Top 200 20th Century Artists?

The Times and Saatchi gallery have compiled 1,461,523 votes from the public to come up with a list of the 200 top artists of the 20th Century. It’s a method that has flaws as some artists will be missing and other artists will get more attention than they really deserve, but any list compiled by anyone is flawed as lists are an art rather than a science. They’re not meant to be taken too seriously.

1 Pablo Picasso 21587

2 Paul Cezanne 21098

3 Gustav Klimt 20823

4 Claude Monet 20684

5 Marcel Duchamp 20647

6 Henri Matisse 17096

7 Jackson Pollock 17051

8 Andy Warhol 17047

9 Willem De Kooning 17042

10 Piet Mondrian 17028

11 Paul Gauguin 17027

12 Francis Bacon 17018

13 Robert Rauschenberg 16956

14 Georges Braque 16788

15 Wassily Kandinsky 16055

16 Constantin Brancusi 14224

17 Kasimir Malevich 13609

18 Jasper Johns 12988

19 Frida Kahlo 12940

20 Martin Kippenberger 12784

21 Paul Klee 12750

22 Egon Schiele 12696

23 Donald Judd 12613

24 Bruce Nauman 12517

25 Alberto Giacometti 12098

26 Salvador Dalí 11496

27 Auguste Rodin 8989

28 Mark Rothko 8951

29 Edward Hopper 8918

30 Lucian Freud 8897

31 Richard Serra 8858

32 Rene Magritte 8837

33 David Hockney 8787

34 Philip Guston 8786

35 Henri Cartier-Bresson 8779

36 Pierre Bonnard 8778

37 Jean-Michel Basquiat 8746

38 Max Ernst 8737

39 Diane Arbus 8733

40 Georgia O’Keeffe 8714

41 Cy Twombly 8708

42 Max Beckmann 8690

43 Barnett Newman 8643

44 Giorgio De Chirico 8462

45 Roy Lichtenstein 7441

46 Edvard Munch 5080

47 Pierre Auguste Renoir 5063

48 Man Ray 5050

49 Henry Moore 5045

50 Cindy Sherman 5041

51 Jeff Koons 5028

52 Tracey Emin 4961

53 Damien Hirst 4960

54 Yves Klein 4948

55 Henri Rousseau 4944

56 Chaim Soutine 4927

57 Arshile Gorky 4926

58 Amedeo Modigliani 4924

59 Umberto Boccioni 4918

60 Jean Dubuffet 4910

61 Eva Hesse 4908

62 Edouard Vuillard 4899

63 Carl Andre 4898

64 Juan Gris 4898

65 Lucio Fontana 4896

66 Franz Kline 4894

67 David Smith 4842

68 Joseph Beuys 4480

69 Alexander Calder 3241

70 Louise Bourgeois 3240

71 Marc Chagall 3224

72 Gerhard Richter 3123

73 Balthus 3090

74 Joan Miro 3087

75 Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 3084

76 Frank Stella 3078

77 Georg Baselitz 3048

78 Francis Picabia 3046

79 Jenny Saville 3034

80 Dan Flavin 3024

81 Alfred Stieglitz 3017

82 Anselm Kiefer 3010

83 Matthew Barney 3005

84 George Grosz 2990

85 Bernd And Hilla Becher 2980

86 Sigmar Polke 2966

87 Brice Marden 2947

88 Maurizio Cattelan 2940

89 Sol LeWitt 2926

90 Chuck Close 2915

91 Edward Weston 2899

92 Joseph Cornell 2893

93 Karel Appel 2890

94 Bridget Riley 2885

95 Alexander Archipenko 2884

96 Anthony Caro 2879

97 Richard Hamilton 2878

98 Clyfford Still 2864

99 Luc Tuymans 2862

100 Claes Oldenburg 2843

101 Eduardo Paolozzi 2839

102 Frank Auerbach 2836

103 Dinos and Jake Chapman 2827

104 Marlene Dumas 2827

105 Antoni Tapies 2825

106 Giorgio Morandi 2824

107 Walker Evans 2823

108 Nan Goldin 2819

109 Robert Frank 2818

110 Georges Rouault 2818

111 Jean Arp 2817

112 August Sander 2809

113 James Rosenquist 2808

114 Andreas Gursky 2804

115 Eugene Atget 2802

116 Jeff Wall 2790

117 Ellsworth Kelly 2789

118 Bill Brandt 2787

119 Christo And Jeanne Claude 2782

120 Howard Hodgkin 2781

121 Josef Albers 2781

122 Piero Manzoni 2777

123 Agnes Martin 2771

124 Anish Kapoor 2768

125 L.S. Lowry 2761

126 Robert Motherwell 2754

127 Robert Delaunay 2747

128 Stuart Davis 2742

129 Ed Ruscha 2731

130 Gilbert & George 2729

131 Stanley Spencer 2720

132 James Ensor 2719

133 Fernand Leger 2718

134 Brassai (Gyula Halasz) 2717

135 Alexander Rodchenko 2715

136 Robert Ryman 2711

137 Ad Reinhardt 2709

138 Hans Bellmer 2700

139 Isa Genzken 2699

140 Kees Van Dongen 2698

141 Weegee 2698

142 Paula Rego 2695

143 Thomas Hart Benton 2689

144 Hans Hofmann 2684

145 Vladimir Tatlin 2679

146 Odilon Redon 2653

147 George Segal 2619

148 Jorg Immendorff 2611

149 Robert Smithson 2435

150 Peter Doig 2324

151 Ed and Nancy Kienholz 2293

152 Richard Prince 2266

153 Ansel Adams 2262

154 Naum Gabo 2256

155 Diego Rivera 2239

156 Barbara Hepworth 2237

157 Nicolas De Stael 2237

158 Walter De Maria 2229

159 Felix Gonzalez-Torres 2228

160 Giacomo Balla 2225

161 Ben Nicholson 2221

162 Anthony Gormley 2218

163 Lyonel Feininger 2216

164 Emil Nolde 2213

165 Mark Wallinger 2211

166 Hermann Nitsch 2209

167 Paul Signac 2209

168 Jean Tinguely 2209

169 Kurt Schwitters 2209

170 Grayson Perry 2208

171 Julian Schnabel 2208

172 Raymond Duchamp-Villon 2208

173 Robert Gober 2208

174 Duane Hanson 2208

175 Richard Diebenkorn 2207

176 Alex Katz 2207

177 Alighiero E Boetti 2206

178 Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 2206

179 Laszlo Moholy-Nagy 2205

180 Jacques-Henri Lartigue 2205

181 Robert Morris 2205

182 Sarah Lucas 2204

183 Jannis Kounellis 2204

184 Chris Burden 2204

185 Otto Dix 2203

186 David Bomberg 2203

187 Fischli & Weiss 2203

188 Augustus John 2203

189 Marsden Hartley 2203

190 Takashi Murakami 2203

191 James Turrell 2202

192 Isamu Noguchi 2201

193 Robert Mangold 2201

194 John Chamberlain 2201

195 Charles Demuth 2200

196 John Currin 2200

197 Alberto Burri 2200

198 Arnulf Rainer 2200

199 David Salle 2200

200 Hiroshi Sugimoto 2199

Find out more about the top 200 20th century artists over at the TimesOnline and at Saatchi.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. If anyone wants to demonstrate how art went into serious decline in the 20th Century, this list is the evidence!

    I can’t figure out why
    3 Gustav Klimt 20823
    26 Salvador Dalí 11496
    27 Auguste Rodin 8989
    29 Edward Hopper 8918
    were included in this list of the world’s worst artists of all time. Controversy? Can’t be. What was controversial about Edward Hopper? Did he make a lot of money?

  2. Of the four artists you mentioned Ian, I would rank them in reverse to where they are now.. eg.. Hopper, Rodin, Dali then Klimt. I like Klimt but I wouldnt put him at three, I think he’s only there because of a few record prices at auction which I don’t understand.

    Being a British list you would think Euan Uglow and Albert Herbert would be on it.. two great painters. Ken Currie isnt bad either.

    It’s all just a bit of fun though and shouldnt be taken too seriously.

