Stuart Sutcliffe was a Scottish musician and painter. He is best remembered for his association with the popular rock band the Beatles, where he was the original bass guitarist. Before achieving popularity as a guitarist, Sutcliffe left the Beatles to pursue painting. Along with John Lennon, Stuart Sutcliffe is credited with coining the name Beetles, which later became the Beatles.
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.
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.
Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely pioneered the Op Art movement, using geometric angles and depth in works such as Vega-Nor. He initially worked as a graphic artist in advertising agencies and then created masterpieces influenced by Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. His work Zebra remains one of his best-known pieces.
It is believed Joseph Beuys was rescued by Tartars when his air force plane broke down in Crimea during World War II. He later gained fame as an avant-garde sculptor and artist and part of the group Fluxus. His works used unconventional media, with some even including staged actions.
Félix González-Torres was an American visual artist best remembered for his sculptures and minimal installations made out of everyday objects like lightbulbs, stacks of paper, clocks, and packaged hard candies. In 2010, his 1992 piece Untitled sold for $4.6 million at an auction. Félix González-Torres died at the age of 38 due to complications from AIDS.
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.
Born in Austria, contemporary visual artist Gottfried Helnwein later bought a castle in Cologne, where he worked, and then moved to Ireland, where he bought another castle and transformed it into his studio. His hyper-realistic performance art and installations, known as Aktions, reflect grim themes such as the Holocaust.
Pippa Bacca made international headlines in March 2008, when she was found naked and strangled on the outskirts of Istanbul. The Italian feminist artist had apparently been raped and murdered in the middle of her hitch-hiking program Brides on Tour, which had her traveling from Milan dressed as a bride.
Known for his blue monochrome paintings, French artist Yves Klein was a major figure of the Nouveau réalisme art movement. Though born to artist parents, he initially mastered judo and even taught it. His experiments included fire paintings and his Anthropométries, which involved naked models covered in paint pressing against canvases.
Sophie Calle is a French photographer, writer, conceptual artist, and installation artist. Her work is associated with and evokes a popular French literary movement called Oulipo which came into existence in the 1960s. Renowned for her ability to investigate strangers, Calle’s work often depicts human vulnerability. Also an educator, Calle has taught at popular educational institutions like European Graduate School.
Alison Lapper is a British artist who uses art forms like painting, digital imaging, and photography to question physical beauty and normality. Born with a condition called phocomelia, Lapper often uses herself as a subject. Lapper achieved national recognition when she posed for Marc Quinn's sculpture. Titled Alison Lapper Pregnant, the sculpture occupied the fourth plinth between 2005 and 2007.
Best known for her hyper-realistic sculptures made of materials such as silicone, fiber glass, and human hair, Australian sculptor Patricia Piccinini has created iconic works such as Graham and Bootflower. The Sierra Leone-born artist initially made drawings at medical museums and later used her knowledge of human anatomy in her art.
Arturo Di Modica was a sculptor best known for creating the bronze sculpture Charging Bull. Born in Italy during World War II, he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze and later moved to USA. He opened his own studios and built a brilliant career, often holding major exhibitions. His Charging Bull has often been featured in media.
Part of the Nouveau Réalisme art movement, Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely developed a form of kinetic art known as metamatics, which consisted of self-destructing sculptures. Homage to New York, installed at the Museum of Modern Art was one of his best-known works. He ridiculed man’s dependence on technology through his works.
Brion Gysin was a Canadian painter, sound poet, writer, and performance artist. Gysin was also known as an inventor of experimental devices; he is credited with inventing the Dreamachine, a stroboscopic flicker device. Brion Gysin's ideas went on to inspire the artists of the Beat Generation and other prominent personalities like Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Laurie Anderson, and Keith Haring.
Vanessa Beecroft is a contemporary performance artist who often works with professional models to stage tableaux vivants. In 2018, she used Kim Kardashian as her model for the release of the latter's perfume brand. A controversial personality, Vanessa Beecroft's unsuccessful attempt to adopt Sudanese twins inspired a derogative documentary titled The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins by Pietra Brettkelly.
Christian Boltanski was a French sculptor, painter, photographer, and filmmaker. Best remembered for his contemporary French conceptual style and photography installations, Boltanski took part in more than 150 art exhibitions around the world. He also won several prestigious prizes like the Praemium Imperiale Award.
Zurab Tsereteli is a Georgian painter, architect, and sculptor best known for his large-scale and controversial monuments. An influential figure, Tsereteli has been serving as the Russian Academy of Arts' President since 1997. Zurab Tsereteli is the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors, such as the USSR State Prize, Lenin Prize, and Russian Federation State Prize.
Paintings, sculpture, and prints of Austrian painter, sculptor, poet, composer, singer, architect, draftsman, printmaker, and stage designer Ernst Fuchs addressed themes of religion and mysticism. Student of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Fuchs co-founded the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. He acquired the Otto Wagner Villa in Hütteldorf, which was later transformed and inaugurated as the Ernst Fuchs Museum.
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.
American-Swiss artist Christian Marclay has revolutionized art by inventing turntablism, a method of manipulating sounds. He is also known for his unusual art installations, such as the video The Clock, a compilation of film scenes featuring clocks, which eventually won him the Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice Biennale.
Sigmar Polke was a German photographer and painter who experimented with several styles, materials, and subject matters. He is credited with founding Capitalist realism, an art movement that focuses on commodity-based art. He is also credited with developing a new technique to come up with mechanically produced paintings. Polke’s works influenced many younger artists like Julian Schnabel and Richard Prince.
Known for his artistic innovations, Alberto Burri was one of the most important artists of the Italian post-war period. Although passionate about painting since his childhood, he grew up to be army doctor, returning to the art while being interned as prisoner-of-war. Today, he is known as the precursor of Italian contemporary art, having direct influence on Arte Povera movement.
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.
Canadian avant-garde artist Michael Snow has also been associated with the development of the artistic scene in the US. Part of the structural film movement, he is best remembered for his experimental film Wavelength, which was a 45-minute movie on the events taking place in a room.
Thomas Ruff is a German photographer who developed his own method of conceptual serial photography. After studying photography from 1977 to 1985 at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Ruff went on to establish himself as an acclaimed photographer. He then worked as a teacher at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, where he taught photography from 2000 to 2005.
Belgian-born Francis Alÿs first moved to Mexico as part of a team that helped the country rebuild itself after its destruction in the 1985 earthquakes. He later settled there and created artwork using a variety of media, from painting to video. The Collector is one of his best-known works.