11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (2023)

When most people hear the term modern art, they usually assume we are talking about contemporary art.

The two are often mistakenly confused.

Modern artists are those who led the revolution in various new art movements from the 1850s to the 1970s.

After the 1970s they should be referred to ascontemporary artistsor postmodern.

Up until the 1850s most art was religious in its deceptions or depictions of the rich and noble.

Realism ushered in the first true style of modern art as there was a marked shift towards painting everyday life, depicting ordinary people and normal scenes of work and life.

The following list of modern artists spans many movements, including impressionism, post-impressionism, surrealism, cubism, abstraction, and pop art.

1.Pablo Picasso

11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (1)

Born in late 1881 in Málaga, Spain, Pablo Picasso maintained strong ties with Spain, its culture and history throughout his life.

Picasso could very well be considered the most famous modern painter as his works are instantly recognized around the world.

Not only was he one of the most talented painters, but also an accomplished sculptor, playwright, poet and engraver.

A true artistic genius, he began drawing at a young age and received his first oil paint training from his father at the age of seven.

At the age of fourteen his family moved from Malaga to Barcelona where, despite his age, the young Picasso was accepted into the local art school.

He moved to Paris in 1900 and carried out this first painting commission. Picasso collected money for his drawings and traveled all over Europe.

Picasso's first exhibition took place around the age of 20, after spending most of 1900 being exposed to current artistic trends at the Café Els Quatre Gats.

Over the next five years, Picasso's style moved from the Blue Period to the Pink Period, but it was not until 1908 that Picasso's Cubist approach flourished.

After becoming a politician during World War II, he eventually had a very successful career, achieving international success until he died of heart failure in 1973.

In the 20th century, Picasso spent 90% of his years devoted to the heart, contributing much and at the same time to the real growth and advancement of modern art.

2.Vincent van Gogh

11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (2)

Born in Holland in 1853, Vincent Van Gogh is considered one of the greatest post-impressionist painters of all time.

The son of a pastor, he was born into a fairly wealthy family and spent much of his childhood as a missionary.

He was an art dealer for several years and traveled a lot professionally, when he was transferred to London he began to fall into a depression.

After returning to his parents, he returned to the religion and spent time with a missionary.

(Video) The Ultimate Top 10 of the Biggest Art Galleries in the World

However, he only became an artist in his late twenties and his young artistic career was supported by his brother Theo, who was an art dealer.

In 1886 he moved to Paris, where he met artists such as Paul Gauguin, who led the rejection of the Impressionist art movement and encouraged Van Gogh to create his own style and experiment with more vibrant colors.

It wasn't until a few years before his death that he began to get some kind of real recognition for his work.

Plagued by mental health problems throughout his life, he died in 1890 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Van Gogh only became famous after his death. After his death he was proclaimed an artistic genius whose troubled soul was partly responsible for his enormous talent.

With around 800, he leaves a very large body of work, around 2,000 piecesOil paintingfrom the last two years of his life.

3.Salvador Dali

11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (3)

Salvador Dalí was one of themTop surrealist artists, born in Spain in 1904, his works are among the most famous images ever produced and have been reproduced millions of times on posters, prints and postcards.

Born to a strict father, his artist mother encouraged his creativity and eccentricity at an early age.

After failing to do well in public school, his father sent him to the Spanish-French School of the Immaculate Conception in Figueres.

Living with the Pichot family of intellectuals and artists on the Molidela Torre estate on the outskirts of Figueres, Salvador discovered Impressionist painting.

When his works were first shown in Figueres as part of a collection, Salvdor Dali was just 14 years old.

Dali was admitted to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando three years after his first exhibition, where he was expelled without a degree.

He stated that no member of the faculty was competent enough to examine him and that he was too smart for his professors.

Dalí presented a dream world as a surrealist work in which everyday things were deformed, bizarrely and irrationally transformed or juxtaposed, as illustrated in one of his most enigmatic paintings, The Persistence of Memory.

A motor disorder in his hands forced him to retire in 1980 because he could no longer hold a brush.

He moved to Pubol, where he suffered severe burns in a fire in 1984 and was confined to a wheelchair. In 1982 his wife also died, which plunged him into a depression.

