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Breaking Down ARTnews's "Top 200 Collectors" List

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Breaking Down ARTnews's "Top 200 Collectors" List
Beijing and New York collector Richard Chang is one of the newcomers to this year's list

ARTnews has just released the latest edition of its “200 Top Collectors” list, the magazine’s annual guide to the biggest movers in the art market today. While many of the names tend to stick around from year to year, there were well over a dozen shakeups since the 2012 installment, more than a few of which are suggestive of a few broader changes in the collecting landscape.

BRIC IS BIG

For one thing, collectors from BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) are breaking into the spotlight en masse, edging out several Western names from a list that has long been dominated by the United States and Europe. Of the 17 collectors who were in the 2012 "Top 200" and have since been displaced, only one was Chinese—Shanghai's Wang Wei and Liu Yiqian. In that couple's place, four new Mainland Chinese collectors have emerged: Qiao ZhibingThomas ChaoYang Bin, and Richard Chang (who splits his time between Beijing and New York).

Plus, Brazilian ecotourism entrepreneur Ricard Akagawa returned to the list this year after a decade-long hiatus, while São Paulo investment banker Jose Olympio Pereira and his wife, Andrea, made their debut. Pereira recently joined the board of the New Museum, as did Moscow gas billionaire Leonid Mikhelson—another fresh inductee to the ARTnews fray. 

NEW L.A. TITAN EMERGES

Elsewhere, Maurice Marciano’s appearance on the list this year indicates the GUESS chairman’s seriousness about his growing involvement in the Los Angeles art scene. Last year, he rejoined the board of the L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art and announced plans to open his own contemporary art center at a yet-to-be-determined site in the city. He joins a crew of eight power-patrons with footholds in the city on the list who have been largely responsible for bringing the international art world to the West Coast, including the Broads, the Bells, Eric Smidt, and Michael Ovitz.

ALICE WALTON ASCENDS TO THE TOP

Among the list's heavyweights, Wal-Mart heiress and Crystal Bridges founder Alice Walton was the only new name to break into the top 10, bumping out the Picasso-loving Greek financier Dimitri Mavromatis. She joins stalwarts such as Edythe and Eli Broad, Debra and Leon Black, and Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

AND THERE'S STILL ONLY ONE ARTIST ON THE LIST

As for artists, who occasionally double as collectors (Jeff Koons, for one, has a remarkable Old Masters trove), only Damien Hirst made the cut this year, again. The YBA has spent millions on top-dollar work by Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Richard Prince, and Banksy, and has said in the past that his growing financial success has helped make him a more "earnest collector."

To see the full ARTnews list, click here.

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