Famous Contemporary Artists, Ranked Artists

Famous Contemporary Artists, Ranked

2,724 votes 237 voters 34,080 views 92 items tags f p @

List of famous Contemporary art artists, with images, bios, and information about their notable works. All the greatest artists associated with the Contemporary art movement are included here, along with clickable names for more details on that particular painter or sculptor. These notable Contemporary art period artists are organized by popularity, so the best artists are at the top of the list. If you think the best Contemporary art artist isn't as high as they should be then be sure to give them an upvote.

A list made up of artists like Yoko Ono and Brian Eno.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the most famous Contemporary art artists?" and "Who are the best Contemporary art artists?"

Almost every well-known or influential figure in this movement is listed below. You can use this fact-based list to create a new list, re-rank it to fit your opinion, then share it with your Twitter followers, Facebook friends or with any other social networks you use regularly. (92 items)


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    Jacques Rosas Added by: JacquesRosas

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    Odd Nerdrum, is a Norwegian figurative painter. Themes and style in Nerdrum's work reference anecdote and narrative. Primary influences by the painters Rembrandt and Caravaggio help place his work in direct conflict with the abstraction and conceptual art considered acceptable in much of his native ...more

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    • Artworks: Drifting, One Story Singer, Baby, Chosen, Bork in Paris, + more
    • Birthplace: Sweden, Eurasia, Helsingborg
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: Norway
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Charles Krafft Added by: Mollevangsvagen

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    • Birthplace: Seattle, United States
    • Nationality: American
    • Art Forms: Porcelain
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    Lars Vilks Added by: Mollevangsvagen

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    • Artworks: Nimis, Arx
    • Birthplace: Helsingborg, Sweden
    • Nationality: Swedish
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    H. R. Giger
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Hans Rudolf "Ruedi" Giger was a Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer. He was part of the special effects team that won an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for their design work on the film Alien. He was named to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013.more

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    • Artworks: Penis Landscape
    • Birthplace: Chur, Switzerland
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: Switzerland
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
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    Anselm Kiefer is a German painter and sculptor. He studied with Joseph Beuys and Peter Dreher during the 1970s. His works incorporate materials such as straw, ash, clay, lead, and shellac. The poems of Paul Celan have played a role in developing Kiefer's themes of German history and the horror of the ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: La Berceuse (for Van Gogh), The Paths of the Wisdom of the World: Hermann's Battle, Ways of Worldly Wisdom: Arminius's Battle, Osiris und Isis (Osiris and Isis), Die Frauen der Revolution (Women of the Revolution), + more
    • Birthplace: Donaueschingen, Germany
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: Germany
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
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    Alex Grey
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Alex Grey is an American visionary artist, author, teacher, and Vajrayana practitioner. His body of work spans a variety of forms including performance art, process art, installation art, sculpture, visionary art, and painting. Grey is a member of the Integral Institute. He is also on the board of ...more

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    • Artworks: Tantra, Kissing, Transfiguration, Pregnancy, Promise, + more
    • Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: United States of America
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    Keith Haring
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-2.5

    Keith Allen Haring was an American artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s by expressing concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war. Haring's work was often heavily political and his imagery has become a widely recognized visual language of the ...more

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    • Artworks: Keith and Julia, Installation Shafrazi Gallery 1982, Micheal Stewart - USA for Africa, Debbie Dick, St. Sebastian, + more
    • Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Graffiti, Pop art
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Cleon Peterson Added by: Mollevangsvagen

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    Frank Stella
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Frank Stella is an American painter and printmaker, noted for his work in the areas of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction. Stella continues to live and work in New York.more

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    • Artworks: Giufà, la luna, i ladri e le guardie, 4X, Firuzabad, + more
    • Birthplace: Malden, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Hard-edge painting, Geometric abstraction, Contemporary art, Color Field, Monochrome painting, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking
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    John Baldessari
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    John Anthony Baldessari is an American conceptual artist known for his work featuring found photography and appropriated images. He lives and works in Santa Monica and Venice, California. Initially a painter, Baldessari began to incorporate texts and photography into his canvases in the mid-1960s. In ...more

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    • Artworks: Fire, Money, Water, Sex, Looking East on 4th and C, + more
    • Birthplace: National City, California, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Conceptual art
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Julian Schnabel is an American artist and filmmaker. In the 1980s, Schnabel received international media attention for his "plate paintings"—large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates. Schnabel directed Before Night Falls, which became Javier Bardem's breakthrough Academy Award-nominated role, ...more

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    • Artworks: Large Girl with No Eyes
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Neo-expressionism
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Sigmar Polke
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Sigmar Polke was a German painter and photographer. Polke experimented with a wide range of styles, subject matters and materials. In the 1970s, he concentrated on photography, returning to paint in the 1980s, when he produced abstract works created by chance through chemical reactions between paint and ...more

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    • Artworks: Untitled (Hands and Stains), from the series Raster, Untitled (Hands and Kitchen Utensils), from the series Raster, Saturn, + more
    • Birthplace: Oleśnica, Poland
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Pop art
    • Nationality: Germany
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Jean-Michel Basquiat
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-2.5

    Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist, musician, and producer. He first achieved notoriety as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti group who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s where the hip hop, post-punk and street art movements ...more

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    • Artworks: Flexible, Fuego Flores, In Italian, Hollywood Africans, Untitled (1981), + more
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Graffiti, Neo-expressionism
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Vig Scholma Added by: Mollevangsvagen

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    Chuck Close
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Charles Thomas "Chuck" Close is an American painter and photographer who achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits. Close is known for using creative and intricate patterns to portray a human portrait. Though a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him severely ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Self Portraits / Scribble / Etching Portfolio, Self Portraits / Scribble / Etching Portfolio, Self Portraits / Scribble / Etching Portfolio, Self Portraits / Scribble / Etching Portfolio, Self Portraits / Scribble / Etching Portfolio, + more
    • Birthplace: USA, Washington, Monroe
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Takashi Murakami
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Takashi Murakami is an internationally prolific contemporary Japanese artist. He works in fine arts media—such as painting and sculpture—as well as what is conventionally considered commercial media —fashion, merchandise, and animation— and is known for blurring the line between high and low arts. He ...more

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    • Artworks: 727
    • Birthplace: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Pop art, Superflat
    • Nationality: Japan
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
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    Neo Rauch

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    Neo Rauch
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    Neo Rauch is a German artist whose paintings mine the intersection of his personal history with the politics of industrial alienation. His work reflects the influence of socialist realism, and owes a debt to Surrealists Giorgio de Chirico and René Magritte, although Rauch hesitates to align himself with ...more

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    • Artworks: Übergang
    • Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: Germany
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Richard Serra is an American minimalist sculptor and video artist known for working with large-scale assemblies of sheet metal. Serra was involved in the Process Art Movement. He lives and works in Tribeca, New York, and on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.more

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    • Artworks: Leo, from the Leo Castelli 90th Birthday portfolio, Torqued Ellipse IV, Switch, Intersection II, + more
    • Birthplace: California, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Sculpture
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    Andy Goldsworthy
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Andy Goldsworthy, OBE is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland.more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Roof, Faultline, Ice left by the tide/Stacked and frozen/Worked quickly before the tide, Wet feathers/Wrapped around a stone/Before the incoming tide, Carrick
    • Birthplace: England, Cheshire
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Land art
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, England
    • Art Forms: Sculpture
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