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30 Famous Contemporary Artists And Their Art

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Contemporary artwork sets and captures today's world. The art is/was produced in the second half of the 21st century or the 20th century.

We'll look back on tomorrow as time continues to pass by, who are the famous painters today that will leave behind a lasting legacy. Here you'll find a curated and voted listing of artists that are famous today.

Voters: 46951

Each voter had multiple options. Voting aggregates beside the star rating. 26 closed May 2019. If you want to vote please register at the bottom of the page.

The art lover's choice!

30. Liu Xiaodong

16498 Votes

Liu Xiaodong contemporary painter

Liu Xiaodong is one of the most recognized artists of China. He left Jincheng to pursue art. He remains in Beijing and is currently a professor.

Xiaodong is a figurative painter, working on subjects of common men and women, sex workers and the homeless. Liu Xiaodong creates subjects.

The artist is represented by numerous galleries and has been exhibited internationally.

29. Takashi Murakami

16912 Votes

Takashi Murakami contemporary artist

Takashi Murakami criticized and has been celebrated for his culturally infused art style. His critics claim he's a"sell-out" by taking a business approach to art and producing a consumable kind of Japanese pop-culture.

Pushing beyond the reviews, Takashi Murakami is becoming an iconic contributor to modern art with his coined fashion known as"super flat" that is a theory based on the flat, 2-D imagery of Japanese style of manga and anime.

Murakami has a huge contemporary painting collection with prices averaging at $1.8 million per work. Though Takeshi's art is highly sought after, it is also possible to find entry-level art starting at $30 000.

B. 1969 In London

28. Cecily Brown

17195 Votes

Cecily Brown artists now

Cecily Brown is a painter. She creates brilliant, atmospheric depictions and is compared to Willem de Kooning and Francis Bacon. Cecily Brown's works are filled often with erotic positions and fragmented bodies. Critics are mixed on opinions about her job, but she has a presence in the art market.

28. JR

17873 Votes


JR art is photography using an individuality taking risks to share his photographic standpoint. The artist is recognized for his portraits and street art.

The prize awarded him $100 000 to support his job and JR sold an extra six photos for $850 000 to allocate more money to assist local artists. JR continues to inspire and surpass those in his area.

He has an unbelievable rate of nearly 80%, which supplies him with approximately $600 000 .

B. 1955 In Bombay, India

26. Anish Kapoor

18671 Votes

Anish Kapoor famous artist

Anish Kapoor is a renowned artist known for his abstract sculptures and awards. Besides Anish Kapoor's magnificent public sculptures, he has also produced an assortment of exotic plates with alluring colours.

The creations of Anish Kapoor seem to defy the bounds of space and push the limitations of architecture to unimaginable extremes. The price of Anish Kapoor's modern art ranges from a few thousands of dollars around the millions.

Overall, Kapoor's net worth was estimated to be $180 million which placed him at 832 of the Rich List's leading 1000 in 2016.

26. Miquel Barcelo

18999 Votes

Miquel Barcelo is the artist using an experimental approach to painting.

I like to invent the stuff, and I think it's a part of my job, to invent new techniques--the right technique for everything.

B. 1983 In Nigeria

24. Njideka Akunyili Crosby

19414 Votes

Njideka Akunyili Crosby famous artists

Njideka Akunyili Crosby earned her MFA.

Herself was recommended by the artist when she has been called a 2017 MacArthur fellow. Akunyili Crosby investigates hybridity through a welter of references. Njideka Akunyili Crosby creates modern paintings of friends, her family, and herself.

23. Luo Zhongli

19841 Votes

Luo Zhongli

Luo Zhongli is a painter famous for his portraits of laborers in areas of his country. His famous work is Father (1980), an empathetic portrait of a wrinkled older man. Luo Zhongli dedicated the space to a farmer, symbolizing the start of the time of individuals.

He moved to Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. He followed to Belgium where he qualified from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp for MFA. His work has been exhibited in cities worldwide. The artist resides in China. His paintings are held in the collections of the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, the Shanghai Art Museum, and the Singapore Art Museum.

22. Liu Wei

20211 Votes

Liu Wei

Liu Wei resides and works in Beijing, China. The artist explores 21st-century socio-political concepts such as the contradictions of modern society and the transformation of creating cities and the urban landscape. Liu Wei uses found materials to draw on new meanings from the substances from which they are made. Liu Wei uses in his works architectural forms. He's trying to reference his urban surroundings. The artist graduated in 1996 from the National Academy of Fine Arts.

21. Sean Scully

20632 Votes

Sean Scully famous painters now

Sean Scully is an American artist. Born on in Ireland, Scully went to London to study art at the Central School of Art and Croydon College of Art. He also followed his BA from Newcastle University in 1972.

