Entertainment & Arts

Tate boss Sir Nicholas Serota tops art power list

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Nicholas Serota has been Tate's director since 1988

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota has been named the most powerful figure in the art world.

Sir Nicholas topped ArtReview magazine's annual Power 100 list for helping Tate "punch above its weight in the global network of influence".

He has been the Tate's director since 1988 and oversaw the opening of Tate Modern in 2000.

The gallery, in a former power station on London's Southbank, is the world's most visited contemporary art museum.

Sir Nicholas, 68, who has appeared in the top 10 of every list since it launched in 2002, is the first representative of a public museum to reach the top spot.

ArtReview said that he was ranked number one this year "on account of the way in which Tate has, since the launch of Tate Modern, consistently deployed an international - rather than a national - perspective on art production".

It added: "Tate has come to epitomise almost all the elements of the current 'global' art world, where the distribution of art is arguably now more important than its production."


The Top 10

  • 1. Nicholas Serota, museum director - British (last year: 6)
  • 2. David Zwirner, gallerist - German (2)
  • 3. Iwan Wirth, gallerist - Swiss (3)
  • 4. Glenn D Lowry, museum director - American (8)
  • 5. Marina Abramovic, artist - Serbian (11)
  • 6. Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones, curators - Swiss / British (5)
  • 7. Jeff Koons, artist - American (56)
  • 8. Larry Gagosian, gallerist - American (4)
  • 9. Marian Goodman, gallerist - American (14)
  • 10. Cindy Sherman, artist - American (13)

The full list can be found on the ArtReview website.


Sir Nicholas ran London's Whitechapel Art Gallery from 1976-88 and Oxford's Museum of Modern Art from 1973-76.

He co-curated Tate Modern's recent Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs - its first show to attract more than half a million visitors.

In 2013-14, more than seven million people visited the Tate's four galleries - Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives.

American painter Christopher Wool is one of the highest new entries on the ArtReview list at number 55.

ArtReview said it was the result of the 59-year-old's influence "on a younger generation of artists who are currently fuelling the auction fires".

Last year's list was topped by Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the sister of the emir of Qatar, who heads the country's museums authority.

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