Modern Artists Full List Modern Artists in Conceptual Art


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Modern Artists in Conceptual Art

Below are biographies and analysis of the work of the artists central to the Conceptual Art movement. Read more about the movement on the Conceptual Art Overview page.

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Conceptual Art: 43 of 355 Total Artists

Chinese Conceptual Artist

Movement: Conceptual Art

Born: August 28, 1957 - Beijing, China

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese Conceptual artist and activist. His pieces explore many themes, including history, society, human rights, and the freedom of speech. Weiwei's open critique of the Chinese government has caused him many problems with Chinese authorities and challenged the establishment in an epic way.


American Collagist, Painter and Photographer

Movements and Styles: Conceptual Art, The Pictures Generation

Born: June 17, 1931 - National City, California

John Baldessari, born in 1931, is an American conceptual artist. He often combines image and languages in his art. His early works were canvas paintings that were empty except for painted statements derived from contemporary art theory. His juxtaposition of image and text is reminiscent of Rene Magritte's surrealist paintings.


German Photographers

Movement: Conceptual Art

Born: Bernd: August 20th, 1931 - Siegen, Germany
           Hilla: September 2nd, 1934 - Potsdam, Germany

Died: Bernd: June 22nd, 2007 - Rostock, Germany
           Hilla: October 10th, 2015 - Dusseldorf, Germany

The artistic duo Bernd and Hilla Becher were German photographers that explored the cultural impact of industrial design and the need for preservation through photographic series, memorializing them in single-image, gridded gelatin silver prints.


American Sculptor, Painter, Conceptual and Performance Artist

Movements and Styles: Conceptual Art, Performance Art, Feminist Art

Born: October 25, 1941 - Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lynda Benglis is an American artist associated with process-based and anti-form art. Best known for her floor-based "spills" and latex sculptures, she adds a critical feminist perspective to post-minimalist work.


German Sculptor and Performance Artist

Movements and Styles: Conceptual Art, Fluxus

Born: May 12, 1921 - Krefeld, Germany

Died: January 23, 1986 - Dusseldorf, Germany

Joseph Beuys was a German multi- and mixed-media artist best known for incorporating ideas of humanism, social philosophy and politics into his art. Beuys practiced everything from installation and performance art to traditional painting and "social sculpture." He was continually motivated by the belief of universal human creativity.


Belgian Conceptual Artist, Filmmaker and Poet

Movement: Conceptual Art

Born: January 28, 1924 - Brussels, Belgium

Died: January 28, 1976 - Cologne, Germany

Marcel Broodthaers was a Belgian poet, filmmaker and conceptual artist who was born in 1924. He worked principally with found objects and collage, which often contained text. His most noted work was an installation, Musée d'Art Moderne, Department of Eagles, which began in his Brussels home.


American Sculptor and Performance Artist

Movements and Styles: Performance Art, Conceptual Art

Born: April 11, 1946 - Boston, Massachusetts

Died: May 10, 2015 - Topanga, California

American performance artist Chris Burden is most known for his 1970s works that placed him in extreme danger, such as being shot in the arm by an assistant or being crucified on the back of a car.


Chinese Painter, Installation, and Performance Artist

Movements and Styles: Postmodernism, Installation Art, Conceptual Art, Land Art, Performance Art

Born: December 8, 1957 - Quanzhou, Fujian, China

Cai Guo-Qiang utilizes gunpowder and fireworks to offer a new form of performance and spectacle, in insight of the beauty in destruction.


American Sculptor and Conceptual Artist

Movements and Styles: Earth Art, Post-Minimalism, Conceptual Art

Born: October 1, 1935 - Albany, CA

Died: July 25, 2013 - Los Angeles, CA

Walter de Maria is an American sculptor, composer, and multi-media artist whose best known work is The Lightning Field (1977), consisting of 400 lightning rods situated on a field in New Mexico.


French Painter and Sculptor

Movements and Styles: Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Conceptual Art

Born: July 28, 1887 - Normandy, France

Died: October 2, 1968 - Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

The French artist Marcel Duchamp was an instrumental figure in the avant-garde art worlds of Paris and New York. Moving through Dada, Surrealism, readymades, sculpture, and installation, his work involves conceptual play and an implicit attack on bourgeois art sensibilities.