  3. Klimt’s works were so unique, and truly deserving the insane prices paid for them at the auction. Some of those pieces haunt my nights.

  4. I like Klimt and would put him above Hopper and Dali easily, but not as high as he is listed, nor near Rodin. Though why he is on a list of 20th century artists I dont know, where van gogh isnt because he died too early. These are three eras of art, and should be cut at modernism, even my boy Cezanne, very thankful he ended up second, leading the way of the first up through Post Impressionist era. With Gauguin and Monet close behind. Then the Contemporary era after the Moderns, after say de Stael and Pollock and Diebenkorn who is way too low. Where are Tamayo and Romare Bearden, racist list.

    But we went over all this before. Looks like two camps at battle, so heros of each scattered about, my camp rising in victory. But each has it wings also, and does reveal humanities longing, so very interesting. As long as we win. Humanity trumps self absorbed individualism, if taken a few years ago, things may have been different.

    Forgot to look, where was your boy Damien Hirst coxsoft? Or is he so passe already he was forgotten? Should be, conceptualism is not art at all, as I am arguing about the vacuity of Bruce Nauman winning the golden lion at Venice, absurd. Academic sterility personified, so “clever” and dull, mentally, emotionally and spiritualy. Hollow. But ever so witty.

    Is the site better now coxsoft? Sorry about that, hope I set it better now. Never expected much mail, I tend to piss people off just a little bit. actually very nice in person. Well, depends. The Venice Biennale is just absurd, not a painting in sight. Makes it easier for me to make my case, as it is rather obvious to all those not brainwashed into Pavlovian responses by art schools. amazingly shallow. One cant buy character, it is developed by living, and so incredibly absent in the art world.

    art collegia delenda est

  5. You know each of these artists would put himself as #1 :)

  6. Anonymous says:

    I need someone to confirm that there is only one Black person on this list. Laws can change, but this is extremely salient proof that attitudes clearly have not. Why is there only one black person on this list? What is the rationale for that? Are black folks just “bad” artists?

    This is proof that Americans have done a great job of sweeping the issue of race under the rug. And don’t give me that, “Obama is president so we’re doing just fine mess.” Racism is alive and thriving.

    Go ahead, give me one reason that there are virtually no blacks, women, or asians on this list that doesn’t smack of institutionalized prejudice (i.e. racism) at its core. Go right on ahead.

    And you should be ashamed of yourself for posting this list and NOT calling its logic into question!

  7. Contemporary art is about soft white kids and their tender “feelings”, not about art at all. Few minority kids have the money to waste going to art college, and Basquiat may be the last self taught artist to make it, becaue he hung with other decadent fools, and was a token. Really wasnt very much beyond a decent talent. but was a middle class kid the white ones could relate too, as a token.

    Where is Rufino Tamayo, Robert Graham, Carlos Almaraz from Mexico and LA? Rivera is the token there, but deserves to be on this list, and should be a little higher, Tamayo much higher. There are many other Latin American artists. Cant think of any Asian artists worth a damn however, just is. Oh well, perhaps the future belongs in the Orient, but havent seen much beyond derivitave stuff, even the President of Singapore realizes their systems do not produce creativity.

    No Romare Bearden or Charles Alston, not Elizabeth Catlett or Charles White. The last two not great artsits, but better than many on this list, easily. Buncha whining white kids mostly. Frida Kahlo is just a pop/cult star, grossly overrated, Imogen Cunnigham and other women could be here. Gordon Parks and Roy DeCarava among photographers, black males.

    Music is dominated by black players, yet seldom get on the top lists, dominated by white rockers and other assorted childish nonsense. Thats who pays the bills. They buy the crap, and so, slant what is good, as they are seriously sheltered and blindered from reality.

    Just gotta keep on working. Talent will out, in teh long run. No oen will care about the Beatles or Velvet Undground in a hundred years, but Miesl Davis and John Coltrane will still be listened to, but an intelligent, passionate minority, those who give a damn about life. Its always been this way, but still gotta fight the beast.

    More evidence.
    Art collegia delenda est

  8. Anon, if you’re so offended by the list, create your own and stop whinging and bitching. I would be happy to post your list of black artists, asian artists or woman artists but I know that Anonymous moaners like yourself are too busy complaining to do anything about their issues. If more people stopped complaining and started doing something about the problems of the world it might be a better place.

