So, Who’s Boss in the London Art Scene?

Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones, co-directors of London’s Serpentine Gallery Photo via: Brioni

Yes, we have all heard it before: London is considered the epicenter of the art world (alongside New York). Its generous selection of museums and institutions, commercial galleries, and art fairs caters for art lovers of all sorts, making it a top-notch destination that sets the beat that other cities follow.

So, who reigns supreme in the art scene of this essential hub? To answer this question, the Evening Standard has just published a list of London’s most influential art personalities, in no particular order.

A large number of the 40 entries related specifically to the visual arts is, unsurprisingly, devoted to directors from heavyweight institutions, such as Nicholas Serota (Tate), the duo formed by Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans-Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Gallery), Iwona Blazwick (Whitechapel Gallery), Polly Staple (Chisenhale Gallery), and Gregor Muir (ICA).

There is also a sprinkle of high-profile collectors and patrons—Charles Saatchi, Dasha Zhukova, and Anita Zabludowicz—as well as representatives from the two main auction houses: Henry Wyndham (Sotheby’s chairman) and Jussi Pylkkänen (president of Christie’s Europe).

The Frieze emporium has a commanding presence on the list, featuring Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover (the founders of Frieze), as well as Victoria Siddall (the recently appointed director of the three Frieze fairs, both in London and New York).

The assortment of gallerists includes Sadie Coles (Sadie Coles HQ), Jay Jopling (White Cube), Iwan Wirth (Hauser & Wirth), and two important new entries: Roger Tatley (Marian Goodman London), and Chris Hammond (MOT International). Hammond represents the two last Turner Prize winners, the artists Elizabeth Price and Laure Prouvost, both also featured in the list.

The artists included range from the well-established—Grayson Perry, Antony Gormley, Sarah Lucas, and Mark Leckey—to younger, cutting edge artists such as Ed Atkins and Yuri Pattison.

Finally, the inclusion of Ben Vickers (curator of Digital at the Serpentine Gallery) and Holly Willats (a young curator, editor, and daughter of the conceptual artist Stephen Willats) confirms the increasing power that the younger generation holds in the London art scene.

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