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Artfacts artist ranking 2006 – Nothing new on the western front?!

15th September is once again qualifying date on the arts scene as Artfacts.Net™, the world’s largest online art network, present their Artist Ranking 2006.

This year exhibitions at over 6,100 institutes in 102 countries have been taken note of. More than 55,000 individual and group exhibitions from more than 90,000 artists were selected.

The top ten in the Top 100 Living Artists does not hold any surprises. For the past two years Bruce Nauman has been ahead of Gerhard Richter and is now increasing his lead. In fourth place, Rauschenberg is edging out Sol LeWitt.

As everyone knows the air gets thinner towards the summit and this is what makes the ascent of Ed Ruscha, who climbs three places from nine to six, so remarkable. This is in advance of his 70th birthday, which he will celebrate next year, and you need not be a fortune teller to predict that Ed Ruscha will race ahead of Cindy Sherman (ranked five) and Sol LeWitt next year.

Up to now Ed Ruscha has also collected the most points for the year 2006 ahead of Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, Pierre Huyghe, Douglas Gordon and Richard Serra. Incidentally, Gerhard Richter can only be found in 11th place behind Olafur Eliasson.

Pierre Huyghe’s ascent from 41st place to position 20 may be outstanding, but only serves to highlight his rise and fall over the past five years.

New entries in the Top 100 Living Artists are Rirkrit Tiravanija (99), Jenny Holzer (98), Valie Export (97), Rebecca Horn (95) and Carsten Höller (91).

Where there are winners, there must also naturally be losers. Robert Ryman, Aernout Mik, Sophie Calle, Dennis Oppenheim and Imi Knoebel can no longer be found in the Top 100 of the living.

Marlene Dumas (– 30), Michelangelo Pistoletto (– 25), Richard Prince (– 21), Marina Abramović (– 21) and Gabriel Orozco (– 21) have all dropped more than 20 places.

The distribution of countries in the Top 100 (living) has not changed dramatically in the past five years (USA 35%, GER 20%, UK 10%, FR 5% and CH 4%). In comparison to the Top 100 (living and deceased) the distribution tends to favour the Anglo-American cultural circles.

The All Star Top 100 - living and deceased artistic greats - is led, as before, by Picasso and Warhol, who have been running head-to-head for six years. This year Picasso is not only ahead by a nose, but has a safety net in the fact that a change in trend is not expected in the next year.

More interesting by far is the middle of the rankings. Douglas Gordon rises eight places and is now ranked 30; Richard Serra is up 12 places and now occupies 37th place, followed by the above-mentioned Pierre Huyghe, who, with his 31-place rise, is the artist of the year for 2006. Rises in the past years can also be observed for Jackson Pollock (ranked 44/+8), Alexander Calder (ranked 45/+22) and Antoni Tàpies (ranked 46/+16).

As well as Edvard Munch (89th place), who appears in the Top 100 for the first time, Matthew Barney (84), Felix Gonzalez-Torres (86), Wolfgang Tillmans (88), Tacita Dean (91), Shirin Neshat (92), Lucio Fontana (94) and Richard Long (100) have entered the list as the highest climbers.

Leaving the Top 100 are: Gabriel Orozco, Alighiero e Boëtti, Marlene Dumas, Sam Francis, Claes Oldenburg, Mona Hatoum, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Jim Dine.

Almost every third artist in this ranking also comes from the USA (29%) and every fifth from Germany (20%). France follows with 13 artists, Britain with six and Spain and Switzerland with four artists each.

It would be interesting to see whether, for example, the rise of Asian artists felt by many in the past years will be confirmed by the Artfacts.Net figures? Or which artist in the Top 1000 has risen through the rankings the fastest? Who are the real Newcomers 2006?

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    Since its start in 2001, ArtFacts.Net™ developed a sophisticated artist database through its collaboration with international art fairs, galleries, museums and artists.