Sheikha Al-Mayassa – head of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) – has been named the most powerful figure in the art world.
Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani came top of contemporary art magazine ArtReview‘s annual Power 100 due to “her organization’s vast purchasing power”.
She first appeared on the Power 100 in 2011 at number 90, rising to number 11 in 2012.
China’s Ai Weiwei, who topped the countdown in 2011, is the highest-placed artist at number 9.
Other familiar names in the top 10 include art dealer Larry Gagosian, ranked at 4, and Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota, placed at 6.
Sheikha Al-Mayassa is the sister of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, who assumed the role of Qatar’s emir when his father abdicated in June.
According to ArtReview, the QMA spends around $1 billion a year developing galleries, sponsoring film festivals and supporting public art.
It also sponsored Tate Modern’s Damien Hirst exhibition, which attracted more than 463,000 visitors during its run last year.
Last year’s Power 100 was also topped by a woman – Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the curator of the influential Documenta 13 exhibition in Kassel, Germany.
David Zwirner, who owns galleries in London and New York, is in second place in this year’s rundown, while his former business partner Iwan Wirth is ranked at 3.
Nicholas Serota comes just behind Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones, the co-creators of the Serpentine galleries in London.
Compiled by a 13-member international jury, the Power 100 is described as “a unique snapshot of the contemporary art scene”.
According to the ArtReview, those included are “judged on their international influence over the production of art and contribution to the art world during the past 12 months”.
SHEIKHA AL-MAYASSA’S PURCHASES:
- 2011 – The Card Players – Paul Cezanne – $248 million
- 2007 – White Center – Mark Rothko – $71 million
- 2007 – Lullaby Spring Pill Cabinet – Damien Hirst – $22 million