Famous Contemporary Artists, Ranked Artists

Famous Contemporary Artists, Ranked

3,546 votes 313 voters 34,274 views 94 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. (94 items)


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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

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Drifting, One Story Singer, Baby, Chosen, Bork in Paris, + more
    • Birthplace: Helsingborg, Sweden
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: Norway
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Neo Rauch

    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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    Charles Krafft Added by: Mollevangsvagen

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    • Birthplace: Seattle, United States
    • Nationality: American
    • Art Forms: Porcelain
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    Michaël Borremans Added by: Mollevangsvagen

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    Michaël Borremans is a Belgian painter and filmmaker who lives and works in Ghent. His painting technique draws on 18th-century art as well as the works of Édouard Manet and Degas. The artist also cites the Spanish court painter Diego Velázquez as an important influence. His earlier drawings, many of ...more

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    • Artworks: The Saddening
    • Birthplace: Geraardsbergen, Belgium
    • Nationality: Belgium
    • Art Forms: Painting
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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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    Jacques Rosas Added by: JacquesRosas

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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

    more ABOUT
    • 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

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    • 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

    more ABOUT
    • 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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    Vig Scholma Added by: Mollevangsvagen

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    Cleon Peterson Added by: Mollevangsvagen

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    Helene Knoop Added by: Mollevangsvagen

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    • Birthplace: Drøbak, Norway
    • Associated periods or movements: Kitsch movement
    • Nationality: Norwegian
    • Art Forms: Painting
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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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    Felix Gonzalez-Torres was an American, Cuban-born, gay visual artist. González-Torres was known for his minimal installations and sculptures in which he used materials such as strings of lightbulbs, clocks, stacks of paper, or packaged hard candies. In 1987, he joined Group Material, a New York-based ...more

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    • Artworks: Untitled, Untitled, Untitled, Untitled, Untitled, + more
    • Birthplace: Guáimaro, Cuba
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Conceptual art
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Installation art
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    Robert Morris is an American sculptor, conceptual artist and writer. He is regarded as one of the most prominent theorists of Minimalism along with Donald Judd but he has also made important contributions to the development of performance art, minimalism, land art, the Process Art movement and ...more

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    • Artworks: Rope Piece, Untitled, Places for the Solitary, A Final Tomb for Frank 'Jelly' Nash, Weeping House, + more
    • Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States of America
    • Nationality: United States of America
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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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    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

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    • 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: Monroe, Washington, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Painting
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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: Cheshire, United Kingdom
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Land art
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, England
    • Art Forms: Sculpture
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    Matthew Barney is an American artist who works in sculpture, photography, drawing and film. His early works are sculptural installations combined with performance and video. Between 1994 and 2002 he created the The Cremaster Cycle, a series of five films described by Jonathan Jones in The Guardian as ...more

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    • Artworks: Cremaster 3: The Dance of Hiram Abiff, CREMASTER 2: The Drones' Exposition, The Deportment of the Host, Oonagh MacCumhaill: The Case of the Entered Novitiate, Repressia, + more
    • Birthplace: California, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Photography, Video art
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    Edward Ruscha
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    Edward Joseph Ruscha IV is an American artist associated with the pop art movement. He has worked in the media of painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, and film. Ruscha lives and works in Culver City, California.more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Phillips 66, Flagstaff, AZ, from the series Twentysix Gasoline Stations, OOF, + more
    • Birthplace: USA, Nebraska, Omaha
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Pop art
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Photography, Painting, Printmaking
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