Alt Power 100 ArtLyst 2017 – Meet The Alternative Powerhouses

Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2017

Artlyst’s 7th edition of the Alt Power 100 lyst, in association with the not for profit sector, is our annual ranking of the contemporary artworld’s alternative 100 most influential people. 2017 has been an extraordinary year for exhibitions both here in the UK and abroad. London is currently (November 2017) basking in a golden age of curation with significant shows of Cezanne, Soutine, Modigliani and French Impressionism in Britain.

This has also been a strong year for international events

This has also been a strong year for international events like the Venice Biennale, Performa and this year’s controversial Documenta.

One of the most refreshing parts of 2017 has been the appointment of new Directors at many of the major public galleries with several of the top positions being filled by women.

The emphasis on exhibitions shifting to less conventional spaces such as brutalist office buildings and public car parks is still a force to be reckoned with as Pop-ups were again a focus in 2017.

Leading art fairs like Frieze and Art Basel were the perfect opportunity to hijack the moment and help promote emerging art in its purest form. By showing art in car parks and alternative spaces, Artists can achieve a new context and audience for the art they create. Art must be available to all that seek it out. This is the most inclusive way to promote dialogue, change, and express creativity.

Indeed, what emerges from Artlyst’s Power-Lyst this year is a great many figures not coming from the higher echelons of the world of finance, (not to say we haven’t included the odd billionaire) but mainly individuals like museum directors and curators, quietly making a difference in many ways.

If you are driven by curiosity and aesthetics and realize, like us that the art world isn’t just driven by money, then continue to read. If not the Art Review Power 100 which reads like The Sunday Times ‘Rich List’ is released in a few days.

The number of new and imaginative enterprises outlined by Artlyst this year will hopefully help bring art to a wider public, as well as focus on academic and critical engagement. This in itself is cause for celebration.

Maria Balshaw #1 on the Alt Power 100 Artlyst 2017
Maria Balshaw #1 on the Alt Power 100 Artlyst 2017

Artlyst Top Ten

1. Maria Balshaw CBE – Head of Tate

2. John Akomfrah – artist and filmmaker, awarded CBE in New Year’s Honours List. Winner of 2017 Artes Mundi prize

3. Sir David Adjaye – Architect, knighted and made RA, to co-design the London Holocaust Memorial

4. Phyllida Barlow – CBE Represented Britain at 2017 Venice Biennale

5. Grayson Perry – Artist, known for his work in ceramics, awarded the Turner Prize in 2003. Subject of a Touring Serpentine summer exhibition The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!.

6. Simon Wallis – Director Hepworth Museum, Wakefield which was awarded the 2017 Art Fund Museum of the Year

7. Frances Morris – Director Tate Modern

8. Hans Ulrich Obrist – Co-Director of Serpentine Galleries

9. Nicholas Cullinan – Director of National Portrait Gallery

10. Victoria Pomery , Director of Turner Contemporary


Sir David Adjaye
Sir David Adjaye #3 On the Alt Power 100 ArtLyst 2017

The Rest Of The Best: The Full 2017 Alt Power 100 Lyst In Alphabetical Order 

1. Sir David Adjaye – Architect, knighted and made RA, to co-design the London Holocaust Memorial

2. John Akomfrah – Artist and filmmaker, awarded CBE in New Year’s Honours List. Winner of 2017 Artes Mundi prize

3. Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts, Barbican

4. Hurvin Anderson – 2017 Turner Prize nominee

5. Ron Arad – Architect, designer, to co-design the London Holocaust Memorial

6. Ziba Ardalan: Founder and Director/Curator of Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, a privately-funded educational charity and a not-for-profit art gallery.

7. Karen Ashton – Founder and Curator of the Art Car Boot Fair

8. Vanya Balogh – Artist/ independent curator, known for his art exhibitions in unusual spaces including underground car parks

9. Maria Balshaw CBE – Head of Tate,

10. Phyllida Barlow CBE represented Britain at 2017 Venice Biennale

11. Rana Begum – Artist, curator of Occasional Geometries YSP

12. Iwona Blazwick OBE– Director of Art at the Whitechapel Gallery

13. Erica Bolton/Jane Quinn: PR gurus and organisational magicians at Bolton & Quinn Ltd.

14. Bruce Boucher Director of the Sir John Soane’s Museum.

15. Andrea Butler Turner Prize 2017 nominee

16. Martin Clark – Director of the Camden Arts Centre

17. Dan Colen – Artist based in New York. Known for painted sculptures appropriating low-cultural ephemera and graffiti-inspired text paintings.

18.  Sir Michael Craig-Martin – Emeritus Professor of Fine Art at Goldsmiths London, previously a tutor at Goldsmiths where he fostered the talent of many of the YBAs. Knighted in New                 Year’s honours list.

19.  Nicholas Cullinan – Director of National Portrait gallery co-curator of Matisse cut-outs exhibition at Tate Modern with Nicholas Serota

20. Tacita Dean – Artist due to exhibit in an unprecedented collaboration in 2018 between National Gallery, NPG and the Royal Academy of Arts

21.  Edith Devaney, Contemporary Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts

22. Clare Doherty Director of Arnolfini, Bristol

23. Emily Druiff – Artistic Director and CEO of Peckham Platform – a UK charity that champions social artworks.

24. Marlene Dumas – one of the most influential contemporary artists

25. Adrienne Edwards – Curator of Performa

26. Olafur Eliasson – Danish-Icelandic artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature.

27. Zavier Ellis – Director of Charlie Smith Gallery, Curator of The Future Can Wait, organiser of Anthology Prize and Young Gods

28. Brenda Emmanus – BBC London’s Art, Culture and Entertainment producer

29. Alex Farquharson – Director Tate Britain,

30. Gabriele Finaldi – Director of the National Gallery, London

31. Ryan Gander – London-based artist, creator of the Locked Room Scenario in Shoreditch, awarded the 2010 Zurich Art prize, accompanied by an exhibition at the Haus Konstruktiv,                 Zurich, and winner of the 2003 Prix de Rome. Awarded OBE in New Year’s Honours list.

32. Candida Gertler – Co-Founder Outset

33. Brett Gorvy – The British-born former Chairman and international head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s now partnered with Dominique Levy to form Levy Gorvy

34. Kelly Grovier – American poet, literary critic, art historian and curator co-founder of European Romantic Review, author of 100 Works of Art That Will Define our Age

35. David Gryn – Director of Daata Editions & Artprojx and Curator, Film & Sound, Art Basel in Miami Beach

36. Justin Hammond – Former Curator of the The XL Catlin Art Prize for recent graduates of British art colleges now Director of Hammond Projects

37. Mona Hatoum – Artist, winner of Whitechapel Icon Award 2017

38. Lubaine Himid – 2017 Turner Prize nominee

39. Mark Hix – Chef, Restaurateur, Gallerist and creator of the Hix Awards for emerging art

40. Paul Hobson, Director of Modern Art Oxford

41. David Hockney – National treasure who is still going from strength to strength, Tate Britain retrospective and permanent gallery at Cartwright Hall Bradford

42. Alistair Hudson – Outgoing director of MIMA to take over Manchester Art Galleries

43. Tristram Hunt – New Director of V&A

44. Arthur Jafa – Artist who had a successful show at Serpentine Sackler Gallery last Summer, currently showing a site-specific video on the roof of the Vinyl factory

45. Stefan Kalmar New Director of ICA

46. Chris Le Brun – President of the Royal Academy and artist

47. Clare Lilley, Director of Programme YSP, curator of Frieze Sculpture

48. James Lingwood and Michael Morris – Co-Directors of Artangel since 1991, responsible for building Artangel into a significant international commissioning and producing organisation.

49. Edward Lucie-Smith – Art critic and senior art tastemaker

50. Christine Macel – Visual Arts Sector Director of 2017 Venice Biennale

51. Tim Marlow – Critic, broadcaster and Head of Exhibitions at Royal Academy

53. Helen Marten Turner Prize winner 2016 and winner of inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture

54. Steve McQueen – CBE and Turner Prize-winning video artist turned Oscar-winning Filmmaker

55. Sarah Monk: Director of London Art Fair. Sarah has been Fair Director since 2013

56. Ben Moore – Founder of Art Below, a London based public art enterprise, founded in 2006 using billboard space in underground stations to display artworks in London and overseas.

