11 most famous contemporary artists and painters - Artst (2023)

For the general public, the term contemporary artist generally means any artist living and working today.

However, contemporary art is often confused with modern art, and it's quite an easy mistake considering that in the English language the two words are often assumed to mean the same thing.

although in realitymodern artistsit should be limited to those active between about 1870 and 1960.

While contemporary artists should be seen as those who produced most of their work from the 1960s to the present day.

Of course, the lines between the two will cross or blur.

The artists below are some of the biggest names in art today, pushing the boundaries of what we think of as art well into the 21st century.

Famous contemporary painters


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Known only as "Banksy," the artist is known for creating unique political and cultural critiques in the form of graffiti-based street art. Little is known about Banksy as he insists on uninterrupted anonymity.

However, Banksy rose to fame in the early 2000s and remained relevant well into the 2010s. In 2010, the artist presented a documentary entitled Exit Through the Giftshop, which premiered at the Sundance festivals.

The film won Best Documentary in 2011, and Banksy won Person of the Year at the 2014 Webby Awards. Banksy has since made several rare appearances, most recently on Valentine's Day 2020.

The Valentine's Day mural featured a little girl shooting real roses from a slingshot. The painting was donated to Southhampton University Hospital in the early stages of the coronavirus panic.

2.Tracey Emin

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Known for her autobiographical and denominational work, Tracy Emin produces art in the form of paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, film, neon lights and sewn applique.

Emin was a former member of the Young British Artists collective and rose to become a Royal Academician at the Royal Academy of Arts.

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Emin rose to public prominence in 1997 with his street art/performance piece entitled Everyone I've Slept With. It was set up like a tent with all the names of her former lovers written on it.

That same year, he gained notoriety for his obscene interview on a live radio show entitled "The Death of the Painting." In 2011 he produced an exhibition entitled "Love is what you want" which provided an overview of his artistic career.

Since then he has continued to exhibit and produce art for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

3.David Hockey

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English painter, set designer and photographer David Hockney is known for his contributions to popular art of the 1960s and is considered one of the most influential artists of his generation.

The most famous moment in Hockney's life is the sale of his painting titled Pool with Two Figures. This painting was sold by the artist for $90 million in 2018, breaking the record for the highest amount of money paid to a living artist for his work.

That record held until the following year, when Jeff Koons sold his balloon sculpture, titled The Rabbit, for $91 million.

Hockney's sale in 2018 had broken Koons' previous world record, only to be surpassed by Koons the following year. As a gay man, Hockney's work and career became known for exploring the nature of gay love.

4.Jeff Koons

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Jeffrey Koons, known for his work with culture-related art depicted with ordinary objects, including balloon sculptures, has produced, among other things, one-of-a-kind "Balloon Animals" in stainless steel with an eye-catching mirror finish.

He currently lives and works in New York City and is the likely holder of the record for the highest auction price for an artwork, The Rabbit.

Critics are divided on the merit of Koons' work. But his creations are certainly unique if there is nothing more to say about them.

Koons has produced hundreds of unique pieces, arranged in a long line of collections, most of which surprise. Koons has been sued multiple times over copyright claims in pieces depicting images from popular culture.

In 1992, a conviction was upheld against him for using a photograph of puppies as the basis for a sculpture.

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5.Takashi Murakami

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Working in sculpture and painting, Takashi Murakami is known for blurring the lines between the lower and higher arts. He first coined the term "super flat" to describe the aesthetics of traditional Japanese art, a style he, like many of his contemporaries, infused into his art.

Born and raised in Tokyo, Murakami has been a fan of manga and anime since childhood. He acquired the drawing skills he needed for his art at Tokyo University of the Arts, where he eventually switched his major to Nihonga, the traditional Japanese style of painting.

Also read: 21st Century Artists

He earned his Ph.D. in this classic art form, but soon grew weary of the seclusion of Nihonga culture and its domestic politics.

He then began exploring more contemporary art forms, and at this point he began to develop a reputation for fusing contemporary Western art forms with classic Japanese style.

6.Yayoi Kusama

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like a contemporaryjapanese artistWorking mainly in the fields of installation and sculpture, Yayoi Kusama is mainly based on conceptual art with aspects of surrealism, minimalism and feminism.