He's known to the world for his abstract paintings composed of layers that were brushy and alternating colored squares or stripes. The works of sean do not have a reference. He draws from memories of objects and places.

From my studio south of Munich, I often get in the car and drive down a couple of hours to Venice. It was the impressions from these excursions that I brought back into the studio; I was painting Venice's memories .

Scully went to the United States in 1975. He works and lives between New York, NY, Barcelona, Spain, and Munich, Germany. His works are held in the collections of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Reina Sofia National Museum in Madrid, and the Tate Gallery in London.

B. 1957

20. George Condo

20932 Votes

George Condo

George Condo's art is populated by characters. A language is created by george Condo. Some say the language is his own.

George Condo calls his surrealistic style'cubism'.

He's exploiting human imperfections or hidden elements of humanity.

19. Zhou Chunya

21459 Votes

Zhou Chunya

Zhou Chunya was born in Chongqing, China in 1955. He went to the Sichuan Academy of Fine Art in 1982. He followed his MFA in 1988 from the Kassel Academy of Fine Art in Germany.

Abroad, German Expressionism embraced Western techniques of painting and inspired him. Zhou Chunya works and resides in Chengdu, China. It was employed by him . Zhou Chunya is a painter. Zhou Chunya depicts a glowing German Shepard in a variety of poses and environments. His Landscape Series No.5 appears almost abstract. The brushstrokes remind of Chinese landscapes.

Today Zhou Chunya work can be found in the Tang Contemporary Art Center in Beijing and the collections of the All Show Art Center.

B. 1958 In China

18. Zhang Xiaogang

21925 Votes

Zhang Xiaogang

Zhang Xiaogang was created in Kunming, China in 1958. Xiaogang went in Chongqing to Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts.

Being unfavored occasionally, as he had intended, he was forced to work in building and other jobs instead of teaching painting. Zhang Xiaogang fell into a deep depression fueled by alcoholism, finally leading to his illness in 1984. He lives and works in Beijing, China. Zhang Xiaogang is a preeminent member of this contemporary. His Surrealist-inspired portraits are executed in rendered oil paint. The works stiffly posed aesthetic and keep a formal. Zhang's focus is on the significance of family, history, and memory in China today and the aftereffects of the Cultural Revolution. When he discovered an album of his loved ones, zhang Xiaogang was inspired to create his own Bloodlines show. Bloodlines series is work for which he's now celebrated.

He's been shown at Pace Gallery in the 1995 Venice Biennale, New York, and the Daegu Art Museum.

17. Albert Oehlen

22879 Votes

Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen was born on September 17, 1954. He went to Hochschule für Bildende Künste, where he graduated in 1978. His first solo show was acquired by him in 1981 at Galerie Max Hetzler in Berlin. Albert Oehlen worked as a professor at the Kunstakademie.

Albert Oehlen is an influential painter. He's currently working on a variety of techniques and imagery. His interest is the exploration of this medium as a genre. Albert Oehlen went to reality, frequently serving as imitation or a parody of traditional painting models. Bad Paintings series, a work includes a 1986 portrait of Adolf Hitler. Abstract imagery was explored by albert Oehlen Computer Paintings. He works and lives in Bühlen, Switzerland.

B. 1961 In USA

16. Mark Bradford

23181 Votes

Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford was born in 1961 in Los Angeles. He moved for his MFA in 1997 to the California Institute of the Arts.

His work struggles of poverty and race and displays the atrocities. Mark Bradford is a modern artist. He's working in a wide-ranging practice that is conceptual. Abstract paintings that are multimedia are created by mark Bradford. The artist depicts the excavation of political and emotional terrain. With his work, Mark Bradford represented the United States pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2017 - Tomorrow is Another Day. He works and lives in Los Angeles.

15. John Currin

23393 Votes

John Currin

John Currin was created in 1962 in Boulder, CO.. He studied in Connecticut and grew up. John Currin went to study at the Yale School of Art, after receiving his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 1984. John Currin works and resides in New York. His wife sometimes serves as a model for his paintings.

John Currin is considered one of the most influential painters. He is currently combining the techniques of Northern Renaissance painters. As seen in his 2003 painting Thanksgiving, the artist creates works steeped in both art history and kitsch.

Today, the artist's works are held in the collections of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Tate Gallery in London.

14. Jeff Koons

23533 Votes

Jeff Koons

The works of Jeff Koons noticed in the early 1980s. He is recognized for his much sought after sculptures depicting other novelty creatures and animals. The art scenes are illuminated by jeff Koons with his creations using stainless steel. The sculptures of jeff Koons are called sophisticated yet constantly inspiring, stunning, and disturbing an illusion of perfection that was seamless.

