English sculptor, artist, and photographer Andy Goldsworthy has revolutionized outdoor art by creating masterpieces with naturally available material such as rain, snow, and rocks. A farm laborer in his younger days, he developed an early love for nature and the elements. Rain Shadows remains one of his best-loved works.
Jeff Koons is an American artist best known for his versatility and work that deals with popular culture. Koons is also known for his sculptures, such as large balloon animals made using stainless steel to achieve mirror-finish surfaces. One of the most successful artists of his generation, Koons has produced works that have earned a couple of record auction prices.
Leslie Stefanson is an American model, artist, and actress. She achieved popularity after playing important roles in popular films, such as The General's Daughter. A multi-talented personality, Leslie Stefanson also makes terracotta and bronze sculptures in New York City and Los Angeles.
5 Tony Dow
Steve McQueen is a British filmmaker and video artist best known for his film 12 Years a Slave. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, making him the first black filmmaker to win the award. He is also a prominent visual artist and a recipient of the Turner Prize, the highest award given to a British visual artist.
Takashi Murakami is a Japanese contemporary artist who works in both fine arts media and commercial arts media. He is known for blurring the line between “high” and “low” arts. He is the founder of the art production and artist management company Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. He has collaborated with the fashion brand Louis Vuitton as well.
Presidential Medal-winning artist Jasper Johns is best known for his contribution to the pop art movement. His paintings revolve around subjects such as flags, numbers, and letters, whereas he has also gained fame for his cast sculpture art such as Painted Bronze. He also once experimented by attaching strings to his art.
11 Wes Borland
Wes Borland is a rock musician best known for his association with the popular rock band, Limp Bizkit. Borland is also credited with co-founding an experimental metal band named Big Dumb Face. Known for his elaborate visual appearance, Borland often wears a mask while performing. He was named in the Top 100 Guitarists of All Time list by the magazine Total Guitar.
Frank Frazetta was an American science fiction and fantasy artist remembered for his work on comic books, LP record album covers, paperback book covers, posters, and paintings among other media. Nicknamed the Godfather of fantasy art, Frazetta is also considered one of the 20th century's best-known illustrators. He was honored at the World Fantasy Convention with a Life Achievement Award.
George Montgomery was an American actor best remembered for his work in television and Western films. A multi-talented personality, Montgomery was also known as a director, producer, stuntman, writer, sculptor, painter, and furniture craftsman. George Montgomery achieved popularity after singing with 20th Century Fox in 1939; he then went on to become a leading man in Hollywood during the 1940s.
14 Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly was an American sculptor, painter, and photographer. Although he wasn’t popular among the critics, Twombly's works influenced several younger artists like Francesco Clemente, Anselm Kiefer, and Julian Schnabel. Today, his works are preserved in many museums globally, including the Tate Modern in London, the Menil Collection in Houston, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Sculptor Antony Gormley is best known for his human forms, most of which he creates using his own naked form. The Turner Prize-winning artist had initially studied history and archaeology but later turned to art. His best-known works include Angel of the North and Three Ways: Mould, Hole and Passage.
Claes Oldenburg is a Swedish-American sculptor recognized for his public art installations. Many of his artworks, which were co-designed by his wife Coosje van Bruggen until 2009, feature everyday objects. One of the most celebrated sculptors of his generation, Claes Oldenburg has been honored with many prestigious awards like the National Medal of Arts and the Wolf Prize in Arts.
Japanese visual artist and illustrator Yoshitaka Amano is a renowned name in the animation industry. Apart from creating iconic characters such as Gatchaman, he has also illustrated for the video game series Final Fantasy. The Inkpot Award winner has also worked for two Vampire Hunter D movies.
18 Anish Kapoor
Born in India, sculptor Anish Kapoor initially studied engineering in Israel but soon quit his studies to study art in Britain. The Turner Prize-winning artist was the first living artist to earn a solo show at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. The Cloud Gate in Chicago remain his best-loved work.