He was brought back to the safety of the Teatro Museo in Figueres by his parents, fellow artists and patrons, where he died of heart failure in 1989.


11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (4)

Henri Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France in 1869.

Using a variety of mediums, her work includes sculpture, paper cutting and much more. He is best known for the masterpiece The Dance.

Henri Matisse is known today as the master of color.

Matisse was often inspired by other cultures - he was deeply inspired by Japanese and primitive art.

(Video) This 12-Year-Old Has Taken the Art World by Storm

He divided his paintings into line, color and composition and created an unmistakable style that made use of flat colours, iridescent tones and elegant, flowing lines.

Also read: famous paintings of modern art

He emphasized expressive language over detail and formality over spontaneity.

Along with his friends Andre Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck, he was a founding member of the Fauvist art movement known for streamlined lines, deep vivid colors and expressive spontaneity that brought real, vivid emotion to the paintings.

Henri Matisse, along with Picasso, broke away from the Impressionist movement in favor of a more colorful and expressive art form.

Although Matisse and Picasso were close friends, they were also bitter rivals with the outgoing and outspoken Picasso, often defeating the more reserved and quiet Matisse.

5.Andy Warhol

11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (5)

Andy Warhol, born in Pennsylvania in 1928, spent most of his childhood in hospital. During this time he developed his unique artistic skills and forms of expression.

His mother, who was also an artist, went to great lengths to encourage and support Andy's interest in art as a young boy.

He studied commercial art in high school before moving to New York where he began to make a name for himself.

After graduating, he focused on becoming a commercial artist and quickly received top work from some of the leading print magazines of the time.

In the early 1960s, when Andy Warhol began to focus on paintings and his own system of screen printing branded foods and celebrities, Andy Warhol made his mark as a pop artist.

He became one ofmost famous artistsof the 20th century for his work on film, writing books and meeting the rich and famous at his studio The Factory for pop art and commercial images.

Warhol was famous for his unusual mix of advanced and industrial techniques. He blurred the lines between fine art and popular aesthetics.

He is perhaps best known for his famous 1962 can of Campbell's Soup, which, along with his name, brought pop art to the fore.

6.Claude Monet

11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (6)

Perhaps one of the most important movements inmodern art historyit is impressionism.

Impressionism arrived in France in the mid-19th century and Claude Monet was one of the innovative founders of this movement.

Monet was born in Paris in 1840 and moved to the Normandy coast with his family when he was five years old.

As a young artist he was remarkably adept at drawing charcoal drawings and sold them at a decent price to many of the townspeople in which he lived.

He was a strong proponent of painting exteriors in natural light or"outside"something he would practice for much of his life, particularly in his glorious flower garden and pond at Giverny.

Moet is best known as aImpressionist artistsand is considered one of the founders of the movement.

One of his best works, "Impression Sunrise", is actually the namesake for the new artistic movement.

(Video) 10-year-old artist taking over Miami Art Week l GMA

Monet painted some of his favorite scenes several times throughout his life.

Each painting was a study of light and its effect on the world.

He regularly brought up to ten canvases from his office to the fields around his house or to his garden.

Each screen was worked on until the light was no longer optimal, then he selected another to work on that matched the light.

This allowed him to make many attempts to capture the right light instead of launching a screen.outsideand then finish it in your studio.

His series of paintings shows haystacks, Rouen Cathedral and, above all, the lilies in his garden pond.

Unlike many other modern artists of his day, Monet achieved considerable fame and financial security towards the end of his life, which allowed him to buy his own house and plant a garden of exceptional beauty, which he would paint many times.

7.Georgia O'Keeffe

11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (7)

Born in rural Wisconsin in 1887, Georgia O'Keeffe was onefemale painterknown as the mother of American modernism.

At 18 she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League of New York.

She later worked as a professional illustrator until meeting Arthur Wesley Dow, who drastically influenced her painting style and appreciation, leading her to move to New York City to pursue art full-time.

It was then that she began work on her series of small charcoal drawings, which she loved and gave to a friend in New York.

By chance, the sketches ended up in the hands of Alfred Stieglitz, an obsessive photographer and a major player in some New York art circles.
Stieglitz was so enthralled by the vibrancy and excitement of these drawings of this "mysterious woman" that he exhibited them in his Manhattan art gallery in 1916 without even knowing them.

