It’s that time again when I round up some of the biggest players in the art scene today. This is not the first time I’ve written on the topic, and that is because the art world is a big place. There are influencers in many arenas in every corner of the globe. This is the third iteration of this ongoing list and there will be more to come. These, as I have mentioned before, are the names that you need to have at your disposal. These are the artists, gallerists, curators, patrons, and more who are setting the trends, calling the shots, and creating the future of art as we know it.
1. Glenn D. Lowry: an art historian by training, Glenn D. Lowry has been Director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City since 1995. Lowry studied art history at Williams College and Harvard. His past roles include Director for Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, both Smithsonian Institution galleries. He is former Director of the Art Gallery of Ontario.
2. Patricia Phelps de Cisneros: for almost four decades, de Cisneros has been a tireless supporter of education and the arts. This Venezuelan collector and philanthropist has focused primarily on works from Latin America, and has her own foundation, Collecion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. In 2016, following a large donation of artwork to MoMA, the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute was founded for the study of Latin American art at MoMA.
3. Christine Macel: Since 2000, French-born Macel has been Chief Curator at Centre Pompidou. There she began the contemporary art department and has curated shows for major artists from France and around the world. She is the director of the upcoming Venice Biennale 2017 as well as a contributing writer for several well-known art magazines.
4. Theaster Gates: This Chicago-based artist is known for work that closely examines and influences urbanism and social issues. His organization, Rebuild Foundation restores vacant buildings around the city of Chicago to create affordable space for arts and culture in underserved areas. Other work includes a large scale installation for the 95th Street Subway station in Chicago, an installation at Temple Church in Bristol, England, and countless other visual and performance pieces.
5. Massimiliano Gioni: Currently the director of the New Museum in New York City, Gioni has been a presence in the art world with a hand in past Venice Biennales, Berlin Biennial, Manifesta, and other international art festivals. Gioni has worked with Tate Modern and is the former US editor of Flash Magazine.
6. Marian Goodman: the Marian Goodman Gallery opened its doors forty years ago in 1977 in Manhattan. Goodman, a New York City native, fell into art dealing following a divorce. Her career took off and she soon found herself working with the likes of Lichtenstein and Warhol. Always an activist, in 1956 Goodman, along with a group of other women, all mothers, blocked the expansion of a parking lot in Central Park forcing the construction of a playground instead near Tavern on the Green.
7. Monika Spruth & Philomene Magers: German gallerists Spruth and Magers have been pivotal forces in the feminist art world since the 1980s. They were influential to the German art world before expanding their reach and now operate Spruth-Magers Gallery which operates in Berlin, Cologne, London, and Los Angeles. As gallerists, they have always been artist focused. Their L.A. gallery was the result of the need for representation in that particular art scene for many of their long standing stable of artists.
8. Marc Spiegler: The Global Director of Art Basel, Spiegler has also been an art columnist and journalist since 1998. Spiegler is a fixture in the list of top 20 most influential figures in the art world, Spiegler has written for magazines such as Art + Auction, The Art Newspaper, and New York Magazine.
9. Pierre Huyghe: In 2014, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Huyghe created Human Mask. The video project was one of many powerful pieces that have kept this French artist in the spotlight and at the top of his game. He is a past recipient of the Kurt Schwitters Prize as well as the 2017 Nasher Prize for Sculpture. Huyghe has exhibited at major galleries and museums around the world.
10. Maja Hoffmann: In 2014, this art patron/collector/documentary filmmaker broke ground for her grandest project yet. Luma Arles is a 100 million euro undertaking aimed at transforming the city of Arles into an art hub. The physical space was designed by Frank Ghery and Annabelle Selldorf and will revitalize 19th century industrial buildings. Hoffmann is also a restauranteur, as well as a board member at such venerable institutions as the New Museum, Tate Gallery, and Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles.