Derrick Adams

10 Disruptors who are completely changing the art worldThese players are shaking things up


For the second consecutive year, artnet News set out to identify 10 players who are disrupting the status quo.

This year’s edition, like last year’s, is a “subjective, non-comprehensive list of colleagues who have changed the shape of the American art world,” as Brian Boucher writes.

Even still, game changers are necessary to any industry — especially the art world. From artists like Tania Bruguera and Derrick Adams mdash; who are both engaged in activist and curatorial practices, pushing the parameters of what it means to be an artist, to collector Estrellita Brodsky, who’s taking the presentation of Latin American art into her own hands mdash; these disruptors are changing the way we experience art.

1. Pedro Reyes

2. Tania Bruguera

3. Jamillah James

4. Timothy Blum

5. Yusaku Blum

6. Derrick Adams

On the occasion of his sprawling installation at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn this summer, which coincided with a simultaneous show of paintings at Gateway Project Spaces in Newark, artist Derrick Adams told the New York Times that his “practice in general is a middle way of meeting the viewer.” As far as this year is concerned, Adams had a number of opportunities to do just that — and his encounters weren’t limited to his artistic output.

Back in March, Adams, who served as Rush Arts Gallery’s curatorial director for ten years, was tapped to organize a special section at the Armory’s sister fair VOLTA, in& which he invited nine up-and-coming artists including Doreen Garner, Ibrahim Ahmed, and Kate Clark. Again, over the summer, Adams took the curatorial lead on “The Beat Goes On,” a hybrid exhibition of visual and sonic works by artists Elia Alba, Kevin Beasley, and Tameka Norris at the School of Visual Arts.

There’s no mistaking that the artist-curator is on an upward trend—and as he’s demonstrated at VOLTA and SVA, he’s just as eager to shine the spotlight on others where he can.

7. Estrellita Brodsky

8. Amy Cappellazzo

9. David Adjaye

10. Vik Muniz