57. Frances Morris – Director Tate Modern who succeeded Chris Dercon in January 2016

58. Gregor Muir – Director of International Art at Tate

59. Sarah Munro: Director of the BALTIC

60. Peter Murray CBE Founder and Executive Director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park

61. Rosalind Nashashabi – Turner Prize 2017 nominee

62. Elizabeth Neilson – Director of the Zabludowicz Collection

63. Hans Ulrich Obrist – Serpentine Gallery’s Co-directors of Exhibitions and Programmes.

64. Chris Ofili – awarded CBE in New Year’s Honours List – tapestry exhibited at National Gallery

65. Mark Osterfield, Executive Director Tate St Ives, oversaw gallery’s recently opened extension

66. Maureen Paley – Gallerist opened a project space in Brighton

67. Cornelia Parker OBE, RA, sculptor who created Magna Carta (an embroidery) for the British Library. Curated Found at Foundling Museum. New York commission for the Met’s roof garden.       2017 official election artist

68. James Payne and Jo Shurvell, Payne|Shurvell Project Space Suffolk

69. Yana Peel – CEO Serpentine Galleries

70. Grayson Perry – Artist, known for his work in ceramics, and awarded the Turner Prize in 2003. Touring Serpentine summer exhibition The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!.

71. Eddie Peake – Presents a varied artistic vocabulary encompasses performance, video, photography, painting, sculpture and installation and of course ace DJ

72. Michael Petry – Multi-media artist, writer and curator. Director of MOCA London, co-founder of the Museum of Installation,73. Victoria Pomery – Director of Turner Contemporary since            2002,

74. David Roberts – Prolific art collector in the UK, in 2008 started the ‘David Roberts Art Foundation’ to help emerging artists and young curators. Opening a new sculpture park in Somerset

75. Tim Sayer – Art collector for donating his collection to Hepworth Wakefield. Awarded MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

76. Rebecca Scott and Mark Woods – Artist power couple – opened Provincial Project Space in Kendal Cumbria Autumn 2017

77. Sean Scully RA – one of the finest abstract painters of his generation, twice nominated for Turner prize, internationally exhibited in China, the US, Spain, Germany, Russia and the UK

78. Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England

79. Conrad Shawcross – Kinetic sculptor and youngest Royal Academician

80. Yinka Shonibare – British-Nigerian artist known for his ‘post-colonial’ hybrid works often relating to the history of slavery.

81. David Shrigley – Artist ‘Really Good’ Fourth Plinth commission 2016-17

82. Victoria Siddall – Director of Frieze Art Fair

83. Bob and Roberta Smith – contemporary British artist operating under the pseudonym, famous for painting slogan-bearing signage in support of various activist campaigns. Awarded OBE         in New Year’s Honours List.

84. Donald Smith – Director of Exhibitions, Chelsea Space

85. Superflex – Danish collective for the Hyundai commission in Tate’s Turbine Hall

86. Simon Tarrant – Director Winter Pride Art Awards

87. Paul Thompson – Rector of the Royal College of Art, served as Director of the Smithsonian’s National Design Museum in New York until 2009, trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum,          and a Member of the Wellcome Collection Advisory Committee at the Wellcome Trust.

88. Wolfgang Tillmans – First photographer and non-Brit to be awarded the Turner Prize in 2000. A successful show at Tate Modern this year.

89. Vicente Todolí  –  Artistic Director of Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan since 2013

90. Gavin Turk – Artist who continues to be identified with YBA label but also associated with emerging talent. Had a show at Newport Street Gallery in 2017.

91. Fatos Ustek – Curator of Art Night 2017

92. Kara Walker – Contemporary African-American artist who explores race, gender, sexuality, violence and identity in her work.

93. Simon Wallis – Director Hepworth Museum, Wakefield which was awarded the 2017 Art Fund Museum of the Year

94. Ai Weiwei – Chinese political artist championing human rights

95. Rachel Whiteread – Artist and subject of retrospective at Tate Britain 2017

96. Zoe Whitley, Curator International Art, Tate

97. Godfrey Worsdale Director Henry Moore Foundation

98. Rose Wylie – Octogenarian artist with new show at the Serpentine announced

99. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye – artist and former Turner prize nominee

100. Anita and Poju Zabludowicz – Founded the Zabludowicz Collection in 2007, a space for exhibitions, commissions and residencies, as well as establishing the Zabludowicz Collection                   ‘Curatorial Open’ and ‘Testing Ground’ programmes to promote contemporary art education.

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