20th Century Painters
Biographies of Twentieth Century Artists: Modernist/Post-Modernist Painting.

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Le Coquelicot (The Corn Poppy)
(1919) Toulouse-Lautrec Museum,
Albi. By Kees van Dongen.

EVOLUTION OF VISUAL ART
For details of art movements
and styles, see: History of Art.

20th Century Painters
For earlier painters (1700-1900), see: Famous Painters
For even earlier painters (1200-1700), see: Old Masters
For a complete index, see: A-Z of Artists

CONTENTS

Expressionist Painters
Fauves (1905-1907)
Die Brucke Group (1905-13) (The Bridge)
Der Blaue Reiter Group (1911-14) (Blue Rider)
Die Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) (1920s)
France - Austria - Britain - Belgium - Eastern Europe

Realist Painters
Ashcan School, New York (1900-1915)
Mexican Mural Painters (c.1920-40)
Socialist Realist Painters (c.1928-80)
Social Realism (1930-45)
American Scene Painting (c.1925-45)
Photorealism (1960s onwards)

Abstract Painters
Cubism (1908-14)
Futurism (1909-1914)
Orphism (1910-13)
Rayonism (1912-14)
Synchromism (1913-18)
Suprematism (1913-18)
Vorticism (c.1914-15)
Constructivism (c.1914-32)
De Stijl/Neo-Plasticism/Elementarism (1917-40)

Inter-War Painters (1919-39)
Metaphysical Painters (c.1913-20)
Dada Painters (1916-1924)
Precisionism (Cubist Realism) (1920s)
Surrealist Painters (1924 onwards)

Post-War Painters (1945-60)
Abstract Expressionism (Gesturalism)
Abstract Expressionism (Colour Field Painting)
Calligraphic Abstraction
Post-Painterly Abstraction
Hard Edge & Shaped Canvas
Art Informel (European Abstract Expressionism)
Lyrical Abstraction (European)
COBRA Group
Australian School (mid-20th Century)
Neo-Dada (1953-65) (Incl: Nouveau Realisme, France)
Op-Art/Kinetic Art (1950s, 1960s)
Pop Art (1960s onwards)
Minimalists (1960s, 1970s)
Graffiti Painters (1970s onwards)
London School (1970s)
Neo-Expressionism (1979 onwards)
Young British Artists (YBAs) (1990s)
20th Century Figurative Painters
Contemporary Chinese Painters (2000s)

 

 

Introduction

The 20th century was the stage for some of the greatest modern artists in history. Except for Impressionism, it witnessed all the influential movements of modern art (modernism), plus the more fragmented styles of contemporary art (postmodernism). From the most vivid colourism (Fauvism, Expressionism) to revolutionary intellectual painting (Cubism, Constructivism) and political art, (Entartete Kunst, Socialist Realism), the period gave rise to a wealth of schools, theories and differing aesthetics. Although the number of abstract painters increased substantially from the late 1900s onwards - in the form of Cubists, Suprematists, the De Stijl movement, Abstract Expressionism and the Minimalists - figurative artists continued to develop new techniques and methods. Mural painting enjoyed a Renaissance in Mexico; urban and social scenery were central to the Ashcan School, the Social Realists, Precisionists and Graffiti artists; while the Surrealists, the London School and the Photorealists all sought to express their own form of figuration. And of course there were the anti-art Dadaists to challenge all conventional aesthetics!

List of 20th Century Painters

Here is a quick reference guide to the most famous painters of the period. A few individuals are listed under more than one style.

