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Old 04-23-2010, 11:19 AM
littletyger littletyger is offline
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Top five most successful artists today (living)?

Similar to TitusPullo's post - I'm curious who everyone thinks are the most successful artists currently. Success can be qualified/quantified by sales, skill, most gallery representation, etc. My particular interest is contemporary painters, but I mean all visual artists: sculptors, painters, watercolorists, mixed media, printers, etc. Thanks for your input!
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:26 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

How are you defining "successful"?

Is it strictly financial? (In which case, if the richest man in the world should happen to also paint as a hobby, then he would fit your criteria, even if he never sold a painting...)

In many ways, "success" is subjective; artists who live somewhat modestly might be happier with their lives--and thus view them as more "successful"--than artists whose finances are over-extended, with the inherent worries and stress that causes...
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:34 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

If successful is defined as "being satisfied with your own work" I think most succesful artists will be found under the age of 6.

My six-year old daughter has a never ending delight in her creations that I can only envy.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:18 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

Hi,

Damien Hirst sure is at the top in terms of financial status, but he's not among my favourites.
Now, Lucian Freud is in my opinion quite good and I like his style.
His works are now being exhibited in Paris.
These two in terms of ranking, namely auction results, are almost for sure in the top five.

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Old 04-23-2010, 10:28 PM
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Use to denote nudity/mature subject matter Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

Well... if we define the artist as "successful" who not only does incredibly well in financial terms but also has attained such a level of critical esteem that he or she is almost certainly assured a place in the narrative of art history then the "most successful" would almost certainly include:

Jasper Johns:



Johns is in the $5 Million US per new canvas range and has a waiting list. Older paintings by Johns have sold for over $40 M. He was a central figure in the shift from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. His works include some of the most iconic pieces by any living artist and his works can be found in nearly any major museum collection.

Lucian Freud:



Lucian Freud is also into the $5 Million plus range for any new canvas. His 1995 painting, Benefits Supervisor Sleeping recently sold for over $33 Million. He is seen as one of the last living "old masters" and his paintings have have a profound influence on subsequent painters including Jenny Saville, Anne Gale, Cicily Brown, Alex Kanevsky, etc... Like Johns, his work is avidly sought by museums around the world.

Anselm Kiefer:



Kiefer is perhaps the most towering figure to come out of the 1980s art movement known as Neo-Expressionism, and the most important Post-War German artist. He almost single-handedly shattered the premature declarations of the "death of painting" and brought a profound seriousness and ambition to painting once again with his vast tortured canvases dealing with the traumas of history... especially the Holocaust. Kiefer's paintings sell in the $2-4 Million range and are actively sought in major museums around the world.

Brice Marden and Cy Twombly:





Twombly and Marden are both in the top tier in terms of price per new canvas. This is owed much to their perception as the last living links to the heroic generation of the Abstract Expressionists. Stylistically, they both are deeply indebted to Jackson Pollack. They are both highly sought by collectors, but do not seem to have as firm a hold on a position in art history.

If one were to add a third to Twombly and Marden it might be Sean Scully:





Scully is seen as having successfully merged the polar opposites of Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism... bringing a warmth or passion to the cold logic of Minimalism and a rational structure to gestural field painting. Along with Marden, Freud, and Johns he is one of the few living artists to have enjoyed a retrospective at MoMA or the Met while still alive.

Gerhard Richter would be another among the most successful artists:



Richter brought a certain European detachment to painting... developing several very different signature styles ranging from conceptual art to "squeegie-made" abstractions to photo-derived realism employing blurred photo references. Like Scully he has also been awarded the major museum retrospective. His paintings are in the $5 Million range... and his influence on a whole generation of subsequent photo-realists is undeniable.