19 Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer is an American artist best known for her association with neo-conceptual art. Her work focuses on conveying ideas and messages in public spaces with the help of large-scale installations, illuminated electronic displays, projections on buildings, and advertising billboards. Over the course of her career, Holzer has received several awards like the Golden Lion at the 1990 Venice Biennale.
Richard Serra is an American artist renowned for his large-scale sculptures that are designed for site-specific landscape, architectural, and urban settings. Many of his works are displayed in several museums, including The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris. Serra is the recipient of several prestigious awards like The National Arts Award.
German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, counted among leading figures of the Neo-Expressionist art movement of the late 20th century, is noted for his works like The Hierarchy of Angels (painting), The Secret Life of Plants (sculpture) and Grane (woodcut). Themes of Kiefer were often influenced by the spiritual concepts of Kabbalah, horror of the Holocaust and poems of Paul Celan.
Romero Britto is a Brazilian painter, artist, sculptor, and serigrapher. He is best known for his distinctive style that fuses elements of pop art, cubism, and graffiti painting. Romero Britto is also known for using bold patterns and vibrant colors as a visual expression of happiness, dreams, and hope.
Takeshi Kitano is a Japanese comedian, TV presenter, author, actor, and filmmaker. He gained international fame in the 1970s as one half of the comedy duo Two Beat. He later pursued a solo act and became one of the top comedians in Japan. He then ventured into acting and direction as well. He won the Golden Lion award in 1997.
Olafur Eliasson is an Icelandic-Danish artist. He is famous for his sculptured and large-scale installation art. He established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin in 1995 and co-founded Studio Other Spaces in 2014. He represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. He was a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts for many years.
25 Edward Tufte
Edward Tufte is an American statistician best known for his pioneering work in the area of data visualization. He also serves as a professor emeritus of computer science, statistics, and political science at Yale University.
Douglas Coupland is a Canadian novelist and artist who popularized the term “Generation X” mentioned in his international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. He has published several novels, collections of short stories, and works of non-fiction. His art is frequently exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.
Robert Indiana was an American artist best remembered for his association with the pop art movement. He is credited with creating the popular Love sculpture. The sculpture, which is situated at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), was the basis for the 1973 US Postal Service LOVE stamp. Indiana's works are preserved in numerous museums, including the McNay Art Museum.
The founder of the London-based architecture firm Heatherwick Studio, Thomas Heatherwick is best known for his works such as the Seed Cathedral for the 2010 Shanghai Expo’s UK Pavilion and the 2012 Olympic Cauldron. A descendant of the owners of fashion brand Jaeger, he studied 3-D design and revolutionized architecture.
Matthew Barney is an American film director and contemporary artist best known for his work in the fields of film, sculpture, drawing, and photography. Barney's works explore connections between biology, geography, mythology, and geology. Over the course of his career, Matthew Barney has won several awards like the Hugo Boss Prize and James D. Phelan Art Award.
Ellsworth Kelly was an American sculptor, painter, and printmaker best remembered for his association with Color Field painting, hard-edge painting, and minimalism. Over the course of his illustrious career, Kelly was honored with several prestigious awards, such as the National Medal of Arts and Edward MacDowell Medal.
31 Ron Mueck
Maurizio Cattelan is an Italian artist best known for his hyperrealistic sculptures and installations. He has a satirical approach to art and is often considered a joker or prankster of the art world. His works have been exhibited internationally in museums. One of his best-known works is America, a fully functional toilet made of solid gold.
German art-forger and artist Wolfgang Beltracchi gained notoriety for his involvement in an international art scam where he forged paintings of famous artists like Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Heinrich Campendonk, and Kees van Dongen and sold them to make profits that surpassed $100m. Beltracchi and his wife, Helene, were found guilty and were given six-year and four-year prison terms respectively.
Emilie Benes Brzezinski is a Swiss American sculptor best known for her sculptures made out of wood. Her monumental work Lintel, which was made from cut cherry trees, is currently preserved in a sculpture park named Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. Over the years, Emilie Benes has displayed her work at several art exhibitions, including the Florence Biennale.
