TIME Names Artists David Hockney and Luchita Hurtado as Two of Its 100 Most Influential People of the Year
See who made the cut.
The annual list of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People has arrived, and the lineup includes a few art luminaries: the Venezuelan-born artist Luchita Hurtado; Jeanne Gang, the founder of architecture firm Studio Gang; and British painter David Hockney. (Finally, he gets some recognition!)
Fewer art-world figures made the cut than in 2018, when Kehinde Wiley, JR, Judy Chicago, Virgil Abloh, and Elizabeth Diller all appeared on the list. According to the editors, criteria for selection is based on the “soft power” of the individual’s ideas and the strength of the example they set.
At 98 years old, painter Luchita Hurtado is finally being recognized by the institutional art world after toiling in relative obscurity for the first seven decades of her career. Hurtado’s work blends elements of the short-lived Dynaton movement, which her second husband, Lee Mullican, helped to found; Surrealism; and her own interest in the relationship between the body and the natural environment in and around Los Angeles, where she lives. Her work was included in the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. biennial in 2018, and as Hans Ulricht Obrist notes in his tribute, she will be having her first museum retrospective in 2019 at the Serpentine Gallery in London.
David Hockney, the affable uncle of the British art world, is still chain-smoking, making new work, and delighting audiences the world over at 81. In his entry on the artist, the Van Gogh Museum’s Edwin Becker notes that “his art encourages us to take a joyful and panoramic perspective of the world.”
In addition to making the most expensive work ever to sell at auction by a living artist, Hockney is currently enjoying a two-person exhibition alongside his muse Vincent van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. (It’s not mentioned in the TIME piece, but it should also be noted that Hockney has a tendency to go viral: Not long after a photograph of him and Joni Mitchell ricocheted around the internet, the world watched as he got stuck in an elevator.)
The third art-worlder on the list, Jeanne Gang, is the founder and principal at Studio Gang. She won a MacArthur “Genius” grant in 2011 and has participated in the Venice Architecture Biennale as well as the Chicago Architectural Biennial. Along with her firm, Jeanne Gang built the tallest woman-designed building in the world, Chicago’s Aqua Tower, a staggering 80-story tower that will soon be outdone by Studio Gang’s forthcoming Vista Tower, also in Chicago. The actress Anna Deavere Smith writes that “for Jeanne, architecture is not just a wondrous object. It’s a catalyst for change.”
Finally, street artist and filmmaker JR reappears as a writer paying tribute to his friend and collaborator Massimo Bottura, the chef behind Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana, who has been striving to introduce community kitchens around the world.
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