Finally, I would include Chuck Close:





Close sells within the $2-4 Million range. His stature zoomed after he heroically continued to paint following his spinal artery collapse in 1988 which left him severely paralyzed. At that time his work took on an increasingly colorful and "expressionistic" edge, although it maintained its link to photo-realism and "process painting". Close's selection of well-known subjects including Lynda Benglis, Cecily Brown, Paul Cadmus, Francesco Clemente, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Merce Cunningham, Willem Dafoe, Eric Fischl, Philip Glass, Al Gore, Jasper Johns, Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein, Kate Moss, Brad Pitt, Robert Rauschenberg, Lucas Samaras, and Philip Glass only serve to increase his demand as a portrait artist.

Certainly there are any number of other artists who do quite well financially. Jeff Koons and Damian Hirst may be foremost among these... but the prices of both artists seem greatly inflated through careful manipulation of the market (such as Hirst's purchase of his own infamous For the Love of God... the diamond skull piece... for over $100 Million through a dummy consortium thus assuring himself great press and increased prices)... while neither artist has anything approaching a unanimous critical opinion. A great many of the best art critics, museums, and collectors dismiss their work out of hand as little more than a product of the time and the art market. We shall see. They do little for me.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:40 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

Quote:
Close sells within the $2-4 Million range. His stature zoomed after he heroically continued to paint following his spinal artery collapse in 1988 which left him severely paralyzed. At that time his work took on an increasingly colorful and "expressionistic" edge, although it maintained its link to photo-realism and "process painting".
Are you saying his paralysis helped the valuation of his works increase?
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:01 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

Robert Bateman has done pretty well finacially. Of course, those who don't like wildlife art consider him an illustrator and not an artist.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:08 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AddiesArt
Are you saying his paralysis helped the valuation of his works increase?

I think was was said was that Close' determination to continue to paint following paralysis is what boosted his stature...
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:50 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

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Originally Posted by stlukesguild
Well... if we define the artist as "successful" who not only does incredibly well in financial terms but also has attained such a level of critical esteem that he or she is almost certainly assured a place in the narrative of art history then the "most successful" would almost certainly include:...

You keep on forgetting your favourite successful artist:



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Old 04-28-2010, 02:44 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

Someone's has to be VERY successful when you post a painting by him, without his name, and EVERYONE, artists and non-artists, know who did it. Those other successful artists, with canvases in the million-dollar range, I have just never heard of them (and their stuff would not go with my couch).
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:49 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

kiki smith
louise bourgeois
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:30 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

Someone's has to be VERY successful when you post a painting by him, without his name, and EVERYONE, artists and non-artists, know who did it. Those other successful artists, with canvases in the million-dollar range, I have just never heard of them (and their stuff would not go with my couch).

Yes... the " 'Artist' who shall not be named" is very "successful" in terms of product recognition and sales. But then again... so are Lady Gaga and Dan Brown... yet neither of them are producing anything that will be at all remembered (we're not talking Picasso, Stravinsky, or Hemingway here). On the other hand... if you have not heard of Jasper Johns, Lucian Freud, or Chuck Close it may well behoove you to make some effort at exploring what has been happening in art over the last 50 years. Art is a "language" and it is useful for the artist to have a grasp of the vocabulary of his or her time... even if only to dismiss or refute it.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:33 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

kiki smith
louise bourgeois


Bourgeois, certainly. Kiki Smith I find to be greatly overrated... and I'd probably take Magdalena Abakanowicz over either:

http://www.abakanowicz.art.pl/
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:47 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:08 PM
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Re: Top five most successful artists today (living)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlukesguild
kiki smith
louise bourgeois


Bourgeois, certainly. Kiki Smith I find to be greatly overrated... and I'd probably take Magdalena Abakanowicz over either:

http://www.abakanowicz.art.pl/


NOOOOOOOOOOOO, you can't say that about Kiki, okay you did arg!!!! I love her work . hum Magdalena Abakanowicz , yes absolutely!
Paula Rego
and what about Helen Frankenthaler , Bridget Riley, Janet Fish, Chakaia Booker, Takashi Murakami

While I don't particularly like some of these artists work, they seem to have successful careers, professionally and financially.
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