Born in 1929, her art conveys relevant commentary on nearly a century of Japanese, Western, and world culture. Raised in Matsumoto, Japan, Kusama was trained in Nihonga, the traditional Japanese painting style.

Also read: famous minimalist artists

In 1958 he moved to New York City and quickly became part of the avant-garde scene of the 1960s.

Kusama fully embraced the hippie culture and pop art movement of the time and quickly rose to fame. In the 1970s and up to now he has realized numerous installations in museums all over the world.

Throughout his life he had bouts of mental illness. She has been open about it for many years and claims that she uses her art as a way to express herself and deal with it.

7.Jenny Saville

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the contemporaryBritish painterJenny Saville is known for themNude picturesof women and girls mostly in various stages of death and decay.

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It's a style that has been labeled "unruly" and "original," but many have argued that her work reveals an obsession with the morbidity and mortification of primarily female flesh.

His art has earned him tens of millions of dollars under the patronage of high society and influential figures around the world. His art has been recognized for fetching the highest auction prices of any artistic work ever produced by any living being.artist.

Born in Cambridge in 1970, he attended Newark Academy, then known as the Lilley and Stone School of Art. He completed his BA at the Glasgow School of Art.

She then enrolled in a women's degree at the University of Cincinnati, where she received a thorough introduction to gender politics.

8.Ai Weiwei

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Ai Weiwei, born in 1957, is a contemporarychinese artistand activist known for his clashes with the Chinese government. Due to his father's exile, he grew up in harsh conditions. Weiwei has long been an outspoken critic of the government's poor human rights record.

As a result, he has been imprisoned on numerous occasions and his freedoms and personal security have been restricted and violated many times and in a variety of ways. He investigated numerous Chinese government cover-ups and scandals.

In 2011 he was jailed for 81 days, although no charges were brought against him. Weiwei is widely credited as the founder of the Chinese art modernism movement.

He has used his many open art installations to create commentary on government corruption and relevant social issues.

Weiwei was allowed to leave China in 2015 and has been living in Germany ever since. There he enjoys the freedom to make his art without fear.

9.Gerhard Richter

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Gerhard Richter it unGerman visual artistborn in 1932. His art ranges from abstraction to photorealism, he is also interested in photography and glass sculpture.

He is considered one of the greatest artists in Germany and some of his works achieved record prices at art auctions.

Richter grew up in Reichenau, Germany and spent much of his early childhood in the German countryside. In 1942, at the age of 12, he was drafted into the Deutsches Jungvolk, a sub-division of the Hitler Youth; However, by the end of the war he was still too young to become an official member.

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He left school at the age of ten. His two older brothers died in the war and his sister contracted schizophrenia and starved to death under Nazi euthanasia protocol. Today, Richter's art is said to have an illusionistic three-dimensionality and above all reflects the materials used.

10Anish Kapoor

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Anish Kapoor, born 1954, is a British-Indian sculptor specializing in conceptual and installation art. He has lived and worked in London, England since the 1970s when he first moved to England to study art.

He has represented Great Britain in a number of high-profile competitions, including the 1990 Duemila Prize and the 1991 Turner Prize.

Kapoor was knighted for his contributions to the visual arts in 2013 and received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University.

He married medieval art historian Susanne Spicale in 1995 and lives in a house designed by world-renowned architect Tony Fretton, known for his exclusive residential and public gallery buildings.

Kapoor split from his wife in 2013 amid controversy over an arrangement that drew both praise and criticism.

11Marina Abramović

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Marina Abramović (born November 30, 1946) is a Serbian conceptual and performance artist. Her work explores body art, art of resistance, feminist art, artist-public interaction, the limits of the body and the potential of the intellect.

Abramović, who has been working for almost four decades, describes herself as the "grandmother of performance art".

She pioneered a new concept of identity by involving viewers and focusing on "encountering pain, blood, and the physical limits of the body." The Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), a non-profit performing arts institution, was founded in 2007.

The Museum of Modern Art organized a major retrospective and reproduction of Abramović's work from March 14 to May 31, 2010, the largest performing arts show in MoMA's history, organized by Klaus Biesenbach.

Biesenbach also offered the performance's title, which alluded to "the artist would be directly at the gallery or museum during the performance".

For the duration of the exhibition, Abramović performed The Artist Is Present, a static, silent performance lasting 736 hours and 30 minutes, during which she remained motionless in the museum's atrium while viewers took turns sitting opposite her.

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