THE SECOND MOST POWERFUL person in the contemporary art world is Chicago painter Kerry James Marshall, according to Art Review magazine. The London-based publication issues an annual Power 100 list ranking the most influential figures in the contemporary art world. The list includes artists, curators, critics, collectors, and dealers, among others. Marshall is the top ranked artist on the list.

In 2017, Marshall was on the bottom half of the list at No. 68. Then he assumed the mantle of the most expensive living African American artist in May when his monumental painting “Past Times” sold for more than $21 million (including fees) at Sotheby’s New York, an artist record.

Advancing all the way up to No. 2 this year, Marshall’s ranking is the highest-ever for a black person since the Power 100 list was inaugurated in 2002.

Advancing all the way up to No. 2 this year, Kerry James Marshall’s ranking is the highest-ever for a black person since the Power 100 list was inaugurated in 2002.

Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum in Harlem was ranked No. 8 in 2017, which was the highest ranking at the time and marked the first year a black person had placed in the top 10. She held her spot at No. 8 this year. Three African Americans rank in the top 10—Marshall, Golden, and poet/critic Fred Moten (10), who is appearing on the list for the first time.

Golden serves as director and chief curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem where construction of a new building designed by architect David Adjaye is expected to be completed in 2021. She oversaw a recent charitable auction at Sotheby’s New York that, thanks to the largess of 42 artists who donated their works, raised more than $20 million for the building project