Top 37 women in the art industry

We are now half way into the gallery year of 2015 – a year we have chosen to dedicated exclusively to female artists in celebration of a “year of the woman”.

In a series of posts during the summer we will highlight important women that we think are doing extraordinary work within the art industry.

Digging into the world of female artists and important profiles within the art worldwide here is our list of the top 39 women ruling the art industry.

Agnes Gund
– American collector, philanthropist and patron.
– President emerita of MoMA and chairman of MoMa PS1.
– Chairs the Mayor of New York’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission,
– On the board of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
– Honorary trustee of Independent Curators International, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland.

Amanda Sharp
– Is together with Matthew Slotover the founders of Frieze London and New York art Fairs.
– Founder of Frieze Magazine.
Sadie Coles
– Founder of Sadie Coles – one of the most established and active galleries in London.
– One of the London’s most high-profile gallerists.
– The gallery has three different spaces around London.
– Represents nearly 50 artists including John Currin, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Hilary Lloyd, Urs Fischer, John Bock, Matthew Barney and Helen Marten.

Andrea Glimcher
– Director at the art staple Pace gallery.
– Very important in the planning og Jay Z’s performance of “Picasso Baby”

Ann Temkin
– Chief curator of painting and sculpture at MoMa since 2008
– Prior to her work at MoMA she was the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1990 to 2003.

Barbara Gladstone
– Founder of the Gladstone Gallery.
– In 2014, The Guardian named her “the most powerful people in the art world”.
– Gladstone Gallery today represents many contemporary artists, including Shirin Neshat, Anish Kapoor, Sarah Lucas, and Matthew Barney. Gladstone has also produced many of Barney’s movies.

Beatrix Ruf
– Director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
– Known for making Kunsthalle Zürich one of the most influential exhibition spaces in Europe.
– Had a strategic positions at JRP/Ringier (associate editor) and Luma Foundation core group.
– Was on cultural advisory board at CERN, the bord at Mumok Vienna as well as the artcommissioning board at Swiss Re.
– Has put on  a series of exhibitions by cult established artists such as Haim Steinbach, Ed Atkins, Slavs and Tatars.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
– Curator of the Istanbul Biennial 2015.
– Curator for the important 13th edition of the quinquennial contemporary art exhibition Documenta.
– Director of the newly merged Galleria d’Arte Moderna and Castello di Rivoli in Turin.
– Has been called one of the most high-profile museum directors working today.

Cheyenne Westphal
– Co-head of Sotheby’s contemporary art department.
– Was indispensable for realizing the Damien Hirst auction Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, which generated more than $200 million in sales as well as for the June 2011 sale of the Duerckheim Collection which broke a record – £62 million ($97 million).
– The launch of the London branch of S|2, Sotheby’s contemporary art gallery was her initiative.

Cindy Sherman
– Recognized as one of the most important and influential artists in contemporary art.
– Exhibited all over the world including MoMa.
– Her photography and film are some of the most expensive ever sold.
– Is known for raising questions about the representation of women in society.

Claire Hsu
– Cofounder and director of Asia Art Archive(AAA) – a non-profit organisation founded in 2000 to document and make accessible the multiple recent histories of art in Asia..
– The organisation is seen as the institutional backbone of art in the region.
– A member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Role of the Arts in Society.
Clarissa Dalrymple
– Independent curator.
– Credited with having curated exhibitions of several now-huge artists including Christopher Wool, Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Gary Hume, Rachel Whiteread, Neo Rauch, Ashley Bickerton.
– The New York Times has described her as having ”an almost psychic ability to pinpoint who and what in art will matter next“.

Dasha Zhukova
– Founder of Moscow’s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, and the bi-annual publication Garage.
–  The co-founder and creative director of Artsy.
Dominique Lévy
– Owner of Dominique Lévy Gallery.
– Co founded the Upper East Side contemporary gallery L&M Arts in 2005.
– Launched the private sales division at Christie’s and was it’s intrenational director from 1999 to 2003.