Estimated between $35 million to $55 million, Jeff Koons's Balloon Dog (Orange) sold to a telephone bidder for an unexpected $58 million in 2013. This became one of the highest-selling pieces from a living artist. Jeff Koons has also collaborated with Louis Vuitton and prices for his collaboration range from $585 to get a keychain to over $4 000 for a handbag. The Wealth X standing determined that the viability of Jeff Koons in 2008.

13. Thomas Schutte

23899 Votes

Thomas Schutte

Thomas Schutte was born in Oldenburg, Germany, on November 16, 1954. He went to study under Gerhard Richter and Benjamin Buchloh at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. The artist lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Thomas Schutte was the subject of a three-part survey at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York . He is working with media in watercolor, print, and installation. Thomas Schutte's sculptures/figures range from miniatures to large-scale public functions. The works are often uneasy or unsettling. He is currently exploring the artist's role in modern society. His awards include the Golden Lion at the 2010 Düsseldorf Prize and the 2005 Venice Biennial.

His work is held in the collections of the Tate Modern in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

12. Zeng Fanzhi

24159 Votes

Zeng Fanzhi

Zeng Fanzhi was born in Wuhan, China in 1964.

He developed an interest. Zeng Fanzhi often focuses on this experience in his work. Zeng lives and works in Beijing, China. The modern painter critically explores the changing face of Chinese culture. Zeng Fanzhi was the subject of a retrospective in the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2013--2014. In 2009 he represented China in the 2009 Venice Biennale. Human faces are depicted by him with lively and vivid brushwork. His works border on abstraction.

His painting Mask Series 1996 No.6 (1996) broke auction documents in 2008 and became the highest-grossing work by a modern Asian artist.

B. 1955 In USA

11. Christopher Wool

24671 Votes

Christopher Wool

Christopher Wool was created on September 16, 1955, in Boston, MA. He followed the New York Studio School and went to Sarah Lawrence College.

Wool introduced methods to his work. Christopher Wool incorporated silkscreens and paint rollers as well.

The artist and white backgrounds contrast stenciled text or abstract brushwork.

B. 1965 In UK

10. Damien Hirst

24922 Votes

Damien Hirst

The sculptures and paintings of damien Hirst are referred to with a secret obsession with death as vague interpretations of reality.

Damien Hirst made one of the most iconic moves to get a solo artist by hosting an entire gallery for Beautiful Inside My Head Forever. At the end of his show at Sotheby's, Damien Hirst auctioned $198 million over making him one of the artists of today. Overall, Damien Hirst was ranked at 422 because of his net worth of $362 million on the leading 1000 in 2016 of the Rich List. On a few occasions for plagiarism, he's been sued despite the claim to famous and renowned contemporary artists fame and exorbitant rates of Damien Hirst. But Hirst have not stopped from continuing to expand to his colossal art earnings.

B. 1945 In Germany

9. Anselm Kiefer

24922 Votes

Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer is a German painter and sculptor. He analyzed during the 1970s.

His works incorporate mix-media. Anselm Kiefer developed themes of German history and the horror of the Holocaust. Anselm Kiefer claims and addresses controversial issues from histories. His works reflect the willingness to face the dark past, and unrealized potential of his culture. His work has signatures and titles of people of legendary figures, importance or places. Anselm Kiefer attempts to process the past, being linked with the moves of Neo-Expressionism and New Symbolism.

B. 1957 In China

8. Ai Weiwei

25476 Votes

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei is famous for his contemporary art which captures human battle both politically and culturally. Ai Weiwei has been internationally recognized as a political activist and requires an open stance.

In 2017, Ai Weiwei recreated a picture of a Syrian refugee child. This has caused some to regard Ai Weiwei as a supporter of inhumanity while others claim he is shamefully capitalizing on suffering. He continues to allure the world with his culturally works although Ai Weiwei receives harsh criticism. Two of the well-known sculptures include the Circle of Animals, Zodiac Heads with the golden collection auctioning for $4.4 million and the bronze collection of $5.4 million.

B. 1959 In Japan

7. Yoshitomo Nar

27283 Votes

Yoshitomo Nar

Yoshitomo Nar was created in Hirosaki, Japan, on December 5, 1959. The artist went to Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. Followed the Kunstakademie. Yoshitomo Nar resides and works in Tokyo. Nar is a artist.

He is well known for his paintings of children and animals. These elements appear sweet and sinister, as you can see in work Don't Disturb! 1996. The culture has affected Yoshitomo Nar in both Western and Eastern society. His versatile practice explores themes of isolation, rebellion, and spirituality through painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and installations. Some people misinterpret Yoshitomo Nar as being manga because of the imagery that he usually works in his paintings. Yoshitomo Nar would say not lots of people would see his work's spiritual side. He states that his work is full of spiritual and philosophical considerations.