Expressionist Painters

FAUVES (1905-1907)
Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
Founder of Fauvism and the leading colourist in modern art.
Albert Marquet (1875-1947)
Specialized in watery landscapes of River Seine, ports etc. Impressionist style.
Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958)
Self-taught colourist painter, influenced by Van Gogh and later Cezanne.
Raoul Dufy (1877-1953)
French Impressionist/Fauvist painter noted for his colourism & mural paintings.
Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)
Dutch Fauvist, member of Dresden Die Brucke expressionist group, portraitist.
Andre Derain (1880-1954)
Member of Ecole de Paris, friend of Fauvist painters like Matisse, De Vlaminck.
Othon Friesz (1879-1949)
Le Havre artist with loose, highly coloured style. Fauvism was his peak.
Georges Braque (1882-1963)
See listing under Cubism.
Louis Valtat (1869-1952)
Precursor of Fauvism, and explored the use of colour pigments long after.
Henri-Charles Manguin (1874-1949)
Friend of Matisse & Camoin, noted for landscapes, still lifes and nudes.
Jean Puy (1876-1960)
Exhibited at the original 1905 Salon d'Automne Fauves Show.
Charles Camoin (1879-1964)
Fauvist friend of Matisse from Moreau's class at Ecole des Beaux Arts.

DIE BRUCKE GROUP (1905-13) (The Bridge)
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)
Leader of Die Brucke, a group inspired by violent forms and Primitive art.
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884-1976)
Vivid colourist, noted for his woodcuts, landscapes and portrait art.
Erich Heckel (1883-1970)
Founding member of Die Brucke, noted for landscapes, nudes and woodcuts.
Emil Nolde (1867-1956)
Painter, printmaker (woodcuts) whose works exemplify German Expressionism.
Otto Mueller (1874-1930)
Close friend of Heckel, noted for his female nudes in landscape settings.
Max Pechstein (1881-1955)
Founding member of Berlin's Neue Sezession, influenced by Fauves.

DER BLAUE REITER GROUP (1911-14) (Blue Rider)
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
Russian colourist & abstract painter, theorist, founder of Der Blaue Reiter.
Alexei von Jawlensky (1864-1941)
The "Russian Matisse"; combined elements of icon painting and colourism.
Franz Marc (1880-1916)
German painter, explored expressive values of colour, inspired by Orphism.
Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Fantasy Expressionist famous for his vivid watercolours. Later a Surrealist.
Gabriele Munter (1877-1962)
German landscape painter and engraver; Kandinsky's partner.
August Macke (1887-1914).
Influenced by Delaunay; noted for his peaceful expressionist art.

DIE NEUE SACHLICHKEIT (New Objectivity) (1920s)
Otto Dix (1891-1969)
Powerful anti-war painter, satirized the corruption of Weimar Germany.
George Grosz (1893-1959)
Berlin Dadaist, expressionist painter, member of Neue Sachlichkeit.
Christian Schad (1894-1982)
Zurich Dadaist, noted for his photograms, Schadographs, portraits, nudes.
Max Beckmann (1884-1950)
Painter, printmaker; famous for his expressionist self-portraits and triptychs.
Conrad Felixmuller (1897-1977)
Berlin political painter, exhibited with Sturm Gallery.
Rudolph Schlichter (1890-1955)
Best known for his portrayals of Berlin street life, including portraits.
Albert Carel Willink (1900-83)
Dutch expressionist, known for his portraiture, and his subject paintings.

FRANCE
Leon Bakst (1866-1924)
Russian set/costume designer for Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes.
Alexander Benois (1870-1960)
Theatrical costume designer and set painter for the Ballets Russes.
Frank Kupka (1871-1957)
Czech-born painter, pioneer of abstract expressionism; influenced Delaunay.
Georges Rouault (1871-1958)
Painter, stained glass artist, known for his sombre but glowing colours.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
See his listing under Cubism. Leader of Ecole de Paris.
Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920)
Expressionist portrait painter, famous for his primitivist forms.
Marc Chagall (1887-1985)
Prolific, versatile Jewish-Russian painter, lithographer, stained glass artist.
Chaim Soutine (1893-1943)
Jewish-Russian expressionist painter, noted for figure painting.
AUSTRIA
Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)
Viennese Expressionist portrait artist and landscape painter.
Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
Genius at graphic art, specialized in disturbingly powerful nudes.
BRITAIN
L.S. Lowry (1887-1976)
English genre-painter and urban cityscape artist noted for "matchstick men".
BELGIUM
Constant Permeke (1886-1952)
One of the leading expressionist painters in Belgium.
Gustave de Smet (1877-1943)
Best known for his rural paintings reminiscent of Chagall.
EASTERN EUROPE
Emil Filla (1882-1953)
Czech painter, noted for his still lifes and Cubist-Expressionism.
Bela Czobel (1883-1976)
Hungarian painter, Nagybanya school, leader of avant-garde group The Eight.

