Time magazine released its list of the 100 “most influential” people of 2022 on Monday and this year’s edition featured notable artists alongside the usual suspects of politicians and zeitgeisty celebrities.
Artist-activists Nan Goldin and Faith Ringgold were featured on the list along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, actress Michelle Yeoh, and writer Sally Rooney. Like always, the roundup is divided into categories of artists, innovators, titans, leaders, icons, and pioneers; previous winners were invited to pen short essays honoring the impact of the 2022 recipients.
In artists, Faith Ringgold was recognized by Thelma Golden, director and curator of the Studio Museum, as a “creative force and artistic visionary.” She continued that “Faith’s path has been courageous, profound, and unflinching in its depiction of contemporary society.”
At 91, Ringgold has recieved renewed institutional acclaim for her incisive art, which spans sculpture, painting, and textiles. Ringgold was the subject of two international retrospectives this past year—at London’s Serpentine Galleries, which traveled to the Glenstone Museum in Maryland, and at New Museum, which marked the first New York survey of the Harlem-born artist in nearly 40 years.
Architects Francis Kéré and Maya Lin are honored elsewhere in the section.
Kéré, the social justice and climate-conscious designer of the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion, became the first Black person in 2022 to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. In his essay, architect David Adjaye called Kéré “a trailblazer for his long-standing commitment to formalizing space for both social and environmental good.”
Lin is praised by writer Celeste Ng as an architect whose work “reveals inconvenient truths long ignored.” She designed the haunting 2021 installation Ghost Forest, in which a grove of forty-nine cedar trees, stripped of leaves and bark, were transplanted from New Jersey’s Pine Barrens to Madison Square Park. Park-goers sunbathed and picnicked between the dead grove, a statement to how easily we adapt to the reality of climate destruction.