Modern Artists Full List Modern Designers and Artists


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Modern Designers and Artists

Below are biographies and analysis of the work of the modern artists that influenced the various types of design we see today. From posters, to theater, to furniture and topography. We also have movement pages on these modern movements that had a large influence on modern design: Arts and Crafts Movement, Aesthetic Movement, Art Nouveau, Wiener Werkstatte, Art Deco, The Bauhaus, De Stijl, and Neo-Plasticism.

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Modern Designers: 38 of 355 Total Artists

German-American Textile Artist and Printmaker

Movements and Styles: Bauhaus, Proto-Feminist Artists

Born: June 12, 1899 - Berlin, Germany

Died: May 9, 1994 - Orange, CT, USA

German-American designer and textile artist Anni Albers was the wife of Josef Albers and an influential artist in her own right. Her work brought together good design and modern materials with the Bauhaus design ethos, where she studied and taught before moving to the United States.


American Painter, Poet, Sculptor, Teacher, and Theoretician

Movements and Styles: Bauhaus, Geometric Abstraction

Born: March 19 1888 - Bottrop, Germany

Died: March 25 1976 - New Haven, CT, USA

Josef Albers was a German-born American painter and teacher. Celebrated as a geometric abstractionist and influential instructor at Black Mountain College, Albers directly influenced such artists as Rauschenberg, Twombly and Ray Johnson.


British Illustrator and Author

Movements and Styles: Art Nouveau, Aesthetic Art, Decadent Movement

Born: August 21, 1872 - Brighton, Sussex, England

Died: March 16, 1898 - Menton, France

Aubrey Beardsley was a nineteenth-century English illustrator and author. In black ink he created highly erotic, grotesque, and decadant drawings, much in the style of Japanese woodcuts. Beardsley's work was part of the Aesthetic movement, and was highly influential to the subsequent Art Nouveau movement of the early-twentieth century.


English Painter

Movements and Styles: The Bloomsbury Group Artists, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism

Born: May 30, 1879 - London, United Kingdom

Died: April 7, 1961 - Firle, United Kington

One of the most renowned artists of the Bloomsbury Group, Vanessa Bell was an innovative painter and interior designer. Rejecting the Victorian style of narrative painting and notions of ideal femininity, Bell used her personal life in her paintings to explore modern life.


French Painter and Printmaker

Movements and Styles: Post-Impressionism, Les Nabis, Symbolism

Born: October 3, 1867 - Fontenay-aux-Roses, France

Died: January 23, 1947 - Le Cannet, France

The French artist Pierre Bonnard, although dismissed as old-fashioned by some of the avant-garde in his lifetime, was esteemed by contemporary colorists like Matisse. A member of the Nabis group in his youth, his innovative paintings play with light, decorative surfaces, and Impressionist techniques.


French Theoretician and Writer

Movements and Styles: Dada, Surrealism

Born: February 19, 1896 - Normandy, France

Died: September 28, 1966 - Paris, France

André Breton, author of the 1924 Surrealist Manifesto, was an influential theorizer of both Dada and Surrealism. Born in France, he emigrated to New York during World War II, where he greatly influenced the Abstract Expressionists.


Hungarian-American Designer, Sculptor, and Architect

Movements and Styles: Bauhaus, Modern Architecture

Born: May 21, 1902 - Pecs, Hungary

Died: July 1, 1981 - New York City, USA

Marcel Breuer's career touched nearly every aspect of three-dimensional design, from tiny utensils to the biggest buildings. Famously part of the Bauhaus school in Germany, Breuer was an influential Hungarian-born modernist that went on to teach many architects of the next generation.


Ukrainian-born French Painter, Textile Designer, Fashion and Costume Designer

Movements and Styles: Cubism, Orphism

Born: November 14, 1885 - Odessa, Ukraine

Died: December 5, 1979 - Paris, France

Sonia Delauney with her husband Robert Delauney, began the Orphism art movement during the pre-War period, characterized by its use of strong color palettes and geometric, abstract forms. Delaunay's work also popularly incorporated the use of fabric, furniture design and clothing.


German-American Painter, Printmaker, Cartoonist, Photographer

Movements and Styles: Bauhaus, Cubism, Der Blaue Reiter, Modern Photography

Born: July 17, 1871 - New York City, NY

Died: January 13, 1956 - New York City, NY

Lyonel Feininger was a German-American painter and caricaturist associated with the Die Brucke and Der Blaue Rider groups. He painted in an original style reminiscent of Cubism and Futurism, but he is most famous for helping Walter Gropius build the Bauhaus school where Feininger taught until the school was closed down by the Nazis.


