Black Lives Matter ranked most

Black Lives Matter ranked most influential art in 2020

It’s the first time a movement, rather than a person, has been on top of the list.

Black Lives Matter ranked most

In a first, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has claimed the number one spot in an annual power list that ranks movers and shakers of the contemporary art world.

The BLM movement tops the 19th Power 100 list published by ArtReview, which says the coalition has accelerated change across the art world and that its influence this year had been unprecedented.

“It had brought and accelerated change at every level in the art world whether by statue toppling, raising the visibility of black artists, appointments or “the rush by galleries to diversify their rosters … in museums rethinking who they represent and how they do it.”

Shaping others

The movement had also shaped the work of many others on the list, said ArtReview’s editor, Mark Rappolt.

“Art is about freedom of speech,” he said, “it is also about who has the ability to speak to the platforms that art creates and I think there has been something of a reckoning in that.”

The “activist movement has come to symbolize a global reckoning on racial justice,” said ArtReview, one of the world’s leading international contemporary art magazines.

“The power of the BLM movement is felt at every level of the art world.”

Further explaining its choice, the magazine said that 2020 saw “an increased prominence and urgency: in the resurgence of statue-toppling in the US and across Europe, as campaigners seek to redress injustices of the historical record; in the visibility of Black figurative painting over the past few years; in awards and appointments; in the rush by galleries to diversify their rosters.”

Documenta 2022 and restitution

Number two on the list is the Indonesian collective ruangrupa, which champions collaborative practice and will curate one of the world’s most important contemporary art events, Documenta 15, in 2022.

Ruangrupa is followed by the Senegalese economist Felwine Sarr and the French art historian Bénédicte Savoy, authors of an influential report on colonial-era artifacts and the need for restitution.

At number four is #MeToo and at number five the influential US philosopher and poet Fred Moten.