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British Sculptor, Photographer, Painter, and Conceptual Artist

Movements and Styles: Young British Artists, Conceptual Art, Feminist Art, Body Art

Born: July 3, 1963 - London, UK

Tracey Emin is a British artist and a member of the famed YBA's (Young British Artists). She is best known for her provocative and sexually-charged works, often in the form of personal traumatic events exhibited in an unapologeticly and willfully to the public.


British Sculptors, Photographers, Digital, Performance, and Conceptual Artists

Movements and Styles: Performance Art, Conceptual Art, Modern Photography, Pop Art, Digital Art

Born: Gilbert: September 17th, 1943 - Dolomites, Italy
           George: January 8th, 1942 - Devon, England

Gilbert and George are a British artistic duo, best known for their provocative and conceptualist public stagings, and the idiosyncratic manner in which they conduct themselves.


American Sculptor and Conceptual Artist

Movements and Styles: Conceptual Art, Appropriation Art, Installation Art

Born: September 12, 1954 - Meriden, Connecticut

Robert Gober is an American artist whose work often relates to domestic and familiar objects such as sinks, doors and legs. Despite their appearance, his sculptures are meticulously handcrafted. He represented the United States at the 2001 Venice Biennale.


American Conceptual, Post-Minimalist and Relational Aesthetics Artist

Movements and Styles: Post-Minimalism, Relational Aesthetics, Conceptual Art, Postmodernism

Born: November, 26 1957 - Guaimaro, Cuba

Died: January 9, 1996 - Miami, Florida

Felix Gonzalez-Torres was an American, Cuban-born visual artist known for his minimal installations and sculptures. Using materials such as strings of lightbulbs, clocks, stacks of paper, or packaged hard candies, his work is sometimes considered a reflection of his experience with AIDS and living at the time of the outbreak of that disease.


American Land and Enviromental Artist

Movements and Styles: Land Art, Environmental Art

Born: November 4, 1944 - Berkeley, California

Michael Heizer is an American artist who specializes in Land art installations and environments. Heizer's most celebrated pieces rely on the alteration but ultimate preservation of the natural landscape, such as Double Negative (1969), in which Heizer cut a 1500-foot long trench into a mesa in the Nevada desert.


American Conceptual Artist

Movements and Styles: Conceptual Art, Installation Art

Born: July 29, 1950 - Gallipolis, Ohio

Jenny Holzer is an American conceptual and mixed-media artist. Her work is best known for using a variety of text, propaganda imagery, sound, video and light, all of which she attempts to incorporate into public spaces, thus bringing artistic experience directly into the world.


American Painter and Printmaker

Movement: Neo-Dada

Born: May 15, 1930 - Augusta, Georgia

Jasper Johns is an American artist who rose to prominence in the late 1950s for his multi-media constructions, dubbed by critics as Neo-Dada. Johns' work, including his world-famous targets and American flags series, were important predecessors to Pop art.


British-Indian Sculptor, Painter, and Installation Artist

Movements and Styles: Post-Minimalism, Neo-Expressionism, Installation Art

Born: 1954 - Mumbai, India

Anish Kapoor is a leading contemporary sculptor and conceptual artist whose work is characterized by its simple and organic forms, that are both earthly and ethereal - such as Cloud Gate in Chicago's Millenium Park.


American Performance Artist and Theoretician

Movements and Styles: Happenings, Performance Art

Born: August 23, 1927 - Atlantic City, New Jersey

Died: April 5, 2006 - Encinitas, California

Allan Kaprow was an American painter, collagist, assemblagist and performance artist. Kaprow was best known for trailblazing the artistic concept "happenings," which were experiential artistic events rather than single works of art.


Japanese Painter and Conceptual Artist

Movements and Styles: Conceptual Art, Process Art, Post-Minimalism

Born: December 24, 1932 - Kariya, Japan

Died: July 10, 2014 - New York, NY

On Kawara was a contemporary Japanese-American artist that gained wide acclaim for his conceptual and meticulously executed series of works - the near-daily creation of which he maintained for many decades.

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Conceptual Art: 43 of 355 Total Artists

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