Sadly enough, money still dictates much of the art world. A quick glance over Art Review’s top power 100 reveals gallerists and collectors and artists famed for their impressive gallery spaces and the most sought after and expensive of art collections.
Certainly, they may have done much for the way we now choose to display and put on exhibitions – number 1 on the list Iwan and Manuela Wirth are subtly changing the whole notion of white walls and pictures – yet this is all facilitated by obscene amounts of money, peddling art to the very wealthy. One of the most refreshing parts of 2015 have been the innumerable pop ups all over the place, showing art in car parks and the like, making art available. There still seems an enormous divide between those who are catering for the very wealthy – see Wirth, David Zwirner, Larry Gagosian, Jay Jopling, François Pinault and boringly many more on Art Review – and those who fight for the availability of art for all. See Artlyst’s number 64 Ben Moore of Art Below, showing billboard art, or number 54 James Lingwood and Michael Morris of ArtAngel, a programme established in 1991 for commissioning art for public spaces.
Indeed, what emerges from Artlyst’s lyst is a great many figures not of the higher echelons of the private gallery circle, but independent people on the fringe quietly making a difference in a greater number of ways. See David Gryn, head of ArtProjx specialising in video art and the development of a platform for its mass distribution, or Donald Smith of CHELSEA Space, the centre for research for art and design professionals. The number of broadcasters and critics is a welcome change from the untouchable gallerists, such as the curator and editor Omar Kholeif, or Kelly Grovier, the poet and founder of European Romantic Review. Artlyst also champion the smaller public galleries against the tidal wave of affluent private ones: Sarah Munro of the Tramway, and now the Baltic centres gets a nod, as does Alexander Sturgis of the Ashmolean in Oxford. It’s slightly depressing that these figures should be on the fringe – how boring is it to see Jeff Koons yet again in the top 100 Art Review list? What new things has he done recently? – yet the number of new and imaginative enterprises outlined by Artlyst for bringing art to a wider public, as well as projects focusing on academic and critical engagement is itself cause for celebration.
See Full Power Lyst Attached Here
Top Image: Dirty Laundry By Michal Ohana-Cole 2015 Photo: © P C Robinson Artlyst all rights reserved