Modern Artists Full List Modern Artists in Modern Photography


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Modern Artists in Modern Photography

Below are biographies and analysis of the work of artists central to Modern Photography.

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Modern Photographers: 52 of 340 Total Artists

American Photographer

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Straight Photography, Documentary Photography

Born: March 14, 1923 - New York City, New York

Died: July 26, 1971 - New York City, New York

Diane Arbus is recognized for her insightful street-based compositions and black-and-white portraits of marginalized individuals on the fringes of mainstream society, including images of nudists, transvestites, and mentally and physically handicapped people.


French Photographer

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Straight Photography, Documentary Photography

Born: February 12, 1857 - Libourne, France

Died: August 4, 1927 - Paris, France

Eugène Atget was a French photographer who in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century carefully and comprehensively documented the street scenes, architecture and artists of Paris. Atget, whose work was characterized by long exposure, famously sold his photographs to a great number of Parisian artists, including Man Ray, which were used as visual aids for painting.


American Photographer

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Straight Photography, Documentary Photography, Fashion Photography

Born: May 15, 1923 - New York City, New York

Died: October 1, 2004 - San Antonio, Texas

Richard Avedon revolutionized fashion photography by enlivening his models, by showing them in movement. He also excelled in black-and-white portraiture - celebraties and common folk were exhibited in psychologoically revealing ways. His large and powerful body of work makes Avedon one of the most famous photographers of all time.


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-American Sculptor, Photographer, Poet, and Performance Artist

Movements and Styles: Dada, Modern Photography, Performance Art, Readymade, Proto-Feminist Artists

Born: July 12, 1874 - Swinemunde, Germany (now Świnoujście, Poland)

Died: December 14, 1927 - Paris, France

Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, the provocateur and essential catalyst for New York Dada movement, upended notions of what was considered art.


German Artist, Sculptor and Photographer

Movements and Styles: Dada, Surrealism, Modern Photography

Born: March 13, 1902 - Katowice, German Empire (now Poland)

Died: February 24, 1975 - Paris, France

Hans Bellmer was a twentieth-century German avant-garde photographer and draughtsman, commonly associated with the Surrealism movement. Bellmer is best known for creating a series of pubescent female dolls in the 1930s, which were designed as a direct criticism of Nazi-controlled Germany and its idealization of the perfect human form. Bellmer eventually fled Germany for Paris and was embraced by Breton and the French Surrealists.


French Photographer, Writer, and Political Activist

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Dada, Surrealism, Proto-Feminist Artists

Born: October 25, 1894 - Nantes, France

Died: December 8, 1954 - St Helier, Jersey, Great Britain

Cahun's photographs are renowned for blurring the lines between gender and sexuality, as illustrated in her Surrealist-inspired and non-gender specific photomontages and self-portraits.


French Photographer and Filmmaker

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Straight Photography, Photojournalism, Documentary Photography

Born: August 22, 1908 - Chantelop-en-Brie, France

Died: August 3, 2004 - Montjustin, France

The French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson defined the field of photojournalism and created some of the most memorable photos of the greatest world events of his era. He also brilliantly captured "the decisive moment", the split second when an intersting and powerful composition is best photographed.


American Painter and Photographer

Movement: Photorealism

Born: July 5, 1940 - Monroe, Washington

Chuck Close is an American painter and photographer who achieved fame as a photorealist through his large-scale portraits. Though a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him severely paralyzed, he has continued to paint and produce work that remains sought after by museums and collectors.


Spanish Painter, Sculptor, Filmmaker, Printmaker, and Performance Artist

Movement: Surrealism

Born: May 11, 1904 - Figueras, Catalonia, Spain

Died: January 23, 1989 - Figueras, Catalonia, Spain

Salvador Dalí was a Spanish Surrealist painter who combined a hyperrealist style with dream-like, sexualized subject matter. His collaborations with Hollywood and commercial ventures, alongside his notoriously dramatic personality, earned him scorn from some Surrealist colleagues.

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American Photographer

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Straight Photography, Street Photography

Born: July 27, 1939 - Memphis, Tennessee

Eggelston's photographs focused on capturing Southern life and America's turn to consumerism. He is also credited with increasing the recognition of color photography as an art form.


American Photographer, Writer, and Photojournalist

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Straight Photography, Photojournalism

Born: November 3, 1903 - St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Died: April 10, 1975 - New Haven, Connecticut, USA

The photographs of Walker Evans told the story of American working-class life with an exacting frankness that was truly revolutionary for its time. He is best well-known for his documentation of the effects of the Great Depression, especially for the iconic portrait of a Southern farmer's wife.


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.


German Photographer

Movements and Styles: Dusseldorf school, Modern Photography

Born: January 15, 1955 - Leipzig, Germany

Gursky's massive and distanced surveys of public spaces, landscapes, and structures contributed to new picture taking in contrast to the Minimalism and Conceptualism of the 1970s.


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.


German Photomontage artist

Movement: Dada

Born: November 1, 1889 - Gotha, Germany

Died: May 31, 1978 - Berlin, Germany

Hannah Hoch was a German-born Dada artist. She and Raoul Hausmann were among the first artists to work in photomontage. Hoch is most famous for her works dating from the Weimar years, most notably 1919's 'Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany,' which critiqued Weimar Germany.


French Painter

Movements and Styles: Nouveau Réalisme, Performance Art

Born: April 28, 1928 - Nice, France

Died: June 6, 1962 - Paris, France

Yves Klein attacked many of the ideas of the art world that underpinned abstract painting, audience participation, and other approaches to making and viewing art. Also, he famously used a single color, the rich shade of ultramarine that he made his own, "International Klein Blue."


American Conceptual Artist and Theoretician

Movement: Conceptual Art

Born: January 31, 1945 - Toledo, Ohio

Joseph Kosuth was one of the originators of Conceptual art in the mid-1960s, when he pioneered the use of words in place of visual imagery of any kind and explored the relationship between ideas and the images, and words used to convey them.


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.


American Photographer

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Straight Photography, Documentary Photography

Born: May 26, 1895 - Hoboken, New Jersey

Died: October 11, 1965 - San Francisco, California

Dorothea Lange's images of Depression America made her one of the most acclaimed documentary photographers of the twentieth century. She went on to become a leading photo-journalist working for magazines such as Fortune and Life.

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Modern Photographers: 52 of 340 Total Artists

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