisition

The stuff you look at, but don't see.

Art + Auction Power 100, 2011

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The only list that matters.

Art + Auction announced their annual Power 100 list earlier today, and celebrated it with a big party in Miami last night.  No, I am not in Miami for Basel, I am but a humble graduate student doing hours and hours of thesis research.  (Next year I’ll be forced to go by my fabulous future job.)  I did take the time to comb through the entire slide show on Artinfo.com. For thesis research… Here are some facts:

34 of the Power 100 are dealers or galleries.
32 of the Power 100 are collectors.
12 of the Power 100 work for auction houses
9 of the Power 100 are related to museums, be they directors, curators, major patrons, or private collectors with their own museums (two are online museums)
8 of the Power 100 are artists…

Of those eight artists, Ai Weiwei was the only non-designer or non-architect on the Power 100.  Guess artists aren’t very powerful, but they sure can make sure pretty art

Debatably powerful, Ai Weiwei installation in Taiwan.

The following countries were represented by just one person on the Power 100 list: Argentina (this fascinating individual), Australia (intentionally asshole David Walsh), Iran, Korea, the Netherlands, Qatar (with the #1), Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Greece, Italy and Mexico (world’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helu; and muppet baby Eugenio Lopez), each had two people on the list.  Russia had three, Germany seven, and China eight.  The only countries with doubledigit numbers were France (12), the UK (16), and the US (a whopping 39).  Art + Auction swears it looked globally this year to determine the Power 100 list, but it didn’t seem very international.  Granted this list is determined largely by money. But people outside the US have major ducats, and spend buckets on art.

The Top 10 was only fifty percent American:

#10:  Stephane Cosman Connery of Sotheby’s, important is his last name. Connery, Sean Connery.

#9: Francois Curiel of Christies, on the list because he pays attention to rich Asians.

#8: Budi Tek, a rich Asian planning a constellation of museums for his private collection.

#7: Peter Brant, owner of Interview Magazine, and a Koons Balloon Puppy

Which one is the runt of the litter?

#6: David Zwirner, also on the list because he pays attention to rich Asians. He sold a work to Mr. #8, Budi Tek for $350,000.

#5: Francois Pinault, arch rival of another French Luxury company owner, Bernard Arnault..  Pinault is winning the art duel with not one, but two museums.  In Venice.  Although, Arnault’s Frank Gehry cloud is apparently back on track.

#4: Dasha Zhukova.  WHAT a sexy name (and face).  Not only did she found the Garage Center for Contemporary Art, she is also a LACMA board member, AND co-chaired MOCA’s recently gala (you may have heard about it) with…

#3: Broad.

#2: Gagosian, only surprising because he was beat by …

Rich, and pretty. Some people have all the luck.

#1: BOOM Qatar!  Represented by Sheikha Al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Althani.  Oh you don’t know who the Al Thani Family is, well you should; this royal lady has been going on an art bender.  With good reason: The Qatar Museum Authority has three museums to fill. Qatar is an arms race with adjacent, oil-rich gulf-state, Abu Dhabi—the two countries vying for the title of art capital of the Middle Eat.  Although, it looks like Abu Dhabi may be falling behind in this race.

Los Angeles was well represented in the Power 100, twelve of the players are directly or indirectly involved with LA.  This includes galleries Blum & Poe, and L&M Arts, LACMA curator Wendy Caplan, philanthropist-at-large Wali Annenberg, the aforementioned Broad, and the architecture firm building his museum: Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

Behold! My Thesis!

Aaaaaand, let this be an introduction to my thesis, which has taken over my life, and as a result this blog has become neglected.  So I will be changing the focus of this blog for the foreseeable future.

What will this new focus be, you ask?  It will be all champagne kisses and caviar dreams!  That’s right it’s going to be all about private art collectors, and the crazy things they do, including but not limited to building museums to hold their art troves.  I just spent my thanksgiving break Wikipedia-ing a gaggle of the 1%.  Let’s get jealous!

– H.I.

One Response

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  1. Broad and a period; no comment left haha that’s my fav part!

    Ps thank you for keeping my updated and knowledgeable about the art world 🙂


    December 1, 2011 at 9:59 PM

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