Sheikha Hoor climbs Art Review’s Power 100 list

The annual list, featuring the leading figures in contemporary art, was released with Sheikha Hoor named as the 40th most influential person in the art world.

Oil on canvas by Fahrelnissa Zeid on display in the Sharjah Biennial 12 at Sharjah Art Foundation in Sharjah. Pawan Singh / The National
Powered by automated translation

Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, the president and founder of Sharjah Art Foundation, is the most powerful person in the UAE's art world, according to Art Review magazine's Power 100.

The annual list, which ranks the leading figures in contemporary art and was released on October 20, names Sheikha Hoor as the 40th most influential person in art globally – a rise of eight places from 48th spot in the past two years.

Sheikha Hoor made her debut on the Power 100 list, which is now in its 15th edition, in 2003, when she co-curated that year’s edition of the Sharjah Biennial alongside Peter Lewis.

She has continually brought world-class exhibitions to the UAE, most recently a retrospective from Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who takes 93rd spot on the list.

Sheikha Hoor is in the final stages of planning the 13th edition of the Sharjah Biennial, which has become a fixture on the calendar for the global art world. Christine Tohme, this year’s curator of the event, is also on the list, at 49.

Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani dropped off the list this year list. The sister of the emir of Qatar and chairwoman of Qatar Museums, she has in recent years overseen the purchase of works by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko, as well as a record-setting $250million acquisition of Cezanne's The Card Players.

She topped the Power 100 in 2013, and was ranked 13th and 87th in the following two years.

Topping the list this year is Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, who is also the artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries in London. The magazine highlighted the sheer volume of his efforts, praising his “perpetual motion, giving talks and doing interviews at nearly every significant art event around the globe, and a single institution could never hope to house the full breadth of his activities”. Obrist also topped the Power 100 in 2009.

Other significant inclusions from the region include Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, founders of the Kochi-Muziris Biennial in Kerala, India.

The Power 100 is compiled each year in consultation with an international panel of writers, artists, curators and critics.

Rankings are based on an individual or group’s international influence over the production and dissemination of art and ideas during the past 12 months.