Edythe Broad
– Is together with Eli Broad seen as super collectors and super patrons.
– The Broad Foundation has made over 8,000 loans to more than 500 institutions worldwide since 1984.
– Are opening their own private museum including artists such as Takashi Murakami, John Currin and Jeff Koons

Emily Rafferty
– Director of Metropolitan Museum of Art 2005 – 2015.
– First womanever  in charge of the museum.
– Worked for 39 years within the institution.

Hito Steyerl
– Is said to be one of the most critically acclaimed artists working in the field of video art today.
– Her work was included in the Venice Biennale 2013.
– Author in the field of essayist documentary video.
– Her videos has been shown at London’s ICA and Eindhoven’s Van Abbemuseum amongst others.
– She is a professor of New Media Art at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Jeanne Greenberg-Rohatyn
– The founder of Salon 94.
– Private dealer and independant curator.
– Works with a range of celebrity clients such as Jayz and Alex Rodrigues.
– Is known for her way of highlightig and playing a big part of the “becoming” of an artist.

Jennifer Flay
– Director of the constantly growing FIAC Art Fair in Paris.
– The fair is now housing 191 galleries in the Grand Palais, as well as important art installations in the Jardin des Tuileries and the Jardin des Plantes.
– This year the FIAC had its first international event – FIAC Los Angeles.

Julia Peyton-Jones
– Director of Serpentine Gallery together with Hans Ulrich Obrist.
– Important fundraiser and profile for the start of Serpentine’s existence.
– Serpentine Gellery known for a range of successfull projects as well as fashion (COS – ladies brogues) and perfume (Comme des Garçons ) collaborations.

Koyo Kouoh
– Founding artistic director of Raw Material Company, Dakar – an interdisciplinary gallery, which also possesses a large archive library on Senegalese and wider African art history.
–  Known not be afraid of highlighting conreoversial issues. The exhibition Visibility and Media Surrounding African Queerness which she cocurated was vandalised and then subsequently shut down by the government.
– Was on the international finding committee that appointed Adam Szymczyk to curate the next Documenta.

Kristine Bell
– Partner at David Zwirner and responsable for much of the programming there.

Luisa Strina
– One of the biggest names in connection to Brazilian art.
– Her gallery Galeria Luisa Strina celebrates 40 years and is the oldest contemporary art gallery in Sao Paolo.
– Brought the works of American pop artists, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Jim Dine and Andy Warhol, to Brazil for the first time.
– Galeria Luisa Strina was the first Latin-American gallery invited to participate in the Basel Art Fair in 1992.

Maja Hoffmann
– Collector.
– Founder of LUMA Foundation which produces art projects and supports a number of institutions worldwide.
– Tate trustee and chair of the International Council.
– On the boards of Palais de Tokyo, New York’s New Museum and CCS Bard.
– President of the Kunsthalle Zürich Foundation.
– Vice president of the council of Basel’s Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation

Marian Goodman
– Goodman has been ranked fifth on Forbes’s list of America’s Most Powerful Art Dealers.
– The Marian Goodman Gallery opened 1977.
– The gallery represents artists such as William Kentridge, Gerhard Richter, Tony Cragg and Richard Deacon as well as Americans Dan Graham, Lawrence Weiner, and John Baldessari,

Marilyn Minter


– Ceated billboards all over New York City as part of the 2006 Whitney Biennial.
– Collected by everyone from Guggenheim to Jay-Z, Madonna and Tom Ford.
– Will exhibit a Brooklyn Museum in 2016.
– Has exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, Art Basel, and at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Marina Abramović
– Abramovic is one of the most in-demand artists today.
– In 2010, the Museum of Modern Art held a major retrospective and re-performance of Abramović’s work, the biggest exhibition of performance art in MoMA’s history.
– Collaborated with Jay Z on his “Picasso Baby” performance at Pace gallery in 2013.
– 126857 people queued to see her exhibiton 512 Hours at Serpentin Gallery.
– The Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) is planned to be housed in MAI Hudson a 33,000 square foot building in the center of Hudson, New York that is being re-designed by The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). MAI Hudson will be the only institute of its size dedicated to long durational works: works of art that elapse over extreme lengths of time.

