Make-Up Tycoon Topples Saatchi as Art's Greatest Power

Article excerpt

CHARLES SAATCHI may have lost his touch but Sir Nicholas Serota has more power than ever. Damien Hirst is in, Tracey Emin out. And a doorman at Christie's, New York, is an unknown force to be reckoned with.

A list of the 100 most powerful people in the art world will provoke dissent and debate from the heart of contemporary British art in Hoxton, east London, to the wealthiest galleries in New York.

After the ArtReview magazine's inaugural Power 100 last year, the London publication today releases its new snapshot of the artists and dealers, the collectors and the museum directors, who have made the most difference to 20th and 21st-century art in the past year. The dominant force, the magazine ruled, was the cosmetics billionaire Ronald Lauder, who knocked Charles Saatchi, Britain's best-known collector, off the top. Mr Lauder has funded a high- profile collection and a new museum in New York. But perhaps his role in retrieving art stolen by the Nazis has enabled him to pip those who are simply wealthy and/or discerning.

In second place, as last year, is Francois Pinault, the owner of the Christie's auction house. The Tate director, Nicholas Serota, rises to third place, though with a question mark over how he can avoid undermining individual gallery chiefs in the parts of his empire in London, Liverpool and St Ives.

The top 10 includes the German painter Gerhard Richter, the Japanese artist and Louis Vuitton designer Takashi Murakami and the Greek industrialist and collector Dakis Joannou. Ossian Ward, the editor of ArtReview, who compiled the rankings with contributors, said: "All the key figures in Britain are still there and perhaps more have crept in. Some of our younger dealers, Sadie Coles, and Maureen Paley, are now included. Nicholas Serota moving up is an indication of the international status of the Tate. It is the most important global-branded museum."

The ambivalent reaction from many artists and critics to Charles Saatchi's gallery in the old County Hall contributed to his fall. But Ossian Ward said this was no indicator of where Mr Saatchi might end up. "Saatchi has obviously moved down but he's still one of the few British collectors actively shopping in the East End every week. Other British collectors aren't that voracious, but he could still discover the next generation of Young British Artists."

Jay Jopling, who acts for Hirst and other big names from his White Cube gallery, and Norman Rosenthal, the idiosyncratic exhibitions secretary at the Royal Academy in London, slip slightly. But Hirst, buoyed by new shows and ventures including sending paintings into space, rises up the rankings. And Jake and Dinos Chapman, hot favourites to win this year's Turner, make it for the first time as does the Pop Art veteran Bridget Riley, 72.

After a dearth of architects last year, Zaha Hadid and David Adjaye are added. But Ossian Ward said everything could change next year. "If this is going to be an annual barometer we need to reflect that in the ups and downs of people," he said. Number 100 must be a prime example. Adrian Mullish is a dentist who treated many Young British Artists when they were poor and paid him with art. The doorman at Christie's Rockefeller Centre headquarters is Gil Perez, who knows everyone who buys or sells.


1 (3) Ronald Lauder: Cosmetics billionaire who founded the Neue Galerie in New York

2 (2) Francois Pinault: Owner of Christie's

3 (6) Nicholas Serota: Director of Tate galleries

4 (23) Larry Gagosian: New York dealer, with an enviable stable of artists and clients

5 (4) Gerhard Richter: Reputedly the world's most expensive living artist

6 (1) Charles Saatchi: Advertising executive

7 (-) Takashi Murakami: Japanese artist involved in commercial ventures

8 (-) Maja Oeri Hoffmann: President of a Swiss foundation which buys contemporary art, pictured above right

9 (-) Leonard Lauder: Ronald's older brother. …