The two-edition-old Kochi Muziris Biennale has won its founders Riyas Komu and Bose Krishnamachari a spot in the global art power list compiled by ArtReview, a leading international art magazine based in London. The duo is ranked 86 in the annual list of 100 most influential people in the contemporary art world.
“It is a recognition for the project, its achievements, the fact that a project of this scale and so radical in nature is happening in Kochi right now,” says Komu, about the inclusion. The detailed description alongside the ranking on the magazine website notes, “The first edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale was a sharp learning curve for all concerned — Komu has talked of the ‘stones of accusation, criticism, widespread pessimism’ that weighed heavy on these initial efforts — but the second edition, curated by artist Jitish Kallat, had garnered widespread respect by the time it finished its run, earlier this year”.
While Subodh Gupta was ranked number 92 in 2008 (drop down from 85 in 2007) on the annual power list, the two Mumbai-based artists are the only names from India this year. Leading the 100 are Iwan Wirth and Manuela Wirth, Swiss art dealers with galleries across the globe, from New York to London among others. Second on the list is Ai Weiwei, the dissident Chinese artist who was returned his passport after four years in 2015.
Meanwhile, Bangladeshi couple Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani too have made their debut on the list this year. The art collectors and founder-directors of Dhaka Art Summit are ranked number 98.
“Internationally, the art community is talking about our efforts. People have been saying things about the Biennale and this indicates the impact of the project, which is not commercial but a not-for-profit initiative,” says Krishnamachari. While engaged with their artwork at present — Komu has a show in Delhi late November and Krishnamachari is part of a show that opens in Hyderabad coming weekend — they are also looking forward to the third edition of the Biennale, 2016-17, to be curated by Sudarshan Shetty.
Story appeared in print with the headline Power Palette