Los 10 Pintores Más Importantes del Siglo XXI

In the dynamic and ever-changing contemporary art scene, a host of talented painters are making their indelible mark on the 21st century. Through experimentation and the reinvention of techniques and styles, these 10 visionaries have transcended the barriers of conventional art, challenging and delighting their audience in equal measure.

In this article, we'll explore the fascinating universe of these master brush painters of our modern age, looking at their unique artistic styles and how they've influenced the art world.

Join us on this chromatic journey as we unravel the essence of these fantastic creators who have marked a before and after in the history of art in the 21st century.

KUADROS presents you with the list of the 10 most important painters of the 21st century:

No. 1. Gerhard Richter

Abstract Painting 809-1 - Gerhard Richter


Gerhard Richter-Abstract Painting 809-1. This work, created in 1994, is one of Richter's best-known abstract paintings. "Abstraktes Bild (809-1)" represents the artist's ability to mix colors and textures, creating a rich and visually stimulating composition. The work is a prominent example of Richter's approach to abstraction and his "scraping" technique in which he uses a palette knife or scraper to apply and remove layers of paint, creating striking and unique effects.

This German painter has been recognized for his ability to work in different genres and techniques, from realism to abstraction. His works are considered as a reflection on memory and history.

Although his career began in the 20th century, his impact and influence have remained strong and relevant in the 21st century. His works cover a wide range of styles and techniques, from photorealism to abstraction, which demonstrates his versatility and creative capacity.

Richter is known for his ability to fuse elements of figurative and abstract art, allowing him to explore and question the limits of painting. His unique approach to experimenting with techniques and materials, such as the use of spatulas and scrapes, has been a major influence on contemporary art. In addition, his ability to address political, historical and social issues in his work makes him a benchmark in the art scene.

One of his signature styles is "photographic painting," in which he uses photographs as the basis for his works, manipulating them through blurs, distortions, and overlays. This style has been a powerful tool for exploring themes such as memory, perception, and the relationship between reality and representation in art.

In terms of his influence, many modern artists have adopted and adapted elements of Richter's work, demonstrating his lasting impact on the art world. His legacy can be seen in the generations of artists who have followed in his footsteps, exploring new ways of approaching painting and pushing the boundaries of creativity.

Although Gerhard Richter is already an established and aging artist, it is likely that he will continue to be a reference in the art world for years to come. His works will continue to be studied, inspired, and admired, and we may see retrospective exhibitions and new research that delve into his legacy and the connections between his various stages and artistic styles. Richter has left an indelible mark on the history of contemporary art, and his influence will endure well beyond his own life and career.

Betty (1988) - Gerhard Richter
Gerhard Richter - Betty (1988) (it's a painting, not a photo). This work is a portrait of Richter's teenage daughter, Betty. In the painting, Betty is shown looking back over her shoulder, in a pensive and enigmatic pose. Richter's technique in "Betty" combines elements of photorealism and abstract painting, with precise details in Betty's figure juxtaposed with blurred and out-of-focus areas in the background. This work is an excellent example of Richter's ability to explore the tensions between representation and abstraction in his work.

 

No. 2. Peter Doig

White Canoe - Peter Doig
Peter Doig - White Canoe. This painting shows a lone canoe floating on a calm lake, surrounded by greenery and reflections in the water. "White Canoe" is a leading example of Doig's ability to capture atmosphere and mystery in his landscape paintings. The work combines elements of nature with references to popular culture and cinema, creating an enigmatic and evocative landscape that has become iconic in Doig's work.

This Scottish-born but Canadian-raised painter has been praised for his ability to create evocative and mysterious images through paint, often drawing on landscapes and scenes from everyday life, memory and imagination.

Doig is characterized by his ability to mix elements of landscape with a dreamlike and mysterious feeling, creating evocative compositions with great visual power. His paintings, often based on photographs, film, and personal memories, feature a rich color palette and detailed technique that draw the viewer into imaginary and atmospheric worlds. Doig challenges the conventions of traditional landscaping, exploring the relationship between man and nature and the psychological and emotional qualities of the environment that surrounds us.

