Top 10 most wanted artists in 2021 (Part II)
No. 6 - Georg Baselitz
German painter, printmaker, and sculptor Georg Baselitz (born 23 January 1938) is a postwar artist often recognized as a Neoexpressionist. In 1969 he began painting his subjects upside down in an effort to overcome the representational, content-driven character of his earlier work and stress the artifice of painting. He was particularly interested in the human figure and his artworks convey chaotic energy which he doesn’t try to escape: “I was born into a destroyed order, a destroyed landscape, a destroyed people, a destroyed society.”
Author’s pick: “Schlafzimmer (Bedroom),” 1975. The upside-down method confuses the eye at first, forcing you to pay attention to the bright colors and the general chaos, but once you slowly accommodate yourself to the view – the details start appearing. Genius!
No. 5 - Bruce Nauman
Bruce Nauman (born December 6, 1941) is an American sculpturer and artist. His practice spans a broad range of media including sculpture, photography, neon, video, drawing, printmaking, and performance. It’s challenging to recognize his artworks due to his highly eclectic style, but you may recognize him from his playful installations of neon-light letters or human figures on the wall. He embraced minimalism and looked for answers to questions like “What is art?.. And what can it become?” (to him – art is a haphazard system of codes and signs, just like any other form of communication).
Author’s pick: “One Hundred Live and Die”, 1984. Ah, the existential questions never fail to capture us. It’s fresh, it’s cheeky and it captures you for some reading and contemplation!
No. 4 - Joseph Beuys
Joseph Beuys (12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986)) was a German Fluxus, happening and performance artist. He didn’t shy away from political, debatable topics as well as conversations about ecology and morality with the spectator. Key features I would exclude being his conceptualism and activist-driven nature.
Author’s pick: “The Pack,” 1969. Tate writes: This strongly autobiographical work refers directly to Beuys’s plane crash over the Crimea during the Second World War. He often described being rescued by a band of Tartars who coated his body with fat and wrapped him in felt. (source)
No.3 - Valie Export
Valie Export (born May 17, 1940) is an Austrian artist. Her artistic work includes video installations, body performances, expanded cinema, computer animations, photography, etc. Her best known artworks are in fact, performances, as she was a vivid feminist and activist, appearing in public spaces as a floor-matt, part of the sidewalk, or a piece of house construction, firmly projecting the women status and hard work in this society.
Author’s pick: “Identity Transfer 1”, 1968. Loud, clear, and heartbreaking.
No. 2 - Gerhard Richter
Gerhard Richter (born 9 February 1932) is a German visual artist. Stemming from capitalist realism, Richter created mostly abstract as well as photorealistic paintings, he also has done some photography. He is ofetn regarded as one of the most important contemporary German artists with some of the most expensive artworks ever sold on auctions. His style is very diverse; from topics to mediums, he didn’t commit to any of them and yet he was a master of many.
“I don’t mistrust reality, of which I know next to nothing. I mistrust the picture of reality conveyed to us by our senses, which is imperfect and circumscribed.”,- G. Richter
Author’s pick: Gerard Richter, Frau Marlow (Mrs Marlow), 1964. This photomanipulation is one of the artworks that exposes his edginess and critical mind.
No. 1 - Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist, film director, producer, and a leading figure in Pop art. He remains the most wanted artist in 2021 and the reason for that may be the relevance of his artwork topics, which has been emerging more than ever. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, mass media advertising, and celebrity culture. You will easily recognize his artworks by bright painted (some of them appear to be negatives) images of Marilyn Monroe or Campbell’s tomato soup can. According to MoMa, Warhol justifies the repetition of an image: “The more you look at the same exact thing, the more the meaning goes away, and the better and emptier you feel.” (source)
Author’s pick: “Campbell’s Soup Cans” 1962. It is well-known and iconic, and still to this day – fun to observe and experience the meaning fade away… Or perhaps appear clearer than ever?
This is a list inspired by artfacts.net and their sophisticated artist ranking calculation.
Thank you for reading!
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