Realist Painters

ASHCAN SCHOOL NEW YORK (1900-1915)
Arthur B. Davies (1862-1928)
Leader organizer of the 1913 Armory Show and a member of The Eight.
William J Glackens (1870-1938)
American realist painter, illustrator, co-founder of The Eight.
Robert Henri (1865-1929)
Modern painter, influenced by Eakins, he led The Eight and the Ashcan School.
Ernest Lawson (1873-1939)
Canadian-American landscape painter and member of The Eight.
George Luks (1867-1933)
American realist painter, noted for genre paintings of urban subjects.
Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924)
American Post-Impressionist artist noted for mosaic-like style of painting.
Everett Shinn (1876-1953)
Youngest member of The Eight, noted for paintings of the theatre and NYC.
John Sloan (1871-1951)
Famous for his neighborhood genre painting, captured through his window.
George Wesley Bellows (1882-1925)
Ashcan school urban painter noted for sports pictures, A Stag at Sharkey's.
Jerome Myers (1867-1940)
Specialized in painting immigrant life on New York's lower East Side.

MEXICAN MURAL PAINTING REVIVAL (c.1920-40)
Jose Clemente Orozco (1883-1949)
Classically trained Mexican wall painter.
Diego Rivera (1886-1957)
Greatest Mexican fresco mural painter, husband of Frida Kahlo.
David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974)
The most radical of the Mexican fresco muralists.

SOCIALIST REALIST PAINTERS (c.1928-80)
Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev (1878-1927)
Influenced by French Impressionism.
Isaak Israilevich Brodsky (1884-1939)
History paintings on Revolution and life of Lenin.
Georgy Georgievich Ryazhsky (1895-1952)
Painted inspirational pictures for the new 'Soviet' man.
Alexander Deineka (1899-1969)
Noted for Building New Factories (1926) Tretyakov Gallery Moscow.
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin (1878-1939)
His works include Death of a Commissar (1928) State Museum, St Petersburg.
Alexander Gerasimov (1881-1963)
History paintings like, Lenin on the Tribune (1930) Lenin Museum Moscow.
Semyon Chuikov (1902-80)
Landscapes: Daughter of Soviet Kirgizia (1948) Hermitage St Petersburg.
Arkady Plastov (1893-1972)
Noted for Threshing on Collective Farm (1949) Museum of Art Kiev.
Komar & Melamid (Vitaly Komar b.1943; Aleksander Melamid b.1945)
Contemporary realist duo famous for Socialist Realism with twist. Two of the best history painters of the Russian school.

SOCIAL REALISTS (1930-45)
Ben Shahn (1898-1969)
Noted for social realist frescoes, gouache panel paintings, illustrations.
Reginald Marsh (1898-1954)
Famous for his pictures of tawdry aspects of Coney Island, Bowery district.
Moses Soyer (1899-1974) and Raphael Soyer (1899-1987)
Russian-born artist twins, emigrated to America 1913, noted for Depression era pictures of working people.
William Gropper (1897-1977)
Communist cartoonist, noted for social realist drawings, caricatures.
Isabel Bishop (1902-88)
Noted for pictures of New York urban steet life, working class women.
Renato Guttuso (1912-87)
Italy's leading exponent of Social Realism, famous for Crucifixion (1941).

AMERICAN SCENE PAINTING (Regionalism) (c.1925-45)
Edward Hopper (1882-1967)
American realist, one of the best genre painters of the 20th century.
Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975)
Realist artist, exponent of American Scene Painting and Regionalism.
Grant Wood (1892-1942)
Realist painter from Iowa, noted for his mid-West landscapes and portraits.
Stuart Davis (1892-1964)
Best known for his avant-garde American Scene paintings.
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
American Saturday Evening Post illustrator, subject-painter and portraitist.
Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson) (1899-1974)
Noted for lovingly observed detail of her "old-timey" farm scenes.
Charles Burchfield (1893-1967)
Ohio watercolourist, noted for bleak small-town vernacular architecture.
Paul Sample (1896-1974)
Vermont artist associated with Regionalism.
John Steuart Curry (1897-1946)
Kansas painter, muralist with anecdotal style; depicted the violence of nature.
Peter Hurd (1904-84)
New Mexico-based painter of the Regionalist movement.
Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009)
Tempera painter and watercolourist from Pennsylvania.

