10 Young Power Players Set to Become the New Art World Aristocracy
They have the ambition and resources to compete with the old guard.
For every power player in today’s contemporary art landscape there’s a whole generation of young and hungry up-and-comers snapping at the heels of the establishment. The new crop of collectors, curators, gallerists and auction house specialists have the talent, drive, ambition—and resources—to compete with the old guard.
Whether it’s the jet setting 22-year-old collector Michael Xufu Huang, or the young director of New York’s Lisson Gallery Alex Logsdail, the following individuals are building serious followings.
The power players on the list may not be household names yet, but if they continue the upward trajectory that they are currently on, they may well be on their way to the top of the art world soon.
1. Michael Xufu Huang
The co-founder of Beijing’s M Woods museum is one of the art world’s most high-profile burgeoning young collectors. When he’s not en route to international art fairs and museum openings, the 22-year-old is working towards his bachelor’s degree in art history at the University of Pennsylvania. And he’s also just been named to the New Museum’s board of trustees.
2. KM Temporaer
Consisting of Elisa R. Linn and Lennart Wolff, the German duo are one of the most promising up-and-coming curatorial teams. Although the curators are primarily based in Berlin and Frankfurt, the pair recently organized a well-received pop-up exhibition in November at 83 Pitt Street on New York’s Lower East Side dubbed “Cos only Difference can return my friend,” featuring artists from New York’s Noah Barker to Basel’s Hannah Weinberger.
3. Tiffany Zabludowicz
When your parents are mega collectors Poju and Anita Zabludowicz, the apple is highly unlikely to fall far from the tree; unsurprisingly, Tiffany started her art collection at the tender age of 16. But she’s not only a collector, she has also tried her hand at curating and is a columnist at Artspace as well.
4. Alex Logsdail
The second-generation dealer and director of the New York branch of the Lisson Gallery was brought into the business by his father and Lisson founder Nicholas Logsdail in 2009 before being tasked with running the gallery’s American operation. Having previously cut his teeth at New York’s Deitch Projects and Team Gallery, the young dealer is one to watch next year.
5. Samuel Leuenberger
The Swiss curator’s résumé spans the breadth of the art world; he’s spent time working for commercial galleries, institutions, and non-profit organizations. Since 2009 the Basel-born Leuenberger has run the non-profit SALTS, promoting emerging Swiss and international artists. In 2014 he left a lasting impression as associate curator of “14 Rooms,” a major exhibition at Basel’s Foundation Beyeler, and in 2015 he was named curator of Art Basel’s ever-popular Parcours sculpture and performance intervention program.
6. Lucas Zwirner
As head of David Zwirner Books, the publishing arm of the international mega gallery, the 25-year-old art world scion is a third-generation art world power player in the making. He follows in the footsteps of his father David and grandfather Rudolf, both of whom established wildly successful galleries. The young Zwirner has all the advantages and art world pedigree that comes from being born into a family with such a legacy, but he also carries with him the burden of scrutiny and serious expectations that come with the territory.
7. Princess Eugenie of York
The British royal family’s most arty member became an associate director at blue-chip London gallery Hauser & Wirth in July 2015 after spending two years with online auctioneers Paddle8. The eighth in line to the throne is a regular on the international art fair circuit and was recently spotted at Art Basel Miami Beach.
8. Esther Kim Varet
Providing a conceptual edge to the Los Angeles art scene, the young gallerist is part of a new generation of LA dealers that have contributed to the city’s art renaissance. In the relatively short span of five years, Kim Varet’s gallery, Various Small Fires, has grown to become a mainstay of the local art scene and a fixture on the international art fair circuit.
9. Loic Gouzer
Credited for revitalizing Christie’s geriatric and dusty image with innovative curated auctions, the 35-year-old Frenchman put together a string of wildly successful sales, helping him climb the ranks at the 250-year-old auction house in record time. He will likely turn into a major power player, especially after the news of Christie’s longtime chairman Brett Gorvy’s departure.
10. Hannah Hoffman
The Los Angeles gallerist, who comes from a prominent Dallas-based art collecting family, decided to open her own gallery after learning the ropes at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York. Since opening her eponymous gallery in East Hollywood in 2013, she has quickly established herself as a result of her carefully selected program of international artists.
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