Power 100

Most influential people in 2023 in the contemporary artworld


Hans Ulrich Obrist

Curator - Artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries

49 in 2023

  • 202349
  • 202234
  • 202140
  • 202019
  • 201912
  • 20187
  • 20176
  • 20161
  • 20154
  • 20135
  • 20102
  • 20091
  • 200646
  • 200586
  • 200486
  • 200386
Photo: Lukas Wassmann

The programmatic range of London’s Serpentine Galleries, where Obrist is artistic director, provides a peek into the brain of the curator and networker: such is the array of names (from food activist Kamal Mouzawak to sociologist Richard Sennett), ideas (from ecology to tech) and initiatives (community workshops, a podcast called Intimacies featuring artist Brontez Purnell’s previously unreleased sex column). That is even before considering the exhibitions this year: Grenfell, the agenda-setting response to the Grenfell Tower fire by Steve McQueen, and Tomás Saraceno’s exhibition addressing the climate emergency. Obrist is as restless as ever outside the London institution: from public conversations and interviews to an Instagram account documenting his studio visits (ranging from Ndebele painter Esther Mahlangu to pioneering German digital artist Manfred Mohr and cellist Kelsey Lu in a four-week stretch); the latter resulting in a new book of 100 artist-annotated Post-it notes. Also an adviser at LUMA Arles and The Shed, New York, Obrist is the ubiquitous curator from whom everyone knows what to expect: an unstoppable force always moving on to the next ‘urgent’ thing.

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