PHOTOREALISM - SUPERREALISM (1960s onwards)
Richard Estes (b.1932)
US superrealist painter of urban architecture.
Chuck Close (b.1940)
Leader of American photorealism style, noted for gigantic self-portraits.
Audrey Flack (b.1931)
Noted for her vanitas still lifes.
Howard Kanovitz (1929-2009)
His works have the illusion of using figurative cut-outs
Ralph Goings (b.1928)
Achieved a crystal clear style of illusionism by using an airbrush.
Robert Bechtle (b.1932)
Large scale paintings of suburban society.
Robert Cottingham (b.1935)
Best known for close-ups of advertising and shop signs.
David Parrish (b.1939)
Painted motorbikes from slide-photos.
John Doherty (b.1940)
Leading Irish hyperrealist painter.
Don Eddy (b.1944)
Specializes in car bodies and shop windows.

Abstract Painters

CUBISM (1908-14)
Georges Braque
(1882-1963)
Co-founder of Analytical and Synthetic Cubism.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Co-founder of Cubism, leading expressionist-style artist of 20th century.
Juan Gris (1887-1927)
One of the great Cubist painters and the movement's leading theorist.
Fernand Leger (1881-1955)
Fourth Cubist, socialist painter, muralist, stained glass and textile artist.
Albert Gleizes (1881-1953)
French Cubist, important theoretician, founding member of Section d'Or group.
Emil Filla (1882-1953)
Leading Czech Cubist painter.
Jean Metzinger (1883-1957)
Cubist painter, co-author of Du Cubisme, founder member of Section d'Or.
Roger de la Fresnaye (1885-1925)
Member of Section d'Or, Puteaux Group, noted for decorative Cubism.
Andre Lhote (1885-1962)
Cubist painter, sculptor, teacher, co-founder of Nouvelle Revue Francaise.
Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956)
German-American Cubist painter, illustrator.
Marsden Hartley (1877-1943)
American painter, best known for abstract Cubist/Expressionist war portraits.
Louis Marcoussis (Ludwig Markus) (1878-1941)
Polish-French painter, printmaker, member of Cubist avant-garde in Paris.

FUTURISM (1909-1914)
Giacomo Balla (1871-1958)
Turin-born Futurist leader, noted for Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash.
Carlo Carra (1881-1966)
See listing under Metaphysical Painting.
Gino Severini (1883-1966)
Leading Futurist, associated with Neo-Classicism.
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944)
Author of the Futurist Manifesto (1908).
David Burlyuk (1882-1967)
Father of Russian Futurism.

ORPHISM (Orphic Cubism) (1910-13)
Robert Delaunay (1885-1941)
Abstract painter, founder of Orphism (Orphic Cubism) or Simultanism.
Sonia Delaunay-Terk (1885-1979)
Applied technique to textiles, clothes, bookbinding as well as painting.

RAYONISM (1912-14)
Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962)
Painter, noted for Neo-Primitivism, Cubo-Futurism/Rayonism, ballet-set design.
Mikhail Larionov (1881-1964)
Russian painter, set designer, inventor of Rayonism, husband of Goncharova.

SYNCHROMISM (1913-18)
Morgan Russell (1883-1953)
American abstract painter, exhibited Synchromist paintings at Armory Show.
Stanton MacDonald-Wright (1890-1973)
Co-founder of Synchromism & Forum Exhibition of American Modernists, NYC.

SUPREMATISM (1913-18)
Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935)
Founder of abstract style known as Suprematism.
El Lissitzky (1890-1941)
Abstract painter, architect, designer, book illustrator and poster artist.
NOTE: The Supremus group included: Liubov Popova, Aleksandra Ekster, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Ivan Kliun, Olga Rozanova, Nina Genke, Ivan Puni, Ksenia Boguslavskaya and others who at this time worked in Verbovka Village Folk Centre.