Peter Doig's influence on the art world is significant, helping to revitalize interest in painting at a time when other media and contemporary art forms seemed to dwarf it. Furthermore, his focus on narrative and atmosphere in his works has inspired numerous modern artists to experiment with similar techniques and explore new forms of representation.

Doig has shown an exceptional ability to combine seemingly disparate elements in his works, creating a distinctive and recognizable style. His artistic process often involves the reuse and reinterpretation of images and references, allowing him to evolve and experiment throughout his career.

In the years to come, Doig's work will continue to be the subject of study and analysis, and his influence on contemporary art will endure for generations to come.

Pedro Doig - The Wall of Lapeyrouse
Peter Doig - The Wall of Lapeyrouse. The Lapeyrouse Wall is known for its painterly style and Doig's ability to capture the atmosphere and ambience of his surroundings. The work combines elements of the Caribbean landscape with a palette of vibrant colors and expressive brushstrokes. The painting is an example of Doig's approach to exploring the relationship between memory, place, and visual representation, and his interest in addressing themes of identity and belonging in his work.

 

No. 3. Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown - The Skin of Our Teeth
Cecily Brown - The Skin of Our Teeth. This large format painting is a leading example of Brown's ability to combine abstraction and figuration in her work. "The Skin of Our Teeth" presents a landscape full of energy and movement, with a mixture of figures and forms that seem to emerge and disappear on the surface of the painting. The work is known for its rich color palette and gestural brushwork style, which reflects the influence of Abstract Expressionist artists such as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

 

Cecily Brown is a British artist who has been recognized for her expressionist style, in which she uses layers of paint to create images that combine figurative and abstract elements, exploring themes such as sexuality and violence. Her focus on abstract and figurative painting has been highly influential in the art world, and her distinctive style has captured the attention of critics and collectors alike.

Brown is characterized by her ability to fuse elements of abstraction with figurative representation, creating works full of energy and vitality. Her often large paintings feature a rich and vibrant color palette, and her compositions explore themes such as sexuality, nature, and urban life. Brown's work is rooted in the Western painting tradition, and her influences include such masters as Willem de Kooning, Francis Bacon, and Lucian Freud.

Cecily Brown's influence on the art world is undeniable, as her innovative approach and ability to reinvent painting have inspired many artists. In addition, its success in the art market has helped to reaffirm the role of painting as a relevant and valuable medium in today's art scene.

Brown has shown an exceptional ability to combine seemingly conflicting techniques and styles, allowing her to explore new territory in her work. Her artistic process is intuitive and constantly evolving, allowing her to always stay fresh and surprising.

Cecily Brown is one of the few women to have achieved significant success in a field traditionally dominated by men, Brown will continue to be a role model and empowering example for emerging female artists.

Cecily Brown - The Triumph of Death
Cecily Brown - The Triumph of Death. The work is colossal, covers multiple panels and conveys the figure of Death trampling a town and its inhabitants. Inspired by a 1446 fresco found in the Palazzo Abatellis in Palermo, Italy, Brown's momentous piece testifies to her continuing fascination with death. With an introduction by Sylvain Bellenger and recently commissioned texts, as well as a set of related and previously unpublished drawings, the book offers a comprehensive analysis of this extraordinary work.


No. 4 Neo Rauch

Neo Rauch - The Seam (Die Fuge)
Neo Rauch - The Seam (Die Fuge). This large format painting presents a complex and enigmatic composition that combines human figures, animals and objects in a surreal landscape. "Die Fuge" is known for its vivid color palette and narrative style that blends elements from different historical periods and cultures. The work is a leading example of Rauch's approach to exploring memory and history through his paintings.

 

This German painter has been recognized for his ability to combine elements of realism and fantasy in his works, creating images that often focus on history and cultural identity. The artist is part of the so-called New Leipzig School, a group of German artists who studied at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts and whose work has been instrumental in the revitalization of figurative painting in recent decades.

Neo Rauch combines elements of realism, abstraction and surrealism in enigmatic and dreamlike compositions. His paintings present scenes and characters that seem to be taken from a parallel world, where influences from East German socialist realist art, popular iconography and art history are mixed. His works often have a strong narrative component and explore themes such as memory, history, and cultural identity.

Neo Rauch's influence on the art world is notable for several reasons. Firstly, his innovative and distinctive approach to figurative painting has been a source of inspiration for many young artists and has helped to revive interest in this genre in the 21st century. In addition, its success both in Europe and in the United States has helped to increase the visibility and recognition of the German contemporary art scene.

Rauch has shown an exceptional ability to combine seemingly disparate elements in his works, creating a unique and easily recognizable style. His artistic process is largely intuitive, and his ability to evoke unknown and mysterious worlds and scenes has been widely praised by critics and collectors.

In the years to come, Neo Rauch is expected to continue creating provocative and enigmatic works that continue to challenge and captivate audiences. Rauch's work will continue to be the subject of study and analysis, and his influence on art will endure through generations to come, especially in figurative painting and in exploring themes related to history and culture.

Neo Rauch - Heillichtung
Neo Rauch-Heillichtung. The painting presents a complex scene that combines human figures, animals, and objects in a landscape that mixes industrial and natural elements. In "Heillichtung", Rauch creates a composition that defies logic and linearity, juxtaposes different times and spaces, and combines multiple artistic styles and traditions. The work contains elements of socialist realism, surrealism, and art history, demonstrating Rauch's ability to combine different cultural and historical references in his paintings.


No. 5. Kerry James Marshall

Kerry James Marshall - Souvenir I (Souvenir I)
Kerry James Marshall - Souvenir I (Souvenir I). This painting is part of Kerry James Marshall's "Souvenir" series, in which he pays tribute to key figures of the civil rights movement and African-American leaders assassinated in the 1960s. "Souvenir I" features a domestic interior in which a angel holds a cloth with the names of these leaders, while portraits of Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy hang on the wall. The work is known for its focus on African-American memory and history and for its ability to intertwine the personal and the political.

 

This American artist has been recognized for his commitment to representing the black experience in his work, using paint to explore themes such as history, politics, and racial identity. Known for his figurative paintings that address themes of race, identity, and representation, Marshall has been a key figure in the recognition and inclusion of Black artists in the arts and culture.

Kerry James Marshall combines elements of classical art, popular culture, and African-American history in works that are both accessible and challenging. His paintings present black figures in everyday situations and historical contexts, highlighting the invisibility and marginalization of these communities in art history. Marshall uses a vibrant color palette and detailed style, allowing him to explore themes of race, gender, and class in effective and emotional ways.

Kerry James Marshall's influence on the art world is undeniable. His work has been instrumental in questioning and challenging the dominant narratives in art history and has contributed to promoting greater diversity and inclusion in the artistic field. Additionally, their success and recognition have opened doors for other black and multi-ethnic artists to have the opportunity to showcase their work and be a part of contemporary artistic discourse.

Marshall has shown an exceptional ability to combine seemingly disparate elements in his works, creating a unique and easily recognizable style. His artistic process is meticulous and rigorous, and his ability to effectively address complex and emotional subjects has been widely praised by critics and collectors.

Marshall's influence in the art world will endure for generations to come, especially in the fight for greater diversity and inclusion in the art world.

Kerry James Marshall - Untitled, Untitled (Studio)

Kerry James Marshall - Untitled, Untitled (Studio). In this work, Marshall presents a portrait of an African-American artist in his studio, surrounded by her own creations. "Untitled (Studio)" is known for its focus on the representation of the black figure in painting and its challenge to the historical invisibility of African-American artists in the art world. The work is a prominent example of Marshall's commitment to representing diversity and exploring themes of race and identity in his work.


No. 6. Raqib Shaw

Raqib Shaw - The Garden of Earthly Delights X (Garden of Earthly Delights X) Raqib Shaw - The Garden of Earthly Delights X (Garden of Earthly Delights X). This painting is part of Raqib Shaw's "Garden of Earthly Delights" series, in which he draws inspiration from Hieronymus Bosch's masterpiece of the same name. "Garden of Earthly Delights X" features a surreal and fantastical landscape filled with hybrid creatures, human figures, and architectural elements. The work is known for its detailed and meticulous style, as well as its rich color palette and visual elements.

