The #MeToo movement was acknowledged in a prestigious art industry power list normally reserved for artists, curators and collectors on Friday.
In a surprise move, the drive to expose sexual harassment and abuse was named third on ArtReview’s 2018 Power 100, an annual ranking of the contemporary art world’s most influential people. The movement was joined by high-profile figures like Ai Weiwei, and was the only entry not to comprise an individual, duo or collective.
The decision follows a year of high-profile sexual misconduct allegations in the creative industries, which has seen accusations made against photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber.
ArtReview’s website actively names allegations leveled against magazine publisher Knight Landesman, co-owner of the monthly publication Artforum.
The list entry explains that “many of the year’s most dramatic shifts in power within the artworld (sic) can be traced to a popular protest against its abuse,” adding that “#MeToo changed the prevailing climate in which curators are appointed, prizes awarded and exhibitions framed.”
Now in its 17th year, ArtReview’s Power 100 is chosen by an anonymous jury. Recent years have seen the likes of former Tate director Nicholas Serota and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist named as the contemporary art world’s most influential figure.
This year, Kerry James Marshall was the top-ranked artist, less than a year after his work set a world record for the work of an African American painter. In May, his painting “Past Times” sold at auction for $21.1 million, believed to be the highest sum ever paid for the work of a living black artist.
An artist biography on the Power 100 website suggests that it was not only painting’s sale (made to the musician Sean Combs, also known as P. Diddy) that earned Marshall his place on the list. It was, ArtReview wrote, “his personal campaign to counter the whitewashing of art history by populating it with black bodies.”
Despite being this year’s highest-ranked artist, Marshall placed second overall in the Power 100, just behind German dealer and gallery owner David Zwirner.