VORTICISM (c.1914-15)
(Percy) Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)
Founder of Vorticism, Group X, Rebel Art Centre.
CRW Nevinson (1889-1946)
Noted for paintings of killing machines and robotic soldiers.
David Bomberg (1890-1957)
Famous Slade School of Art graduate.

CONSTRUCTIVISM (c.1914-32)
Vladimir Tatlin (1885-1953)
Founder of Constructivism, designed Monument to the Third International.
Lyubov Popova (1889-1924)
Suprematist and Constructivist artist, influenced by Cubo-Futurism.
El Lissitzky (1890-1941)
Abstract painter, architect, designer, book illustrator and poster artist.
Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956)
Painter, graphic designer, photomontage artist, married to Varvara Stepanova.
Varvara Stepanova (1894-1958)
Constructivist artist, theatre and textile designer.
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946)
Experimental artist/designer, noted for kinetic art, Bauhaus teaching.

DE STIJL/NEO-PLASTICISM/ELEMENTARISM (1917-40)
Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)
Member of De Stijl movement. One of the pioneer abstract painters.
Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931)
Abstract artist; painter, designer. Leading member of Dutch De Stijl group.
Auguste Herbin (1882-1960)
Founder member of Abstraction-Creation; noted for coloured geometric works.
Jean Helion (1904-87)
Best-known for three-dimensional, Constructivist-style geometric forms.
Max Bill (1908-94)
Noted for his geometric concrete art, flat colours.
Otto Freundlich (1878-1943)
Cubist painter, best known for geometric, highly coloured abstract pictures.

Painters in the Inter-War Years (1919-39)

METAPHYSICAL PAINTING (Pittura Metafisica) (c.1913-20)
Giorgio De Chirico (1888-1978)
Italian artist, co-inventor with Carlo Carra of Pittura Metafisica.
Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964)
Minimalist still life painter; one of the best still life painters of the modern era.
Carlo Carra (1881-1966)
Ex-Futurist, adopted figurative style of art, loaded with mystery.

DADA PAINTERS (1916-1924)
Francis Picabia (1879-1953)
Energetic Cubist founder of Paris Dada, member of Surrealism.
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)
Pioneer of Dada and Object Art or Junk Art, noted for 'readymades'.
Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948)
German Dada artist noted for his "Merz" collage art, multi-media "Merzbau".
Jean (Hans) Arp (1887-1966)
French painter/sculptor; co-founder of Dada Zurich 1916.
Hans Richter (1888-1976)
German painter, sculptor, film-maker; member of Zurich Dada.
Raoul Hausmann (1886-1971)
Czech painter, co-founder of Berlin Dada 1918, created photomontage.
John Heartfield (Helmut Herzfelde) (1891-1968)
Berlin Dadaist famous for militant anti-Nazi art, communist photomontages.

PRECISIONISM (or Cubist Realism, 1920s)
Charles Demuth (1883-1935)
Leading Precisionist of the 1920s and 1930s; also invented poster-portraits.
Charles Sheeler (1883-1965)
Romantic painter, master photographer, snapped Ford's River Rouge car plant.
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)
Painted sharp urban landscapes, as well as flowers; wife of Alfred Stieglitz.
George Ault (1891-1948)
Best known for his night scenes of industry and industrial architecture.
Ralston Crawford (1906-78)
Best known for sharp portrayals of factories, bridges, shipyards.
Niles Spencer (1893-1952)
Noted for Precisionist-style urban landscapes, but with looser brushwork.
See also: Precisionism.