 

This Indian painter has been recognized for his exuberant baroque style, in which he uses paint to create highly detailed images that explore themes such as myth and fantasy.

His unique and distinctive work has earned him recognition and attention in the art world in the 21st century. His creations, often combining elements of painting, sculpture, and installation, have established Shaw as a major contributor to the global art scene.

Raqib Shaw's artistic style is notable for its fusion of elements of Eastern and Western culture, as well as his meticulous attention to detail and his use of unconventional techniques and materials. His works are opulent and fantastical, often featuring imaginary landscapes and creatures that appear to be straight out of a dream or fairy tale. Inspired in part by Renaissance art, Persian art, Indian art, and nature, Shaw creates complex and ornate compositions that are both beguiling and mystifying.

Raqib Shaw's influence in the art world is due in large part to his innovative approach and ability to challenge artistic conventions. His work has been a source of inspiration for artists seeking to explore new forms of expression and combine influences from different cultures and eras. In addition, its success in the art market has helped to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion in the international artistic arena.

Shaw has shown an exceptional ability to combine seemingly disparate elements in his works, allowing him to explore new possibilities and challenge the viewer's expectations. His artistic process is laborious and precise, which is evident in the richness and complexity of his creations.

Shaw's work will live on for generations to come, especially in exploring new forms of expression and merging different cultural influences.

Raqib Shaw - Paradise Lost

Raqib Shaw - Paradise Lost (Paradise Lost). The "Paradise Lost" series is a collection of paintings that explore themes of decadence, lust and violence in an imaginary and fantastical landscape. These works are known for their extremely detailed style and their focus on depicting human and animal figures in enigmatic and often erotic situations. The "Paradise Lost" series is a leading example of Raqib Shaw's commitment to exploring the imagination and creating rich and complex visual landscapes.

 

No. 7. Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu -Stadia II Julie Mehretu -Stadia II. This large-format work is a prominent example of Mehretu's approach to creating abstract paintings that explore the relationship between space, place, and identity. "Stadia II" features a series of layers that include architectural elements, geometric lines and calligraphic shapes, creating a dynamic and constantly moving composition. The work is known for its intricate level of detail and its ability to meld influences from various cultures and historical periods into a single image.

 

This Ethiopian-American artist has been recognized for her ability to create abstract works that combine graphic and architectural elements, often exploring themes related to globalization and cultural identity. The artist is known for her abstract paintings and complex compositions, capturing the attention of critics, collectors, and art lovers around the world.

Julie Mehretu is characterized by her focus on abstraction, architecture and cartography. Her works are often large-scale and feature multiple layers of lines, shapes, and colors that overlap and intertwine to create dynamic, energetic compositions. Mehretu explores themes such as history, politics, identity and urbanization through her work, and her innovative approach to abstract painting has earned her recognition and respect on the international art scene.

Julie Mehretu's influence in the art world is undeniable. Her unique approach to abstraction and her ability to address complex modern issues through her paintings have been a source of inspiration for many emerging artists. Furthermore, their success in the art market and their presence in major international exhibitions and collections have contributed to increasing the visibility and recognition of African and African Diaspora artists in the global art arena.

Mehretu has shown an exceptional ability to combine seemingly disparate elements in her works, allowing her to explore new possibilities and challenge the viewer's expectations. Her artistic process is meticulous and rigorous, and her ability to effectively address complex and emotional subjects has been widely praised by critics and collectors.

Mehretu's work will continue to explore themes of history, politics, and identity.

Mogamma (A painting in four parts) - Julie Mehretu Julie Mehretu - Mogamma (A painting in four parts). This series of four large format paintings was created by Mehretu as a response to the uprisings and revolutions that took place during the Arab Spring. "Mogamma" is the name of a government building in Cairo, Egypt, which symbolizes power and authority in the region. In these works, Mehretu combines architectural elements from different government buildings around the world with abstract lines and shapes to create complex and tangled compositions that reflect the tension and chaos of the time. These paintings are known for their visual intensity and their ability to capture the energy and spirit of change of the Arab Spring.


