Abstract Painters

Abstract art reflects a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. Artistic independence for artists was advanced during the 19th century, resulting in the creation of a new art form by the likes of James McNeill Whistler who was a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake". He placed greater emphasis on visual sensation than the depiction of objects, as did John Constable, J M W Turner, and Camille Corot. Spanish painter Pablo Picasso was a major proponent of the abstract art form and contributed immensely to the development of the genre. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century. Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky is credited with painting one of the first purely abstract works. Dutch painter Pieter Cornelis "Piet" Mondriaan evolved a non-representational form which he termed neoplasticism, and became a major contributor to the De Stijl art movement. Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne also had an enormous impact on the development of the genre and led to the advent of 20th-century abstraction. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous abstract painters.
More From Abstract Painters

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Abstract Painters

 1 Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 28, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cody, Wyoming, United States
Died: August 11, 1956
Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock pioneered the drip technique or action painting, which involved moving his whole body to paint on a horizontal surface. Unfortunately, he struggled with alcoholism and died in a car accident, while drunk driving. He inspired a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography and the 2000 film Pollock.

 2 Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky
9
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 16, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 13, 1944
Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky is considered the pioneer of abstract art. Known for notable works such as On White II and Study for Improvisation, he was a prominent artist of the Blue Rider Period and experimented with expressionism. He also earned a professorship at the University of Dorpat

 3 Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 29, 1872
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died: January 31, 1944

Dutch painter Piet Mondrian is remembered for pioneering what is known as 20th-century abstract art. He co-founded the De Stijl art movement with Theo van Doesburg and gave rise to Neoplasticism. His art was influenced by Cubism. Many of his paintings consist of geometric shapes in particular sets of colors.

Recommended Lists:

 4 Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Latvia
Died: February 25, 1970

Considered part of the New York school of painters of the 1940s, Mark Rothko was best known for his signature color field paintings, consisting of vertically set rectangular patches of color. A significant figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement, he also experimented with murals and mythological themes.

 5 Robert De Niro Sr.

Robert De Niro Sr.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 3, 1922
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Syracuse, New York, United States
Died: May 3, 1993

 6 Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein
13
Famous As: Painter, Sculptor
Birthdate: October 27, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Died: September 29, 1997
Recommended Lists:

 7 Henry Darger

Henry Darger
10
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 12, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died: April 13, 1973
You May Like

 8 Lee Krasner

Lee Krasner
5
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 27, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: June 19, 1984
Recommended Lists:

 9 Hilma af Klint

Hilma af Klint
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 26, 1862
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Solna, Sweden
Died: October 21, 1944

Hilma af Klint was a Swedish mystic and artist whose paintings represented complex spiritual ideas. English musician and singer-songwriter Jane Weaver cited af Klint's work as inspiration for her 2017 album, Modern Kosmology. In 2019, Hilma af Klint became the subject of a feature-length documentary titled Beyond the Visible — Hilma af Klint.

 10 Arshile Gorky

Arshile Gorky
3
Famous As: Abstract Painter
Birthdate: April 15, 1904
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Khorgom, Vilayet of Van, Ottoman Empire
Died: July 21, 1948

 11 Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter
3
Famous As: Top-selling photo-painter and abstract artist whose best-known works included "Atlas" and "Baader-Meinhof."
Birthdate: February 9, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany

German visual artist Gerhard Richter started out as a Social Realist painter and was later exposed to avant-garde art. He mastered the art of painting scenes collected from newspapers and magazines, including terrorists and serial killer victims. He later also worked on stained-glass design and abstract art.

 12 Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning
8
Famous As: Abstract expressionist artist
Birthdate: April 24, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: March 19, 1997
Willem de Kooning was a Dutch-American artist and one of the most famous practitioners of abstract expressionism of his generation. One of the 20th century's best-known artists, de Kooning is noted for paintings, such as Woman III (1953) and Interchange (1955). Many of his paintings have been sold for record prices.

