The 10 Most Influential Modern Artists

  1. Hans Hartung (1904-1989) was a French/German modern painter. With the triumph of Nazism, he left Germany in 1932 and, after several years passed in the Balearic Islands (where his art became more “instinctive”), in 1935 he moved to Paris, knowing Mondrian and Kandinsky and exhibiting his work at the “Salon des Indépendants. He spent the years of World War II in the French Foreign Legion, reporting a deep wound in 1944, with leg amputation. He became a French citizen in 1946. His painting is made of extreme acts, translated into large repeated “scratching” signs. Hans Hartung is recognized as a master of Informal modern Art.

    Hans Hartung (1904-1989), Sans titre. ©Christie’s
  2. After leaving Russia at the age of 10, Mark Rothko (1903-1970) lived in Portland, Oregon, with his family. Rothko then lived in New York in 1925, and attended Yale University leaving it without graduating. In New York he came into contact with all the artists that formed in the forties and fifties the so-called “New York School.” His first art showed an inclination towards contemporary Abstractionism, because he was attracted by Surrealism and Primitivism. In 1935, Mark Rothko was one of the founders of “The Ten,” directed mainly to research in the field of Abstract – Expressionism Movement.

    Mark Rothko, Orange, Red, Yellow. 1961
    Mark Rothko, Orange, Red, Yellow. 1961 ©markrothko.org
  3. David Hockney (born 1937) is a British artist who lives in California since the mid-sixties. Hockney was influenced by Bacon, studied and known in England, and he was recognized as one of the greatest Pop Art painters, exploring the Polaroid camera as a means for making art. With his Polaroid camera Hockney created works formed by the combination of dozens of Polaroid photographs then assembled to reconstitute the subject, giving the idea of a Cubist work.

    David Hockney-Arranged Felled Trees
    David Hockney, Arranged Felled Trees.©Sotheby’s
  4. Keith Haring (1958-1990), after studying Graphic Design in Pittsburgh, moved to New York in 1978, where attended the School of Visual Arts. But his scope was the road and the metro because these were the years in which graffiti art as a phenomenon exploded. During the 80s in Tokyo he met for the first time Andy Warhol. Keith Haring died of AIDS, leaving an indelible mark on painting, and contemporary modern art. The American critics placed him among the most important artists of the Pop Art Movement.

    Keith Haring-1958–1990- Untitled
    Keith Haring, Untitled. ©Christie’s
  5. Roberto Sebastian Matta Echaurren (1911-2002) was one of the most important artists of international Surrealism. He studied architecture in Santiago and moved to Paris to work in the studio of Le Corbusier. In 1936, he moved to London where he joined Walter Gropius and had the opportunity to come to know the British sculptor Henry Moore. In 1948 he returned to Paris and then stayed in Rome for a year. His post-war  modern art is populated by anthropomorphic forms characterized by a kind of frenzy which refers to the fast-paced technology.

    Roberto Sebastian Matta Echaurren,I Want to See It to Believe It.©Christie’s
  6. César Baldaccini (called César) was born in Marseille in 1921 from Italian parents who immigrated in the south of France in search of work. He studied at the” Ecole des Beaux-Arts” in Marseille from 1935 to 1939, then at the “Ecole des Beaux-Arts” in Paris. He settled permanently in the French capital from 1943, and had contacts with the local avant-garde circles. However, Cesar rejected all the rules with a search based on the open relationship with nature and the materials, and his art was characterized by fabulous animal sculptures with a curious taste for horror. The modern artist with his work is present in all the great museums of the world.

    César Baldaccini-Compression d'orfèvrerie
    César Baldaccini,Compression d’orfèvrerie.
  7. Louise Bourgeois ( 1911-2010), after spending his childhood in Paris, studied with Fernand Léger in 1938, and then moved to New York with her husband, the art historian Robert Goldwater. Then she began working as a sculpture, and in the United States comes into contact with the French surrealists, almost all escaped from France. Louise Bourgeois used a variety of materials such as wood, plaster, bronze and marble. The artist, in 1999, won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale, and she is currently considered one the most important American sculptor.

    Louise Bourgeois-Bourgeois-Spider
    Louise Bourgeois,Spider.©ArtNews
  8. Arman [Fernandez] was born in Nice in 1928. He studied at the School of Decorative Arts in Nice and at the “Ecole du Louvre” in Paris. Arman’s art comes from the Dadaism and today he is among the early leaders of the “New Realism”; in fact, historically, the term “Dada” implies a “primeval” relation to the reality of the world.

    Arman Fernandez- Yang and Bang- 1979
    Arman Fernandez, Yang and Bang. 1979
  9. Allen Jones (born 1937) is a English painter. He studied at the Royal College of London, and is one of the leading figures in British pop art. Allen Jones is indubitably the artist creator of fantastic pieces of daily life, created in Dynamic compositions with vivid colours and free associations.

    First Step-1966- Allen Jones
    Allen Jones, First Step. © Allen Jones
  10. John Armleder was born in Geneva in 1948 and studied at the “Ecole des Beaux-Arts” in his hometown. He Participated in activities of the Fluxus group. In the sixties, in collaboration with his group, he realized performances, actions, happenings, and installations. John Armleder lives and works in Geneva and New York. His painting is often inspired by modern, abstract art, with sculptures formed by furniture and other items or materials provided. He is present in all the museums of the world.

     John Armleder Dairy Art Centre,
    Installation view of John Armleder at Dairy Art Centre. Photo ©Paul Raeside


Amy Jewell

Amy Jewell

Contributor at The Huffington Post
Amy, a former contributor to The HuffingtonPost UK, is a completely clueless first time mum, documenting the highs and lows as she stumbles through parenthood. She blogs about the moments that make her laugh and cry at Love From Clueless Mum and is a regular contributor for Wonder Magazine.
Amy Jewell

Written by Amy Jewell

Amy Jewell

Amy, a former contributor to The HuffingtonPost UK, is a completely clueless first time mum, documenting the highs and lows as she stumbles through parenthood. She blogs about the moments that make her laugh and cry at Love From Clueless Mum and is a regular contributor for Wonder Magazine.

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