    So, speak to the hand sister coz I aint listening.

    Micahel, the egos of most artists would put themselves above any list. You need a little arrogance to walk in the studio day after day though as it would be tough if you felt you werent working on something special.

    Donald, it sounds like you need to create a Latin American list of painters and an African American list of musicians.. lol.

    Forbes created a list of the richest African Americans.. and I can’t remember where I saw the comments, but people were complaining that it was outrageous to create a list based on race.

    I can’t figure people out.. or maybe the problem is that I have figured people out: we’re all retards. I think we all should be forced to dye our skin blue so we can move on to the next issue as the race one is getting boring. Life is too short to dwell on racism for any longer than 2 minutes. People suck, who cares?, get over it and live your life.

  9. Nah, thats exactly the problem with Contempt art, its all about those who make it and the few who buy it, those trained by ignorant academies into thinking they know and control art, when they should be more concerned with learning about life among all of humanity, our world, and our passions. Emphasis on OUR.

    Instead the Contempt world puts all that is not of its lily white ass complexion into Ethnic Art categories. As it has no understanding outside its world of metrosexual boys and anorexic princesses. Entitlement reigns. Blissful ignroance, and whining self expression.

    No, an art list should have artists, humans ones. The ones I listed are well knwon, Bearden in MoMA and had a retrospective there, so not their fault. But the Academies, who ignore those not of its own members. The few who make it do cartoons, like Murikami or Colescott, who just died, and did embarrassing cartoons of folks, Sorta like how Jim Carrey is, or should be, a blight upon white people. Painful to watch his retarded behavior. Its not cool when people are laughing AT you, they are supposed to laugh with you, at themselvs, and the world. Not be a fool, a jester, but that is exactly what these entertainers do. And Artistes.

    No, 20th century music was dominated by black musicians. From many countries. Yet if you look at art sites or “Music” columns in the paper, as jazz is ghettoized and patronized to the side. Miles hated the term as a white man thing, he was just making more music, adn does continue where European music died off, bringing in the rest of the world. It is respected by clasical musicans from Europe, as it does what they cannot, but not here at home. Typical, new art is always bought and appreciated by those outside ones old cuntry but usualy they catch up. We havent.

    Few non white rich kids will ever be accepted by the academies, because they either cant afford them, wont qualify for loans, or arent stupid enough to waste monies on a degree. So will always be outsiders. Its funny how artistes always think they are rebels, when no one is more inside, or represents the interests of those in power, than art grads, You have been trained by your Masters, what the hell else do you think you are doing?

    Now, this list is obviously Brit based, who are lousy artists, and only Moore belongs on it. Maybe your boy Freud and Bacon at the very bottom. Nicholson and all hard edge guys are like Cool jazz musicians, wannabes who find an easy route, and so produce shallow stuff, wallpaper. They aint the French, every culture has its strengths and weaknesses, some all weka, some with more strengths than faults. Brits are actors and playwrites, best at the spoken word, their novels suck usually, Conrad the best and wasnt even a Brit, he was Polish. VS Naipual and Salman Rushdie also. Not Poles, but not Brits, sillly.

    Sorry, but anon nas a point, and should be angry. This is bull shit. Period. And until artists look into that mirror, and see the visage of Dorian Gray staring back, it will contineu to be an irrelevant form of human communication. Its exclusive, not inclusive, and so, not of humanity. Its entertainment for the rich.

    Sorry, Truth. Continue your walkabout son, at least YOU are out there. How about your local influences, Indonesia and Oceania? One of my favorite exhibits at the met is the hut from Borneo, covered with incantations and mystical signs, it creates an atmosphere of the spiritual, release, to be at one with nature and god, communed with your fellow man, Art. As in the cathedrals of Europe. Only intimate, a chapel, which is why I ussigned a Judgment Chaple, man really needs to examine his reasons for being, and his actions, putting aside his justifications. I would love to go there, more than China or Philipines, though Japan is still on the Bucket List.

    Art Collegia Delenda Est!