Monika Spruth
– Together with Philomene Mayers Monika Spruth represents and exhibits artist in London, Berlin and soon to come – LA.
– Artists represented includes Jenny Holzer, Richard Prince, Barbara Kruger and Ryan Trecartin.

Nancy Spector
– Deputy director and chief curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
– Served as adjunct curator of the 1997 Venice Biennale and a co-curator of the first Berlin Biennale in 1998.
– In 2007 she was the U.S. Commissioner for the Venice Biennale, where she presented an exhibition of work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
– Has c contributed to numerous books on contemporary visual culture with essays on artists such as Maurizio Cattelan, Luc Tuymans, Douglas Gordon, Tino Sehgal, and Anna Gaskell.

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
– A collector and patron with a matchless collection of modern and contemporary Latin American art.
– Member of the board of MoMa.
– It has said that her influence affects how history and culture are understodd and studied.

Pearl Lam
– Pioneer within the Chinese art world.
– Has been called “the champion of Asian art” for over two decades.
– Is also said to be a force to count on in the market of emerging Chinese contemporary design.
– Pearl Lam Gallery has locations in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Rachel Lehmann
– The co-founder of galley Lehmann Maupin.
– The gallery represents over 28 artists including Gilbert & George, Tracey Emin, and Angel Otero.
– Has given some of contemporary art’s most highly respected artists their first one-person exhibitions in New York.

Roberta Smith
– Art critic at NY Times.
– Known for not folowing the trends and shining light on what is not norm within the art institution industry.
– Has written numerous essays for catalogues and monographs on contemporary artists.

Sheikha Al-Mayassa
– Named as “the art world’s most powerful woman” by the Economist.
– On the board of Qatar Museums Authority and the Doha Film Institute on a mission to become the Middle East’s destination for arts and culture also inviting international players.

Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi
– President of the Sharjah Art Foundation.
– On the boards of MoMA PS1, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, the International Biennial Association, Gwangju, and Ashkal Alwan, Beirut.
– Curator of the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates at the 56th Venice Biennale.
– Awarded with the Kennedy Center Arts Gold Medal.
– She has helped to realize milestone projects and exhibitions, placing the UAE on the international art map.

Sunjung Kim
– Curator of international projects and exhibitions and founder of the Seoul based SAMUSO: Space for Contemporary Art.
– SAMUSO engourages the idea of art beyond the boundaries of the gallery. For example in 2012 it organized an exhibition inside the DMZ and the neighboring town of Cheorwon — the first art show ever to be held within these strictly secured areas.
– The associate director of Artsonje Center – one of the most innovative private art institutions in Seoul today.
– Artistic director of Asian Culture Information Agency in the Asian Culture Complex in Gwangju.
– The artistic director of Mediacity Seoul in 2010.
– Coartistic director of the Gwangju Biennale in 2012.
– Curatorial agent of Documenta 13.

Yayoi Kusama
– The highest-earning living female artist.
– Created eight hours queues to the LED-filled installation Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, at the artist’s inaugural solo show at David Zwirner in New York.
– Established in New York as an important avant-garde artist since the 1960s.
– Her work transcends two of the most important art movements of the second half of the twentieth century: pop art and minimalism.
– Her work is held in museum collections worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; amongst numerous others.

Yoko Ono
– One of our times most famous artists and art personalities.
– Her accomplishments within contemporary art, film and music have put her on the map of art history.

Yuko Hasegawa
– Chief curator at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo(MOT).
– Curator of last year’s Sharjah Biennial.
– Has been artistic adviser to the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale.
– Cocurator of the 2010 São Paulo Bienal and of Mediacity Seoul 2006.
– Curator of the 2001 Istanbul Biennial.
– Pofessor at Tama Art University, Tokyo.

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