SURREALIST PAINTERS (1924 onwards)
Andre Breton (1896-1966)
Writer and chief theoretician and spokesman of the Surrealism movement.
Paul Nash (1889-1946)
Leader of English surrealism; War Artist, watercolourist, book illustrator.
Man Ray (1890-1976)
Dada artist, active in Paris; noted for Surrealist photography & junk art.
Max Ernst (1891-1976)
Ex-Dada artist, painter, sculptor, inventor of frottage and decalcomania.
Joan Miro (1893-1983)
Spanish surrealist painter: ceramicist, printmaker and stained glass artist.
Andre Masson (1896-1987)
Skilled draftsman, famous for his use of automatism and automatic drawing.
Paul Delvaux (1897-1994)
Surrealist painter, famous for his Magic Realism and female nudes.
Rene Magritte (1898-1967)
Belgian classical painter, member of Magic Realism and Surrealism movements.
Yves Tanguy (1900-55)
French abstract painter, married to the American Surrealist Kay Sage.
Hans Bellmer (1902-75)
Polish-French Surrealist, best known for disturbing doll constructions.
Salvador Dali (1904-89)
Spanish painter, one of the most famous Surrealist artists.
Edward Burra (1905-76)
British Surrealist who depicted the dreamland of the subconscious.
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
Mexican surrealist self portraitist, wife of Diego Rivera.
Balthus (Balthazar Klossowski de Rola) (1908-2001)
Surrealist-style figurative painter, best known for pictures of young girls.
Carel Weight (1908-97)
Introduces psychological tension into his works, like De Chirico/Magritte.
Francis Bacon (1909-92)
The world's most successful post-war contemporary artist, noted for his grotesque imagery.
Alex Colville (1920-2013)
Canada's foremost exponent of Magic Realism.
Paula Rego (b.1935)
Famous for mysterious surreal, sinister pictures reminiscent of De Chirico.

Post-War Painters (1945-60)

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM (GESTURALISM)
Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)
German-American expressionist, art teacher; pioneer of action painting.
Adolph Gottlieb (1903-74)
Abstract Surrealist painter, noted for his Pictographs, Landscapes, Bursts.
Arshile Gorky (1904-48)
Last surrealist, first abstract expressionist; influenced De Kooning.
Willem De Kooning (1904-97)
Noted for rough gesturalist brushwork and semi-abstract "Woman" series.
Lee Krasner (1908-84)
Wife of Jackson Pollock; her drip-paintings predated his 'action-painting'.
Franz Kline (1910-1962)
Famous for gestural action-painting & calligraphic black-and-white pictures.
Jackson Pollock (1912-56)
Founder of 'action-painting', variant of Abstract Expressionism in USA.
William Baziotes (1912-63)
Decorative biomorphic abstracts with soft misty brushwork and tonal harmony.
Robert Motherwell (1915-91)
Painter, collagist, lithographer, famous for Elegy to the Spanish Republic.
Richard Diebenkorn (1922-93)
Californian angst-free expressionist; made colourful, abstract landscapes.
Joan Mitchell (1926-92)
Active in Paris, her abstract works unusually drew inspiration from nature.

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM (COLOUR FIELD PAINTING)
Mark Rothko (1903-70)
Latvian-American abstract painter, co-founder of Colour Field painting.
Clyfford Still (1904-1980)
American artist, co-founder with Rothko/Newman of Colour Field painting.
Barnett Newman (1905-70)
Colour Field Painter. Pioneer influence on Post-Painterly Abstraction.
Josef Albers (1888-1976)
Bauhaus teacher, painter noted for Homage to the Square colourist series.

CALLIGRAPHIC ABSTRACTION
Mark Tobey (1890-1976)
Noted for his White Writing, a form of calligraphic gesturalism; tachisme art.
Philip Guston (1913-80)
Inventor of 'Abstract Impressionism'; later switched to Neo-Expressionism.
Cy Twombly (b.1928)
Active in Italy, made graffiti-style, calligraphic-like drawings/paintings.

POST-PAINTERLY ABSTRACTION
Morris Louis (1912-62)
Noted for his paint-pouring techniques focusing on light and colour.
Jules Olitski (1922-2007)
Leading PPA member; stained and sprayed his canvases with acrylic paint.
Helen Frankenthaler (b.1928)
Founder of colour stain painting, a variant of drip-painting.
Sean Scully (b.1945)
Renowned for large-scale elemental shapes.

HARD EDGE & SHAPED CANVAS
Kenneth Noland (b.1924)
Associated with Hard Edge Painting, Minimalism & Post-Painterly Abstraction.
Frank Stella (b.1936)
Minimalist, Hard-Edge painter, noted for his shaped canvases and printmaking.
Ellsworth Kelly (b.1923)
Main concern has been the internal relationship between colour and form.