The artist's works are held in the collections of the National Museum of Art in Osaka, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami.

6. Richard Prince

28965 Votes

Richard Prince

Richard Prince was born in the Panama Canal Zone, on August 6, 1949. He moved to New York in 1973. Prince works and lives in New York.

Photographs are taken by the artist from entertainment advertising, and websites. He's probing ideas around credibility and ownership. Richard Prince's controversial practice is sparking debates concerning copyright, intellectual property, and theft within the art world. He took picture pages of archetypes and advertising and identify typologies. His series Cowboys(1980--1992, continuing ) was pulled out of Marlboro cigarette advertisements. In 2014, the artist once again established his ability to provoke controversy -- this time over issues of content and ownership , with Instagram. Richard Prince's New Portraits series consisted of blown-up screenshots culled from selfies taken by young women and men on the social app.

His works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Goetz Collection in Munich, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

B. 1949 In Moldova

5. Gheorghe Virtosu

29641 Votes

Gheorghe Virtosu important artist

Gheorghe Virtosu was born in Chisinau, Moldova in 1968. He went to study in the Sankt Petersburgh Arts Academy. However, he has left the art academy for studies. He went to London where he acquired citizenship after quitting his army career in 1992.

He developed an interest in painting and writing. Virtosu resides and works in London, Amsterdam, Luxembourg.

The artist creates focusing on his knowledge and experiences, translating characters and social phenomena .

The artist was the subject of a retrospective at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2016--2017. In the Venice Biennale he represented the UK in 2017. Abstraction was mastered by the artist he does not deny reality in his painting.

His painting Fatimah Bint Muhammad (2016) broke records in 2017 and became the highest-grossing work by a contemporary UK artist. His works sold in 39 countries including Dmitry Rybolovlev and Salman bin Abdulaziz.

4. Peter Doig

29815 Votes

Peter Doig

Peter Doig soon followed his MA from the Chelsea College of Art and Design. In Trinidad Doig lives since 2002.

Today, his works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Tate Gallery in London, and the Goetz Collection in Munich.

Peter Doig is celebrated as one of the most important representational painters. His paintings are characterized by their focus on both figures and landscapes. He makes references into painterly abstractions with compositions. The functions of peter Doig are equally diaristic and universally relevant. No formula that is central is shared by his practice. He's making paintings using photographs.

B. 1959 In UK

3. Rudolf Stingel

29979 Votes

Rudolf Stingel

Rudolf Stingel was created in Merano, Italy in 1956. Stingel works and lives in New York.

He's known in the late 1980s because of his painting that was silver. He mixed the silver with primary colors. In 1990, Rudolf Stingel started testing the spaces and the relationship between painting. He developed a series of installations that covered the walls and floors with carpets. The architecture itself was acting as a painting. Rudolf Stingel employs materials like carpeting rubber, painted aluminum, and paint. The artist questions and disrupts experience and the viewer's understanding of the traditional art object. His work reflects upon questions regarding the medium of painting. Questions like credibility and context's role in art.

Rudolf Stingel has participated in the 1999, 2003, and 2013 Venice Biennales, and was the subject of a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

B. 1968 In USA

2. Mark Grotjahn

30247 Votes

Mark Grotjahn

Mark Grotjahn was born in Pasadena, CA, he later received an MFA and went on to attend the University of Colorado Boulder. Mark Grotjahn is an American artist.

The artist is known for his abstract paintings. The work of mark Grotjahn investigates the vanishing point of perspective. It is used by him as a catalyst to create expressive and brightly colored paintings. Mark Grotjahn is also famous for his hide sculptures. He works with sheets and cardboard boxes. Grotjahn works and lives in Los Angeles.

His works are held in Los Angeles collections of the Hammer Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

B. 1936 In USA

1. Frank Stella

30693 Votes

Frank Stella

Frank Stella was born on May 12, 1936. Stella went to Princeton University before moving to New York in 1958. He was influenced by abstract Expressionism. Jasper Johns' work inspired Stella's Black Paintings of 1958-1960.

In creating both sculptures and paintings the famous artist is known for his use of patterns and shapes. Frank Stella's works depict the properties of color, form, and composition. He investigates non-literary narratives. Abstraction doesn't need to be restricted to a kind of even a simple curve geometry or geometry. It might have a geometry that had a narrative impact like the works of Virtosu, telling a story with the contours. Artist states It wouldn't be a real story, but the shapes and the interaction of colors and the shapes would give you a story sense. Through the following decades, Frank Stella gained traction in the art world. In 1970 he became the youngest artist ever to be awarded a solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art. Frank Stella works and lives in New York, NY.

His works are held in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Kunstmuseum Basel.

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