 13 Jean Arp

Jean Arp
3
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: September 16, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: June 7, 1966

Jean Arp was born in Strasbourg, to a German father and a French mother. After studying art in Paris and Switzerland, he co-created The Modern Alliance and participated in the Dada and Abstraction-Création movements. An avant-garde painter and sculptor, he also experimented with media such as embroidery.

 14 Robert Motherwell

Robert Motherwell
3
Famous As: Abstract Painter
Birthdate: January 24, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aberdeen
Died: July 16, 1991

 15 Yves Klein

Yves Klein
5
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: June 6, 1962

 16 Josef Albers

Josef Albers
3
Famous As: Former Abstract artist known for his work as an abstract painter and a theorist
Birthdate: March 19, 1888
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bottrop, Germany
Died: March 25, 1976
German-born painter, artist, and art teacher Josef Albers initially experimented with colored-glass art, furniture design, and metal art, and later pioneered innovative styles of art such as Color Field painting and Op art. His best-known work, Homage to the Square, consists of a series of superimposed squares.

 17 Francis Picabia

Francis Picabia
5
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 22, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 30, 1953

 18 Dorothea Margaret Tanning

Dorothea Margaret Tanning
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 25, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Galesburg, Illinois, U.S.
Died: January 31, 2012

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.

 19 Hans Hofmann

Hans Hofmann
3
Famous As: Painter, renowned as both an artist and teacher
Birthdate: March 21, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weissenburg in Bayern, Germany
Died: February 17, 1966

Mostly hailed as an influential art teacher, Hans Hofmann was also a great artist and a pioneer in the use of improvisatory techniques. Born in Germany, he migrated to USA after Nazis came to power. There he opened his own school and moving away from Expressionistic landscapes developed totally an abstract manner, paving the way for Abstract Expressionism.

 20 Elaine de Kooning

Elaine de Kooning
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 12, 1918
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, U.S
Died: February 1, 1989

 21 Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid

Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 7, 1901
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Büyükada, Turkey
Died: September 5, 1991

 22 František Kupka

František Kupka
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: September 23, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Opočno, Czech Republic
Died: June 24, 1957

 23 Pierre Soulages

Pierre Soulages
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 24, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rodez, France

Pierre Soulages is a French painter, sculptor, and engraver. His works have influenced several prominent personalities like François Hollande, who called him the greatest living artist in the world, in 2014. Over the course of his illustrious career, Pierre Soulages has won several prestigious awards like Carnegie Prize, Rembrandt Award, and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art.

 24 Micheline Roquebrune

Micheline Roquebrune
2
Famous As: Wife of Sir Sean Connery
Birthdate: 1929 AD

Tunisian-born French artist Micheline Roquebrune is best known as legendary actor Sean Connery’s second wife. Roquebrune had met Connery in Morocco in the 1970s. They mostly lived in their resort in Marbella and in the Bahamas. Connery was her third husband, and following his death, she revealed he had dementia.

 25 Carmen Herrera

Carmen Herrera
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 30, 1915
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba

Born to journalist parents, who were both part of the Cuban intellectual sphere, Carmen Herrera received elite art education in Paris. The political unrest in Cuba forced her to leave her architecture studies incomplete and move to the U.S. She later established herself as a master painter of abstract art.

 26 Antoni Tàpies

Antoni Tàpies
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 13, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: February 6, 2012

Antoni Tàpies was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and art theorist. He is regarded as one of the most famous European artists of his generation. He studied at the German School of Barcelona, following which he embarked on a successful artistic career. He became one of the most renowned Spanish artists in the second half of the 20th century. 

 27 Larry Rivers

Larry Rivers
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 17, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: August 14, 2002

 28 Nicolas de Stael

Nicolas de Stael
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 16, 1955

Nicolas de Stael was a Russian-born French painter best remembered for his highly abstract landscape painting. He traveled throughout Europe, living and working in places like Paris. Nicolas de Stael suffered from depression, insomnia, and exhaustion throughout his career. He committed suicide by jumping off from his studio terrace at the age of 41.

