Most Popular Modern Contemporary Artists

famous contemporary artist

What Is Contemporary Art?

There are so many different categories that art can fall under. This can feel confusing and overwhelming at times. So what is contemporary art? What makes a contemporary artist a contemporary artist? Well, modern contemporary art is simply what is being created and shared today. What makes a modern artist fall under this category circulates around their self expression. As a famous contemporary artist could be found anywhere across the globe, every artist is working with different life experiences and pouring those into their work. Whether international contemporary artists are fueled by political events happening in their immediate lives, or they are dealing with an intense heartbreak and want to turn it into art, all is valid within this realm. With society constantly progressing, modern famous artists are constantly trying to present new ideas in new and exciting ways. The world of contemporary art is really quite beautiful as you, as a viewer, will never know what to expect. There is no box that the tools lay within, rather these artists are grabbing from the world around them with no limits or boundaries holding them back. Experimental, refreshing, new, and endless possibilities are descriptions I think of when thinking about modern and contemporary art. Now is the time for us to gear our focus towards 20 of some of the biggest contemporary artists today.

List of Modern Contemporary Artists

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is a 67 year old American modern artist famous and well known for her self portraiture works. Cindy took the liberty that contemporary art offers and role played various characters from her imagination in her self portraits.

Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown is a 52 year old British painter from London, England. Currently residing and working in New York City, Cecily continues to paint, displaying influences from a variety of other painters.

Liu Wei

Liu Wei is a 49 year old Chinese famous modern artist who can be found in Beijing. Liu chooses to use a variety of media within his work such as video, installation, drawing, sculpture and even painting.

Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami is a 59 year old Japanese contemporary artist. Many consider Takashi’s works to depict the blurring of lines between high and low art. He is known most for his painting and sculptures as well as his commercial media.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Njideka Akunyili Crosby is a 38 year old Nigerian born contemporary artist who can be found creating work and living in Los Angeles, California. She works with collage and photo-transfer based painting in hopes to display her roots from both Nigeria and Los Angeles.

Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor is a 66 year old British Indian sculptor. Installation and conceptual art are the two avenues Kapoor specializes in. Kapoor is one of many contemporary artists who has been working in London, England since the early 70s.

Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer is a 76 year old German sculptor and painter. Within Kiefer’s works he uses a wide variety of materials such as straw, ash, hay, shellac, clay and lead. Many of Kiefer’s works display the sad truths of the Holocaust.

Marina Abramovic

Marina Abramovic

Marina Abramovic is a 74 year old Serbian artist. Abramovic is one of the contemporary artists famous for her conceptual and performance art pieces. Her work explores many things, some being the body, feminism, relationship between performer and audience and the possibilities of the mind.

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is an astonishing 91 year old Japanese contemporary artist. This artists contemporary work lives in the world of installation, sculpture, painting and performance to name a few.

Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon is a 46 year old American contemporary artist who creates multidisciplinary works. Taryn is talented in the worlds of photography, text, sculpture as well as performance. Simon is currently based out of New York City.

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin is a 67 year old American photographer. This modern artists famous works revolve around LGBT bodies, intimate moments, the HIV crisis as well as the opioid epidemic. Nan can be found in New York City, Paris and Berlin.

Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer is a 70 year old modern artist who has the goal of delivering words and ideas in public spaces by means of her work. She is known to be a neo-conceptual artist belonging within a group of feminist artists from the 80s.

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson is a 54 year old Danish and Icelandic artist. Olafur is known for his large-scale installation pieces which deal with concepts and ideas such as light, water and air temperature and their impact on the viewer.

Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat is a 63 year old Iranian visual artist. You can find her living and creating work in New York City. Many people know her for her film work, videography and photography. This artists modern works often deal with the polarities of two ideas.

Ana Mendieta

Ana Mendieta was a Cuban contemporary artist who was known for her performance art pieces, sculptures, paintings and videos. Ana Mendeita worked with the elements of nature, being one of the contemporary nature artists on this list.

Cao Fei

Cao Fei is a 43 year old Chinese contemporary artist who is known for her multimedia works. Some of her works can be found in the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Fei plays and creates using video, performance and digital media.

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst is a 55 year old English artist. This english contemporary artists work consists of the preservation of dead animals such as a shark, a sheep and a cow. Damien Hirst is known to be one of the wealthiest artists who are still alive in the United Kingdom.

David Hockney

David Hockney is an 83 year old English contemporary modern artist. He creates works such as paintings, drafts, prints, stage designs and photographs. Hockney is one of the many famous contemporary artists who reside in London, England.

El Anatsui

El Anatsui is a 77 year old Ghanaian sculptor. For a lot of his career, El Anatsui was actively producing and sharing works in Nigeria. He is most known for his creations using bottle caps that he would find at alcohol recycling stations. In order to assemble the many bottle caps, Anatsui uses copper wire.

Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara is a 61 year old Japanese artist who is known for his sculptures and paintings. Some people may know of Yoshitomo’s works for he repeatedly used the image of a young girl with intense eyes.

Contemporary Artists 2020

Contemporary Artists 2020

Most of the famous contemporary artists mentioned are still alive and creating works. However, some contemporary modern artists have indeed passed away. These are only a few of the many international contemporary artists who are well known and successful. The world of contemporary art is rich and abundant. Contemporary art is truly all around us. From paintings in a window to sculptures and installations on the streets. These works of art are not hard to come by. Perhaps accessibility plays a role in the world of contemporary art. I hope you enjoyed this blog and learned at least one new thing. I challenge you to keep exploring the world of contemporary art!

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