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Bangladesh’s Samdani couple among top 50 most influential people in the contemporary art world

  • Published at 09:02 pm November 15th, 2019
Nadia Samdani, left, and her husband Rajeeb Samdani | Samdani Art Foundation

Each year Art Review magazine’s 2019 Power 100 list features the most influential people in the contemporary art world 

Bangladeshi couple and art patrons Nadia Samdani and Rajeeb Samdani, co-founders of Samdani Art Foundation, made it to the top 50 of Art Review magazine’s 2019 Power 100 list. The world’s leading international contemporary art magazine publishes this list each year to feature the most influential people in the contemporary art world.

The couple and their foundation’s artistic director Diana Campbell Betancourt reached 47th rank in the recently published list.

Last year 368,000 people attended their biennial Dhaka Art Summit organized by the Samdani Art Foundation.

This year, the Samdanis were busy completing Srihatta, a vast arts complex they’ve built in Sylhet, which might replace the summit altogether when the 40-hectare sculpture park, 465sqm gallery and 930sqm artist and writer residency facilities open. 

Meanwhile, the foundation collaborated with Alserkal Avenue to host a show of Bangladeshi, South Asian, and Southeast Asian artists in Dubai curated by Betancourt. 

They are also working on a new research project connecting South and Southeastern Asian and African art histories with the Getty Foundation in collaboration with Cornell University’s Institute for Comparative Modernities and the  Asia Art Archive.

Nadia Samdani, director of the Dhaka Art Summit, and her husband Rajeeb Samdani, co-founder and trustee of the Samdani Art Foundation, were the first South Asian arts patrons to receive the prestigious Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award in 2017.

This year Glenn D Lowry, director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), made it to the top of Art Review magazine’s 2019 Power 100 list.

Lowry’s Museum of Modern Art reopened on 21 October, after four months of renovation work. The $450m project to refurbish and extend the 90-year-old institution’s galleries and public spaces was not simply about showing more of the museum’s 200,000 works. Instead, Lowry declared it is about making “space that allows us to rethink the experience of art in the Museum.”