 29 Kenneth Noland

Kenneth Noland
2
Famous As: Abstract Painter
Birthdate: April 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Asheville, North Carolina, U.S.
Died: January 5, 2010

 30 Daniel Buren

Daniel Buren
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: March 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Daniel Buren is a French conceptual artist, visual artist, sculptor, and painter. He is credited with creating many world-famous installations, such as Les Deux Plateaux. One of the most active and renowned artists on the international scene, Daniel Buren is the recipient of several prestigious awards like the Golden Lion and the Premium Imperiale.

 31 Simon Hantaï

Simon Hantaï
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 7, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Biatorbágy, Hungary
Died: September 12, 2008

 32 Adolph Gottlieb

Adolph Gottlieb
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 14, 1903
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York United States
Died: March 4, 1974

 33 Ray Eames

Ray Eames
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 15, 1912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
Died: August 12, 1988

 34 Patrick Heron

Patrick Heron
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Headingley, England
Died: March 20, 1999

 35 Mark Tobey

Mark Tobey
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 11, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Centerville, Wisconsin, United States
Died: April 24, 1976

 36 Grace Hartigan

Grace Hartigan
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 28, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: November 15, 2008

 37 Paul Sérusier

Paul Sérusier
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 9, 1864
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 7, 1927

 38 Arthur Dove

Arthur Dove
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 2, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Canandaigua, New York, United States
Died: November 23, 1946

 39 Milo Moire

Milo Moire
3
Famous As: Performance artist
Birthdate: May 7, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Switzerland

Though a qualified psychologist, Milo Moire is more popular as a porn actor and a performance artist who uses the female form for her art pieces. From creating abstract art by throwing out paint-filled eggs from her vagina, to walking around cities, asking passers-by to touch her breasts, she has done it all.

 40 Hans Hartung

Hans Hartung
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 21, 1904
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: December 7, 1989

 41 Jacques Villon

Jacques Villon
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 31, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Damville, Mesnils-sur-Iton, France
Died: June 9, 1963

 42 Terry Frost

Terry Frost
1
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 13, 1915
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Royal Leamington Spa, England
Died: September 1, 2003

 43 Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 13, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
Died: March 6, 1992

 44 Paul-Émile Borduas

Paul-Émile Borduas
1
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: November 1, 1905
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Canada
Died: February 22, 1960

Canadian painter Paul-Émile Borduas is best remembered as a founder-member of the radical abstract group Les Automatistes, which focused on automatism, influenced by surrealism. Initially a church decorator in Montreal, he later studied art in Paris. He was later ostracized for releasing the social critique Refus Global.

 45 Paul Jenkins

Paul Jenkins
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: June 9, 2012

 46 Stanley William Hayter

Stanley William Hayter
1
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 27, 1901
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hackney, London, England
Died: May 4, 1988

 47 Dong Qichang

Dong Qichang
1
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1555 AD
Birthplace: Huating, China
Died: 1636 AD

A renowned calligrapher and painter of the Ming dynasty, Dong Qichang was a child prodigy in many ways, having cleared the prefectural civil service entrance exams at 12. An art theorist, too, he classified the history of Chinese painting into the Northern and Southern schools, charting out their unique characteristics.

 48 Manuel Felguerez

Manuel Felguerez
1
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: December 12, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Valparaíso, Mexico
Died: June 8, 2020

Manuel Felguérez was a Mexican artist whose works are still being displayed across Mexico. One of the most important members of the Generación de la Ruptura, Felguérez was honored with the prestigious Premio Nacional de Artes in 1988. A multi-talented person, Felguérez was also a sculptor and teacher; he worked as a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

 49 Vasudeo S. Gaitonde

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde
1
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1924 AD
Birthplace: Nagpur, India
Died: August 10, 2001

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde is remembered as one of the most significant modern abstract painters from India. The Padma Shri winner was born to working-class Goan parents in Nagpur. He won an art scholarship at 19 and never looked back. His works are said to have been influenced by calligraphy.

 50 Stanton Macdonald-Wright

Stanton Macdonald-Wright
1
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: July 8, 1890
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
Died: August 22, 1973