Contemporary Art

The 10 Best Artists of 2016

Piotr Policht 31 December 2016 min Read

There’s no need for special introduction: here’s a subjective list of the 10 most interesting artist that were active in last year. Enjoy!

Cao Fei

Cao Fei, “Hello Kitty”, 2005, courtesy of Cao Fei

Who is China’s most interesting artist right now? Forget Ai Wei Wei. Cao Fei, creator of brilliant, dense and visually captivating works, with a touch of dream-like intercultural imagery to them, is the one to be excited about.

Amalia Ulman

Amalia Ulman, “Excellences & Perfections”, photo from artist’s Instagram

How to make contemporary feminist art? Just look at Ulman’s Instagram (plus her videos and performances too, you won’t be regretting).

Kerry James Marshall

Kerry James Marshall, “Nude (Spotlight)’”, 2009, Courtesy Defares Collection

If you think Beyonce’s “Lemonade” is boldly exploring black identity, just look at Marshall’s uncompromising paintings.

Helen Marten

Helen Marten, Still from “Orchids, or a Hemispherical Bottom”, 2013 Courtesy of the artist; Sadie Coles HQ, London; Greene Naftali, New York; Johann Koenig, Berlin; and T293, Rome/Naples

Britain’s most hip sculptor, creator of mysterious and beautiful structures, winner of this year’s Turner Prize.

Jordan Wolfson

After mixing animation with real-life film footage in video works, Wolfson gained broad recognition thanks to his robotic, monumental, playful, grotesque, and a bit horrifying “Colored sculpture”.

Carmen Herrera

Carmen Herrera in the studio. Photo courtesy by Camilo Fuenteable

Better late then never. Cuban American abstract painter turned 101 (!) and became finally widely appreciated for her plain but bursting with energy geometrical compositions. Long live, Mrs. Herrera!

Omer Fast

Omer Fast, still from “Continuity” (2012)

Israeli born, Germany based video artist keeps making captivating video works that blur reality and dream-like distortions in order to explore traumas and overlooked sides of everyday reality.

Guerrilla Girls

Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into the Met. Museum? 1989 Guerrilla Girls null Purchased 2003
Guerrilla Girls, “Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into the Met. Museum?”, 1989, © courtesy

Feminist collective comprised of anonymous women is active since the mid-80s, still highlighting institutional inequalities.

Jon Rafman

Jon Rafman, “View of Pariser Platz” (2016), installation view

Author of the brilliant series of works made using Google Street View (you can see it here, highly recommended) started working with VR. And it worked perfect.

David Hockney

David Hockney in front of new work Credit: David Hockney/ David Rose

We wrote about his latest show recently. Still moving forward, still creating great works, both grandeur and subtle.


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