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.
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.
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.
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.
13 Jean Arp
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.
15 Yves Klein
16 Josef Albers
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
30 Daniel Buren
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
33 Ray Eames
35 Mark Tobey
38 Arthur Dove
39 Milo Moire
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
42 Terry Frost
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
47 Dong Qichang
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.
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.
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.