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is proof that the public needs and education in the arts.
    Salvador Dali and Picasso dominated the 20th Century. Dali works can be found at the Louvre. MOMA,Guggenheim,Tate,The Art Inst Chicago,Hermitage,and MANY more. The Last Master of the 20th Century was Salvador Dali.

  11. In his own mind, the only subject he ever had. And a puny thing in the best of us.


  12. The Doctor says:

    The Beatles were white!! As far as I know, they were the biggest band of the 20th Century. I could reel off a whole load more too.

    Yes, they have a blues background, as the majority of modern music does. But that dosnt mean originators of blues should get the credit for later creativity.

    Art began on cave walls, but I dont see early man getting any credit for contmporary art!!

    Big deal, theres no black artists in the list. Maybe there isnt any thats why!! Just because someone has named a few that they feel should of been included, dosnt mean to say they should be!

    Lists dont mean anything anyway so stop moaning about them, you bunch of non-sensical, whinging fools!

    Spock out.

  13. All your hysterical !!! speak for themselves.

    When you come back to the real world, Mr. Spock, just maybe you will get out of your lily white neighborhod and see all of the mankind, it is an artists job too.

    And find your heros have feet of shit, not just clay. Half the people on this list will have dissapeared in a hundred years, mostly those of the last 50. They have already shrunk greatly from just a few years ago, and soon to be just footnotes of a culture in decline.

    And the Beatles, have NO Blues background, as that would be the Stones. Its bad kiddy RandB, though Texas blues guys invented rock, as just one form as it was far too limited for everyday use. Stunted for an agressive stance, posing, as all Napoleon complexed rockers do, and so they stole it.

    And used it badly ever since. only a few approaching real music like Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman. Who actualy WERE Blues guitarists, advanced ones too. Hendrix was about to make an album with Miles Davis when he died, they had known one another for years. Only he and Allman could possibly have stood the same stage as BB and Albert King, and Albert Collins.

    The rest, like Clapton, are wimps. Seen him with them, and he shrunk in awe, and knew he didnt belong there. But they were his idols, he isnt stupid, well, yeah, he is, but knew where to steal from. He has even admitted it. He has more money than all of them combined, because white folks cant stand the intensity. Not many anyway. Certainly not sensitive “artistes”.

    And so idols for Mr Spock, who lives a sheltered life in his mothers basement, putting on plastic ears, and dreaming of voyages beyond his backyard.

    Good luck on that. You need it.

    art collegia delenda est

  14. The Doctor says:

    Just another bad chip related rant.


    Spend less time spilling off on internet threads and more time reading books and doing some PROPER research on music history.

  15. I dont need to research what I live, know jazz musicians from Branford Marsalis on down. Often show at the Jazz Bakery, one of only two real jazz clubs in LA, know the owner very well who was married to a jazz producer, and brother in law went to school with Branford. Who played with Sting and the Tonight Show for money, then got the hell away from it as soon as he had enough, Artists seldom make enough money for freedom to create. He did is time, and fled.

    The Beatles performed lullabies, cute melodies, no harmonic richness or rhythmic conplexity. No swing, which all black music does, it pulse in life affirming dance, which white boy music only stoimps thier lil feet, angry at amom and dad for no giving them enough alloweance.

    You do know that Ringo never actually played on any of their albums, dont you? He was replaced on record because he sucked so bad, there strictly for their first ever videos for personality, not skill, after canning their first drummer. Why do you think he is constantly out to prove himself as “the greatest rock drummer ever”, with tears in his eyes, because he has been laughed at for all his life.

    Many rock bands do this, U2 included. They layer in real guitarists to enrichen their albums, because Edge really sucks. Should be in a garage or punk band. Even after all these years.

    Rock is entertainment, not art. Its all illusion, about making people feel better about themselves, attaching to an idol, Not opening oneself to the world, and losing ones identity, through mastering ones craft and getting beyond the silly rules made for beginners. All artists go past them, once mastered, and then can create a flow of emotions, not coddle tender childrens desires, and dreams.

    Speaking of which, the art colony called, they are missing a delusional fourth grader with plastic ears on. Beam him up, Mrs Scotty.

