Power 100

Most influential people in 2023 in the contemporary artworld


Fred Moten

Thinker - American poet, critic and theorist inspiring a generation of artists

30 in 2023

  • 202330
  • 20225
  • 20216
  • 20205
  • 201916
  • 201810
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
Photo: Lamont Hamilton

Through his poetry, critical writing and teaching in the US, Moten provides much of the theoretical framework behind recent Black aesthetics, bypassing a Western philosophical model that does not encompass Black experiences. His statement that ‘my problem with the various critiques of appropriation is that they assume the legitimacy of property’ is one such founding principle. In May Moten released a new volume of poetry, perennial fashion presence falling, which meditates on futurity; this year he has also contributed texts to monographs of Noah Davis and Jack Whitten, and artist Zun Lee’s compendium of found photography of Black American family life; spoken with jazz ensemble Onyx Collective at New York’s Artists Space; became a fellow at Harvard (he already teaches performance studies and comparative literature at New York University and is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at University of California, Riverside); and has lectured globally – ‘The Fugitive and the fugitive’ at the University of Washington, and ‘Observance and Observation’ at the University of Oslo, being just two examples of many.

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