Catalan Architect and Designer

Movements and Styles: Art Nouveau, Modern Architecture

Born: June 25, 1852 - Reus, Catalonia, Spain

Died: June 10, 1926 - Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Antoni Gaudí was the most popular representative of the Catalan Modernista movement, which combined elements of Art Nouveau, Japonism, Gothic design, and geometric forms. Gaudi's design style has been referred to as "global," indicating a profound attention to every detail of his work, from a building's structure and placement down to its smallest decorative details. Gaudi's masterpiece is the Sagrada Familia, a distinctly modern church in Barcelona.Modern Architecture Modern Design Art Nouveau Religious Art Spanish

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Russian Painter, Writer, Set and Costume Designer, and Illustrator

Movements and Styles: Rayonism, Russian Futurism, Performance Art, Proto-Feminist Artists

Born: June 21, 1881 - Nagaevo, Tula Province, Russia

Died: October 17, 1962 - Paris, France

Goncharova was part of the Russian avant garde generation involved in a relentless exploration of different visual styles. She also co-founded Rayonism with her life partner Mikhail Larionov.


American Photographers, Designers, Activists and Conceptual Artists

Movements and Styles: Feminist Art, Contemporary Art

Born: 1984

The Guerrilla Girls are a radical feminist activist group that agitates for women's equality in museums and the art world. Originating in the 1980s and active to this day, they are famous for their poster designs and the gorilla masks their members wear as disguises.


French Architect and Designer

Movements and Styles: Art Nouveau, Modern Architecture

Born: 10 March 1867 - Lyons, France

Died: 20 May 1942 - New York, New York, USA

Guimard was a leading figure in the Art Nouveau movement and the buildings that he designed exemplified the aims of the movement with their organic curves, unity of decorative arts, and natural elements. He made his greatest mark in Paris where in 1900 he designed the entrances to most of the city's metro stations.


German Graphic Designer and Photomonteur

Movement: Dada

Born: June 19, 1891 - Berlin, Germany

Died: April 26, 1968 - Berlin, former East Germany

John Heartfield was a German graphic designer and political activist, most renowned for creating a number of anti-Fascist propaganda photomontages. Heartfield is also noted for his contributions to the Dada movement, creating stage designs, book covers, and altogether merging politics and art.


Belgian Architect and Designer

Movements and Styles: Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modern Architecture

Born: January 6, 1861 - Ghent, Belgium

Died: September 8, 1947 - Brussels, Belgium

Synonymous with Art Nouveau, Horta was one of the greatest innovators and pioneers of the movement, designing flamboyant, lush, and organic houses, buildings, and offices. His works are marked by their curvilinear botanic forms, most of which can still be seen in the city of Brussels.


Swiss Painter, Designer, and Teacher

Movement: Bauhaus

Born: November 11, 1888 - Suderen-Linden, Switzerland

Died: March 25, 1967 - Zurich, Switzerland

Swiss expressionist painter and color theorist Johannes Itten was an influential teacher at the Bauhaus. He wrote influencial books and his biggest legacy is in the students that he influenced.


American Designer, Graphic Artist, and Photographer

Movements and Styles: Conceptual Art, Feminist Art, Postmodernism

Born: January 26, 1945 - Newark, New Jersey

Barbara Kruger is an American Conceptual artist. Much of Kruger's work merges found photographs taken from existing sources with pithy and aggressive text. Her captions engage the viewer in the work's greater struggle for power and control.


Swiss-French Modern Architect, Urban Planner, Designer, Sculptor, Painter, and Writer

Movements and Styles: Modern Architecture, The International Style, Purism, Brutalism

Born: October 6, 1887 - La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

Died: August 27, 1965 - Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France

Le Corbusier was a twentieth-century Swiss-French architect, urban planner, designer, writer and painter. Le Corbusier was a pioneer in modern architecture and his priciples were integral to the hugely popular International Style of architecture.


American Painter, Sculptor, and Lithographer

Movements and Styles: Pop Art, Postmodernism

Born: October 27, 1923 - New York, NY

Died: September 29, 1997 - New York, NY

Roy Lichtenstein was an American painter and a pioneer of the Pop art movement. His signature reproductions of comic book imagery eventually redefined how the art world viewed high vs. lowbrow art. Lichtenstein employed a unique form of painting called the Benday dot technique, in which small, closely-knit dots of paint were applied to form a much larger image.


Russian Painter, Typographer, and Designer

Movements and Styles: Suprematism, Constructivism

Born: November 23, 1890 - Pochinok, Russian Empire

Died: December 30, 1941 - Moscow, Soviet Union

El Lissitzky was a Russian avant-garde painter, photographer, architect and designer. Along with his mentor Kazimir Malevich, Lissitzky helped found Suprematism. His art often employed the use of clean lines and simple geometric forms, and expressed a fascination with Jewish culture. Lissitzky was also a major influence on the Bauhaus school of artists and the Constructivist movement.

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Modern Designers: 38 of 355 Total Artists

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