    While there look up art in the library, and learn what it is. Bearden already had a retrospective at MoMA, is in their collection, As is Tamayo, who has had many musuem shows, still waiting for MoMA, but he was perhaps the best AMERICAN painter ever, of all the Americas. A Native American George Braque, who he learned the most from. Many Norte Americanos copied him, but never given credit, is how we do. Rape and pillage. Take and market. Steal money from dads for their naive and petulante children in art daycare academies. Makes them feel better, a self esteem thing ya know.

    oh, my bad, this you most certainly do know, not much else. Get to work. Someday you may know somethng worth bloggin about.

    There is always hope. Well, not really.

    art collegia delenda est

  16. As far as the dead old white male category, Miro at 74 and Bacon at 12?! WTF?!!!!!

    This was voted out of art school textbooks, not knowledge of art, let alone know what it is, As many here are entertianers, not artists. Illustrators of shallow academic ideas. Heavily Brit of course, and would be very different if done in Paris or even NYC.

    But the contempts are falling fast, which happens when given distance, and fashion changes. Kids. Hirst and even Tracey Emin(em) over Kiefer?! God help us.

    art collegia delenda est

  17. I think for the most part it is a valid list. I mean we all must remember that ultimately opinions are opinions and there is no end all. I think it is pretty interesting that only 1 black artist showed up, but not very alarming given the landscape of artists. I’ve had a hard time finding a good place to discuss art from this period, I can’t really find a good discussion. I did find a rather general outline of modern art at Pandalous, but I was hoping for something more specific too.

  18. Play nice kids.. you don’t want daddy to come smack your

    It is just a list.. a publicly voted list at that. I would say much more than 50% will be forgotten about in a couple hundred years Donald. It’s really only a handful of artists that are ever really remembered from each century. The rest will only ever be thought of by academics and antique shops.

  19. Be careful Dionysus, Spock may take you up on that.

    Yes, only a handful will from post modernism, those who were truly modern anyway like Kiefer and late Hockney. Maybe your boy, but probably on a lower list.

    Tamayo definitely will be on the top 200 list a hundred years from now, at every museum I have ever been to, and in the grownup section, not the ToysRus of Koons and Hirst. They will be social footnotes.

    The thread above should draw the attention away from this, Madonna was kinda cute for a minute, but a New York minute, that didnt last long. Happens with starlets who are fixated by weight, and want tyo be skinny so every movement in the face show.

    Like Pretty Lady actress, she was cute in Mystic Piuzza, then got all anorexic. She has been in some pretty good movies, but far too bony to play the cute girls she is supposed to be, has the smile and women like her. And can actualy act, unlike Madonna. Madonna gets props for hard work and focus, but rather limited, just how the public likes em. The more they struggle with technique the more the masses think they are be “emotional”, when they really just arent very good, like 99.9% of rockers.

    People want to relate to their heroes, and so we get George Bush. We are supposed to want something better, in the arts too. which is just as prone to glorified mediocrity, like the Venice Biennale. God it sucks. Amazing what the rich will do for entertainment, even being bored to tears. I guess thats an emotion, I think.

    Have a nice weekend!

  20. Hi,

    There’s always some controversy about Dali.
    Although my preferred style is realism, namely the Dutch Baroque period, I admire Dali as an artist.
    His art shows a singular creativity, be it painting, sculpture or jewelry.
    And I’d move him up a few positions.

    Best regards,


  21. Donald, Lucien Freud will be around in a thousand years. He’s a genius.

    The profile photo of Madonna nude is nice. I havent taken much notice lately but she had beautiful breast.

    Also, I’m not sure how anyone but a retard could relate to George Bush. I would do evolution a favor and jump off a bridge if I could relate to the man.

  22. My eldest had dinner twice with Bush at Annapolis(Naval Academy). And yes, he is a tard.

  23. What about BANKSY?

  24. Where was Banksy in the 20th century OneHuman? I don’t think I had heard of him in 1999.


  1. [...] Times Online and the Saatchi gallery have put together a list of 200 twentieth century artists and is asking visitors to vote for their favorite. They include famous painters, sculptors, [...]

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