ART INFORMEL PAINTERS (European Abstract Expressionism)
Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985)
French experimental painter, portraitist, Art Brut collector.
Hans Hartung (1904-89)
Art Informel pioneer, noted for his gesturalism and ripped canvases.
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva (1908-92)
Portuguese-French abstract expressionist artist.
Wols: Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze (1913-51)
German painter, member of Art Informel, and Tachisme.
Pierre Soulages (b.1919)
French Art Informel painter, leading exponent of Tachisme.
Georges Mathieu (1921-2012)
Pioneer of Lyrical Abstraction style of French abstract art.
Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002)
Canadian painter known for his all-over gestural abstracts.
Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)
Best-known for slashed canvases.
Alberto Burri (1915-95)
Matter painter, famous for pretty works using sacking and/or collage.
Antoni Tapies (1923-2012)
Spanish abstract artist; mixed media Matter painting.

LYRICAL ABSTRACTION (European)
Maurice Esteve (1904-2001)
Lyrical abstraction painting, with interlocking shapes, luminous colour.
Jean Bazaine (1904-2001)
Lyrical abstractionist painter noted for free style.
Alfred Manessier (1911-93)
Lyrical abstractionist painter, stained glass artist; mystical abstracts.
Nicolas de Stael (1914-1955)
Russian-French abstract painter noted for his colourism & Lyrical Abstraction.
Patrick Heron (1920-99)
Abstract paintings saturated with blots of brilliant colour.
Sam Francis (1923-1994)
American painter, member of Tachisme & Lyrical Abstraction movements.

COBRA GROUP
Asger Jorn (1914-73)
Danish gesturalist painter, founder of COBRA group, linked to Art Informel.
Karel Appel (1921-2006)
Dutch abstract painter, gesturalist; member of COBRA & Art Informel.
Carl-Henning Pedersen (1913-2007)
Danish founder of COBRA, noted for pictures of palaces, princesses, demons.
Corneille (Corneille Beverloo) (b.1922)
Famous for child-like COBRA imagery, brilliant colour, vigorous brushwork.
Pierre Alechinsky (b.1927)
Belgian COBRA member, noted for calligraphic abstract paintings.

AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL (Mid-20th Century)
Russell Drysdale (1912-81)
Famous melancholic-style Australian expressionist/surrealist 'bush painter'.
Sidney Nolan (1917-92)
Celebrated Australian painter, noted for pictures of bushranger Ned Kelly.

NEO-DADA - NOUVEAU REALISME (1953-65)
Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008)
Noted for his "Combines", collages, assemblages and conceptualism.
Jasper Johns (b.1930)
Painter, sculptor, lithographer, collage & multi-media artist; Neo-Dada.
Larry Rivers (1923-2002)
De Kooning + collage + Pop Art.
Yves Klein (1928-62)
Pioneer of contemporary performance art, patented the colour International Klein Blue (IKB) and founded Anthropometry painting. Refreshingly original, in the Dada tradition, and one of the first authentic postmodernist artists.
Jiro Yoshihara (1905-72)
Abstract painter, founder of radical, Dadaist Japanese Gutai Group in Osaka.

OP-ART - KINETIC ART (1950s, 1960s)
Victor Vasarely (1906-1997)
Hungarian painter, graphic designer; founder of Op-Art, explored Kineticism.
Bridget Riley (b.1931)
Leader of British Op-Art movement, a form of geometric abstract art.
Richard Anuszkiewicz (b.1930)
Leading US Optical artist, focuses on radiating expanses of lines.
Peter Sedgley (b.1930)
British Op artist; highly inventive use of lights and colours.
Nicholas Schoffer (1912-80)
Theorist of Kinetic Art, spatiodynamism, luminodynamism, chronodynamism.
Jesus Raphael Soto (1923-2005)
Used coloured dots to explore optical reflectivity of geometric forms.
Francois Morellet (b.1926)
Known for mathematical concrete art, studied optics and movement.

