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Crisis shakes up art's most powerful list

Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist has been named the most powerful figure in the art world, beating the directors of London's Tate or New York's Museum of Modern Art.

ArtReview magazine compiles the list of the 100 most influential people in the contemporary art world each year for its November issue.

Obrist, who ranked 35th on the list in 2008, pole vaulted into the number one slot for being "one of the most active and well networked figures the contemporary art world has seen," the magazine said.

The curator is co-director of exhibitions and programmes and director of international projects at London's Serpentine Gallery. The magazine called him a "tireless advocate" of contemporary art who champions small galleries.

The economic crisis served to shake up the list, ArtReview said, as many large museums struggle with shrinking endowments.

More established figures in the art world continue to hover just below the pinnacle, including MoMA's Glenn D. Lowry (second), Tate's Nicholas Serota (third) and United States dealer and gallery owner Larry Gagosian (fifth).

Francois Pinault, the French businessman who owns the world's largest auctioneer, Christie's, is in sixth position, and the highest ranking artist is Bruce Nauman of the US, who lies tenth. and agencies


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