No. 8. Marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas - The Artist, The Painter (The Painter) Marlene Dumas - The Artist, The Painter (The Painter). This painting is a portrait of a girl, representing the daughter of Dumas, with paint-smeared hands and an intense look in her eyes. "The Painter" is known for its expressive and emotional approach to depicting the human figure and for its loose, gestural brushwork. The work addresses themes of creativity, innocence, and the relationship between the artist and her work, and is a leading example of Dumas's distinctive style of portrait painting.

 

This South African painter has been recognized for her figurative style, in which she uses paint to explore themes such as identity and the representation of the human body. With her expressionist paintings and drawings, Dumas has captured the attention of critics and collectors alike, becoming one of the most important artists of her generation.

Marlene Dumas is characterized by her expressionist approach to the representation of human figures. Her works often feature portraits and figures in emotionally charged and atmospheric compositions, using loose, gestural brushwork to capture the essence and vulnerability of his subjects. Dumas addresses themes such as identity, sexuality, race, and politics in her work, and her focus on the human condition and its complexities has earned her recognition and respect on the international art scene.

Her unique approach to figurative painting and her ability to tackle difficult and complex subjects through her works have been a source of inspiration for many emerging artists. In addition, her success in the art market and her presence in major international exhibitions and collections have helped increase the visibility and recognition of women artists in the global art arena.

Dumas has shown an exceptional ability to capture the essence and emotion of her subjects, allowing her to explore new possibilities and challenge the viewer's expectations. Her artistic process is intuitive and passionate, and her ability to effectively approach complex and emotional subjects has been widely praised by critics and collectors.

Dumas's work will continue to influence other artists for generations to come, especially in figurative painting and in exploring themes of identity, sexuality, and politics.

Marlene Dumas - Black Drawings Marlene Dumas - Black Drawings. The "Black Drawings" series is a collection of ink-based portraits depicting people of African descent. Dumas created these works using archival images, such as photographs from magazines, newspapers, and postcards, as the starting point for her compositions. The works in this series are known for their minimalist approach and their exploration of themes such as race, identity, and representation. "Black Drawings" is a prominent example of Dumas's commitment to representing diversity in her paintings and her interest in addressing social and political issues through her work.

 

No. 9 Chris Ofili

Chris Ofili - The Holy Virgin Mary
Chris Ofili - The Holy Virgin Mary. This large-format painting depicts the Virgin Mary in a style that combines elements of African art, Renaissance art, and contemporary popular culture. "The Holy Virgin Mary" is especially known for its use of unusual and controversial materials, such as pornographic magazine clippings and elephant dung, which Ofili used to create the background and details of the work. The painting generated a great deal of controversy when it was displayed in the "Sensation" exhibition in 1999, but it was also acclaimed for its innovative and challenging approach to the representation of the religious figure.

 

This British artist has been recognized for his ability to combine elements of popular culture and artistic tradition in his works, creating images that often explore themes such as religion, politics and racial identity. His work has left a lasting mark on the art world in the 21st century. Of Nigerian descent, Ofili has been recognized for his innovative and provocative approach to painting, earning him a place as one of the foremost artists of his generation.

Chris Ofili is known for his use of unusual materials and his mix of cultural influences. His paintings often incorporate resin layers, collages, popular culture imagery, and elements of art history, as well as elephant dung, which has become his hallmark. Ofili addresses themes such as identity, race, sexuality and religion in his work, and his irreverent and defiant approach to painting has earned him recognition and respect on the international art scene.

His unique approach to painting and his ability to tackle difficult and complex subjects through his works have been a source of inspiration for many emerging artists. In addition, their success in the art market and their presence in major international exhibitions and collections have contributed to increasing the visibility and recognition of black artists in the global art arena.

Ofili has shown an exceptional ability to combine seemingly disparate elements in his works, allowing him to explore new possibilities and challenge the viewer's expectations. His artistic process is bold and adventurous, and his ability to deal effectively with complex and emotional subjects has been widely praised by critics and collectors.