POP ART (1960s onwards)
Roy Lichtenstein (1923-97)
Creator of comic-strip style, benday dot paintings, like "Wham!"
Andy Warhol (1928-87)
Founder of Pop-Art movement, noted for screenprints & popular imagery.
Robert Indiana (b.1928)
Uses digits, emblems and words as central motifs.
David Hockney (b.1937)
English Pop artist, noted for portraits, etchings and photo-collages.
RB Kitaj (1932-2007)
American Pop artist active in England.
Peter Blake (b.1932)
Best known for paintings of popular culture in a naive style.
James Rosenquist (b.1933)
Billboard painter who became an American Pop artist.
Jim Dine (b.1935)
Abstract expressionist canvases with attachments of a personal connection.
Ed Ruscha (b.1937)
Key figure in Californian Pop Art movement in the 1960s.
Sigmar Polke (b.1941)
German painter, made inventive, cool, humorous Contemporary Pop Art.

MINIMALISTS (1960s, 1970s)
Agnes Martin (1912-2004)
American Minimalist painter; hand-drawn pencil grids on gesso, acrylics/oils.
Ad Reinhardt (1913-67)
Influenced by Josef Albers, he turned to minimalist monochromatic works.
Robert Ryman (b.1930)
Noted for impastoed canvases with geometric areas of colour.
Robert Morris (b.1931)
Minimalist/ expressionist painter, noted for 1980s Firestorm series.

GRAFFITI PAINTERS (1970s onwards)
Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-88)
New York graffiti artist, noted for his urban neo-expressionism.
Banksy (b.1973-4)
Postmodernist graffiti stencil painter, street sculptor, installation artist.
Keith Haring (1958-90)
New York graffiti artist, noted for interacting animal/human figures.

LONDON SCHOOL (1970s)
Frank Auerbach (b.1931)
British semi-abstract portrait painter, noted for heavily impastoed paintings.
Leon Kossoff (b.1926)
Jewish-British expressionist painter of London scenes.
RB Kitaj (1932-2007)
See listing under Pop Art.
Gillian Ayres (b.1930)
Associated with Tachiste movement, for her emotional colour abstracts.
Howard Hodgkin (b.1932)
Small abstracts with sumptuous colours.

NEO-EXPRESSIONISM (1979 onwards)
Georg Baselitz (b.1938)
German Neo-Expressionist painter, famous for his upside down paintings.
Anselm Kiefer (b.1945)
Creates large-scale, heavily textured paintings on Holocaust & German history.
Jorg Immendorf (b.1945)
Paints genre paintings populated by military, political, deviant figures.
Rainer Fetting (b.1949)
Founder of Neue Wilden, noted for postmodernist expressionist works.

YOUNG BRITISH ARTISTS (YBAs) (1990s)
Tracey Emin (b.1963)
British postmodernist artist, noted for shocking feminist pictures.
Damien Hirst (b.1965)
Known for his coloured spot paintings.
Jenny Saville (b.1970)
Famous for unsentimental obese nudes.
Peter Davies (b.1970)
Noted for his geometric abstract paintings, populated with minute motifs.
Chris Ofili (b.1968)
Turner Prize Winner; produces highly coloured contemporary ethnic paintings.

20TH CENTURY FIGURATIVE PAINTERS
Graham Sutherland (1903-80)
Noted for his portraits, religious painting and tapestry art.
Lucian Freud (1922-2011)
British realist - one of the best portrait artists of the modern era.
Fernando Botero (b.1932)
Columbian artist, leading South American painter noted for obese figures.
Jack Vettriano (b.1951)
Populist British genre-painter, noted for The Singing Butler.

CONTEMPORARY CHINESE PAINTERS
Zhang Xiaogang (b.1958)
Yunnan Surrealist portrait painter.
Zeng Fanzhi (b.1964)
Wuhan painter noted for his figure painting, portraits.
Yue Minjun (b.1962)
Heilongjiang artist, noted for Expressionist figurative paintings.
Liu Xiaodong (b.1963)
Contemporary Chinese painter from Liaoning.
Yan Pei-Ming (b.1960)
Shanghai portrait painter.
Chen Yifei (b.1946)
Zhejing contemporary artist.
Fang Lijun (b.1963)
Contemporary Chinese figure painter from Hebei.
Zhou Chunya (b.1955)
Sichuan portrait artist.

• For more about 20th century painting, see: Homepage.


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