100 Years of Amazing Artists

Over the last century we have been lucky to witness the beautiful artwork of some amazing and truly talented artists. Whether you like impressionism, expressionism, cubism or pop art, there is certainly a style of art to lend itself to all tastes. In this article guest author Aaron Hopkins shares with you our five top inspirational artists of the last hundred years, explaining why they have had such an influence on the art scene today.

Five of the most influential artists over the past 100 years

Picasso by sanfamedia.com on flickr

Guernica is one of Picasso’s most famous paintings.

Picasso (1881 ~ 1973)

Pablo Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the twentieth century. He was a Spanish painter, known for co-founding the Cubist movement. His most famous works of art include Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and Guernica, the latter being a portrayal of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

Jackson Pollock (1912 ~ 1956)

Jackson Pollock was an influential American painter, known for being at the forefront of the abstract expressionist movement. His most famous art work was produced between 1947 and 1950, just six years before his untimely death. Jackson Pollock had a unique style of drip painting, which set him apart from many other artists at the time.

Monet by StephenCarlile on flickr

Monet in the Musée de l’Orangerie

Claude Monet (1840 ~ 1926)

Claude Monet was the founder of French impressionist painting. The term ‘impressionism’ actually came from the title of his painting ‘Impression, soleil levant.’ Monet was known for his unique style of painting and the complicated techniques he used to create beautiful masterpieces including the infamous ‘Water Lilies.’ His work is immediately recognizable and considered to be some of the most famous art of the twentieth century.

Andy Warhol (1928 ~ 1987)

Andy Warhol was a leading figure in the pop art movement. He had a huge influence on other American artists, as well as the art scene in general. Warhol explored the relationship between the artists’ expression, celebrity culture and advertisement through is work. He is often described as a controversial artist and was a pioneer of computer-generated art. His studio, known as ‘The Factory’ was a general meeting place that bought together various social groups from intellectuals to drag queens, celebrities and socialites.

Flag by Jasper Johns by eschipul on flickr

‘Flag’ is a famous painting by American contemporary artist, Jasper Johns.

Jasper Johns (Born in 1930)

Jasper Johns is the last living legend of the early Pop Art scene. He is best known for his painting ‘Flag’ which he painted after having a dream about the American flag. Although many people class Johns as a pop artist, he does not describe himself this way, even though many of his subject matters are image or objects from popular culture. Johns could also be described as a neo-dadaist as he tends to create meaning through the use of conventional symbols in his artwork.

Other influences on art over the century

Many of the artists mentioned above have had a huge influence on the art scene today. Changing social attitudes and developments in technology have also had a big impact on art. Over the last one hundred years social attitudes have changed dramatically. Many of the themes explored in art today would have once been considered blasphemous or obscene. An example of this is the way in which women and homosexuality are now portrayed in artwork.

The technology we have access to today has re-shaped and re-defined art. Things like animation, computer generated design and photography all play important roles in contemporary art. They provide us with something different to the traditional artwork we have been so used to seeing. In a way you could say they make art more accessible to the younger generations of today. Although the subject matters and techniques for creating the art may be different, many of today’s artists still draw inspiration from the influential artists named in this article.

Article contributed by guest author Aaron Hopkins.

Images from Flickr.com used under the Creative Commons license.  Image Credits: sanfamedia.com, StephenCarlile, and eschipul.

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