35 Chris Ofili
Chris Ofili is a British painter best known for such works that have been created using elephant dung as part of their creation. His paintings earned him the prestigious Turner Prize in 1998. Chris Ofili, whose work has been categorized as punk art, also utilizes cut-outs from porn magazines, glitter, beads, resin, and oil paint as painting elements.
36 Kiki Smith
Kiki Smith is a German American artist who lives and works in New York State. Smith's work focuses on themes like regeneration, sex, and birth. An influential artist, Smith's work also discusses subjects like gender and AIDS. Over the years, she has won several prestigious awards, such as the Nelson A. Rockefeller Award and Women in the Arts Award.
37 Theo Jansen
Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist best known for his sculptures that combine art and engineering. He achieved popularity when he invented the Strandbeest, a moving kinetic structure that resembles a walking animal. Described as an artificial life by Jansen, these sculptures are constantly being improved. In 2016, The Simpsons featured Jansen and the Strandbeest in one of its episodes.
39 Jim Dine
Jim Dine is an American artist who focuses on painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, and sculpting. Throughout his career, Dine has been linked with many art movements, including Neo-Dada, Pop Art, and Abstract Expressionism. Over the years, Jim Dine’s work has been displayed in various museums like the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
41 Frank Stella
Frank Stella is an American sculptor, painter, and printmaker known for his work in the fields of post-painterly abstraction and minimalism. An influential artist, Stella has been an ardent supporter of copyright protection for artists. In 2009, he was honored with the prestigious National Medal of Arts. In 2011, the International Sculpture Center honored Stella with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
43 Luis Jiménez
Luis Jiménez was an American sculptor best remembered for depicting Hispanic-American themes through his works, which have been exhibited at the Denver International Airport as well as the Smithsonian. In addition to being a sculptor, Jiménez has also taught art at institutions like the University of Houston and the University of Arizona.
44 Kate Millett
Kate Millett was an educator, artist, feminist writer, and activist. Remembered for her 1970 book Sexual Politics, Millett often voiced for human rights, peace, and feminism through her work. Over the course of her career, Millett won several awards, including the Lambda Pioneer Award for Literature. In 2013, she was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Ginger Gilmour is an American sculptor, author, artist, and former model. Best known for her work featuring angels, Gilmour has had her work exhibited in several venues and galleries, including Arundel Castle, Mall Galleries, London, and the Embassy of Germany in London. Apart from being an artist, Gilmour also teaches art and Mental Color Healing, a form of esoteric healing.
Remembered for her surrealist paintings, sculptor and painter Dorothea Margaret Tanning seemed to have recreated her visions and dreams through her art. Most of her works showcase unreal situations, with motifs such as gigantic flowers and doors. Her iconic installation Hôtel du Pavot, Chambre 202 showcases her sculpting skills.
Lorenzo Quinn is an Italian sculptor whose works can be seen in places like the UK and Spain. Apart from being a sculptor, Quinn also works with charity organizations and donates his sculptures to charitable causes. He is also credited with designing MOTO GP championships' Ride The World trophy. A multi-talented personality, Quinn also co-owns a restaurant named Galeria Gastronomica.
48 Lars Vilks
Swedish artist Lars Vilks created a major controversy with one of his drawings that showed Prophet Muhammad's head set on a dog's body. Previously, his 2 sculptures, Nimis and Arx, set in the Kullaberg nature reserve, were attacked by vandals. He died in a traffic accident in southern Sweden.
Kerry James Marshall is an American professor and artist renowned for his artworks and paintings of Black figures. His work has inspired and influenced contemporary artists like Hank Willis Thomas. In 2017, he was mentioned in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people. Marshall has also taught at prestigious institutions like the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).
50 Bruce Nauman
Bruce Nauman is an American artist whose work involves sculpting, printmaking, drawing, and photography. In 1993, he was honored with the Wolf Prize for his contribution to 20th-century art and his work as a sculptor. He has also received other prestigious awards like the Wexner Prize. In 2004, he was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people.