Ofili's work will continue to bear creative fruit on issues of identity, race, and culture.

Chris Ofili - No Woman, No Cry
Chris Ofili - Without Woman, Without Cry (No Woman, No Cry). In this work, Ofili addresses the issue of violence against women through a series of portraits of crying Afro-descendant women. Each tear contains a tiny image of a woman who has been a victim of violence. "No Woman, No Cry" is known for its sensitive and poignant approach to portrayal of the female figure, as well as its reference to a Bob Marley song title. The work is a prominent example of Ofili's commitment to representing diversity and exploring social and political themes in him work.


No.10.Zhang Xiaogang

Zhang Xiaogang - Bloodline: Big Family No.1 (Bloodline Big Family No. 1)

Zhang Xiaogang - Lineage: Big Family No.1 ( Bloodline Big Family No. 1). This painting is the first of Zhang Xiaogang's famous "Bloodline: Big Family" series. The work presents a portrait of a Chinese family in a style that combines elements of socialist realism and surrealism. "Bloodline: Big Family No. 1" is known for its muted color palette, the characters' enigmatic expressions, and the red bloodlines connecting family members, symbolizing family heritage and relationships in communist China. .

 

This Chinese painter has been recognized for his figurative style, in which he uses painting to explore themes related to history and collective memory, often using images of family and childhood.

Zhang Xiaogang is an artist who has left a deep mark on the art world of the 21st century. With his paintings and sculptures, Zhang has captured the attention of critics and collectors alike, establishing himself as one of the leading artists of his generation in China and the world.

Zhang Xiaogang is characterized by his focus on the representation of human figures in sociopolitical and cultural contexts. His best-known works, the "Bloodline: Big Family" series paintings, feature stylized portraits of people with a muted color palette and red lines symbolizing blood and family connection. Zhang explores themes of memory, history, and identity in his work, and his focus on the human condition in the context of contemporary China has earned him recognition and respect on the international art scene.

His unique approach to painting and his ability to tackle difficult and complex subjects through his works have been a source of inspiration for many emerging artists, especially in China and other Asian countries. In addition, their success in the art market and their presence in major international exhibitions and collections have contributed to increasing the visibility and recognition of Chinese artists in the global art arena.

Zhang has shown an exceptional ability to capture the essence and emotion of his subjects, allowing him to explore new possibilities and challenge the viewer's expectations. His artistic process is thoughtful and meticulous, and his ability to effectively address complex and emotional subjects has been widely praised by critics and collectors.

Zhang's work is an enduring and influential example of figurative painting and exploration of themes related to memory, history, and identity.

Zhang Xiaogang - Bloodline: Big Family No.3 (Bloodline Big Family No. 3)

Zhang Xiaogang - Lineage : Great family No.3 ( Bloodline Big Family No. 3). This work is another outstanding painting in the "Bloodline: Big Family" series. Similar to "Bloodline: Big Family No. 1", Zhang Xiaogang presents a portrait of a family with enigmatic expressions and bloodlines connecting the characters. The work also uses a muted color palette and a style that combines socialist realism with surrealism. "Bloodline: Big Family No. 3" is known for its focus on individual and collective identity and its critique of the politics of the time in China.


We hope you have enjoyed this modern art journey as much as we have.

These artists and their works continue and will continue to inspire and challenge new generations of artists and viewers to our delight.

KUADROS ©, a famous painting on your wall.

3 comments

Rosaura Cardas

Rosaura Cardas

Me gustaría saber si tienen información del artista plástico José Farouk. Gracias de antemano.

teresa cabrita

teresa cabrita

São dez Artistas/pintores de boa representação estética de movimentos pictóricos do século XXI. Considero um conjunto significativo que dá alguma orientação de novas formas no tempo.

teresa cabrita

teresa cabrita

São dez Artistas/pintores de boa representação estética de movimentos pictóricos do século XXI. Considero um conjunto significativo que dá alguma orientação de novas formas no tempo.

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