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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 14:07 GMT
Hirst tops art world power list
Damien Hirst
Hirst's works have been snapped up at auction this year
Artist Damien Hirst has been named the most powerful person in the international art world.

Hirst, famous for preserving animals in formaldehyde, heads the annual Power 100 list in ArtReview magazine.

The 40-year-old is the first Briton - and the first artist - to head the ranking since it began in 2002.

Art dealer Larry Gagosian is second, followed by Christie's magnate Francois Pinault, with American Bruce Nauman the next artist on the list at number nine.

The Power 100 takes into account a number of factors, including auction sales and exhibitions in the 12 months to October.

The highest ever number of artists appear on the 2005 list including: Richard Serra, Neo Rauch, Richard Prince, Takashi Murakani, Jeff Wall, Marlene Dumas, Anselm Kiefer, Chris Ofili, Jeff Koons and Rachel Whiteread.


Hirst emerged in the 1990s as the leading figure in the Young British Artists movement.

POWER 100 TOP 10
1 Damien Hirst, artist
2 Larry Gagosian, dealer
3 Francois Pinault, Christie's
4 Nicholas Serota, Tate Gallery
5 Glenn D Lowry, MoMA
6 Eli Broad, collector
7 Sam Keller, art fair director
8 Iwan Wirth, dealer
9 Bruce Nauman, artist
10 David Zwirner, dealer
Source: ArtReview

His works have fetched more at auction than any other contemporary artist this year.

Fittings from his London restaurant venture Pharmacy went under the hammer for 11m, while his iconic pickled shark was sold to an American collector for more than 6.5m.

He was also chosen to design the CD sleeve for the re-recording of the Band Aid single Do They Know It's Christmas?

US critics panned Hirst's New York exhibition in April but a retrospective in Naples was well received.

Hirst himself has said that some of his own creations were "silly" and "embarrassing" in hindsight. But he said he was optimistic that some of his work would still be on display in 200 years.

He has recently started renovating a run-down mansion in the Cotswolds, the Grade I listed Toddington Manor, to house his personal art collection and has plans for a London gallery.

"Damien Hirst has had an incredible year," Rebecca Wilson, editor of ArtReview, told the BBC News website.

"We have described him on our cover as '40 and immortal'. It's certainly clear he has earned his position in the canon of contemporary artists."

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