Shortly thereafter, they fell in love and began a multi-year relationship and artistic partnership.

Eventually the couple married.

The story of Georgia O'Keeffe is inseparable from the life of her husband and partner, and Stieglitz did in many ways what he did for photography for American painting, championing photography as a representation of self-expression.

O'keeffe's love of the landscape has led her to capture many great images in her own unique abstract style.

For many critics, it is her paintings of large flowers that define her as an artist.

The large flower paintings depicted female genitalia according to some critics at the time, although Georgia refuted this, stating that they were nothing more than flowers.

8.Jackson Pollock

11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (8)

As one of the leading minds of the 20th centuryamerican artists, Jackson Pollock became known for his Action Paintings.

He was best known to the general public for his large canvases of drip paintings that pushed the boundaries of Abstract Expressionism.

Pollock's work, like mostabstract painters, tests the viewer in a way the art world has never seen before.

(Video) 1000 MCQs - World Geography Set 11 | World Geography MCQs | geography for all exams | StudyIQ PCS

He was born in 1912 and died in 1956 at the age of 44 after a car accident in which alcohol played a major role.

Pollock struggled with alcoholism throughout his adult life.

He will be most famous for his dripping paintings and he is the artist most associated with this technique.

9.Frida Kahlo

11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (9)

Frida Kahlo was onemexican artistwho was born in 1907, his father was German and his mother Mexican.

Originally, as a young student, she wanted to study medicine, but a car accident prevented her from realizing her dream of becoming a doctor.

During her three-month hospital stay to recover from the accident, she began drawing and painting.

She showed great promise as a budding artist and it was clear that all chances of studying mediation were lost once she started painting.

As an artist, she painted a large number of self-portraits, many of which reflected both the emotional and physical pain she had endured throughout her life.

Her other works would draw heavily on Mexican symbolism and she is known for her use of very vivid colors in her works.

Her husband was also another great modern Mexican painter, Diego Rivera.

10.Edgar Degas

11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (10)

Edgar Degas was born in Paris in 1834 into a wealthy family and showed great ambitions to become an artist from an early age.

He first studied art history before finally turning to his own art.

Many would consider Degas an impressionist, but he rejected that label and considered himself a realist.

Known for his extensive body of work portraying various dancers at various dance schools in Paris, some of his most famous pieces were Ballerinas in The Dance Class.

Degas believed that an artist should shut themselves off from the outside world and would begin to reject a personal life, feeling more and more withdrawn as they got older.

Unfortunately, he spent the last years of his life wandering the streets of Paris practically blind.

11.Paul Cézanne

11 Most Famous Modern Artists - Artst (11)


Cézanne is credited with bridging the gap between late 19th-century Impressionism and Cubism, a new avenue of creative inquiry in the early 20th century. Cézanne's often repeated experimental brushstrokes are distinctive and easily identifiable.

He used areas of color and small brushstrokes to create complex fields. Cézanne's careful research into his subjects is reflected in the paintings. Cézanne is referred to by Matisse and Picasso as "the father of us all".

This list of famous modern artists covers the main household names that most viewers will be familiar with, but it only scratches the surface….

(Video) 20 Most Famous Abstract Artists — Abstract Art Explained (Part 2)


1. The Most Famous Fine Art Photography Artists: A Reasoned Top 20 Using Objective Data & Career Facts
(Contemporary Art Issue)
2. Art Basel: The Centre Of The Modern Art World (Full Documentary) | Perspective
3. On Art: Meet The Famous Contemporary Artists Of India
(Kat Sketch)
5. Twelve-year-old girl producing art so realistic people question if she really did it
6. The Art Community Drama Iceberg, Explained
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Last Updated: 08/01/2023

Views: 5943

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-03-23

Address: 74183 Thomas Course, Port Micheal, OK 55446-1529

Phone: +13408645881558

Job: Global Representative

Hobby: Sailing, Vehicle restoration, Rowing, Ghost hunting, Scrapbooking, Rugby, Board sports

Introduction: My name is Geoffrey Lueilwitz, I am a zealous, encouraging, sparkling, enchanting, graceful, faithful, nice person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.