The period from 1970 to 1989 was a transformative time for contemporary art, with many artists exploring new styles, mediums, and themes. While determining the "best" artists is subjective, here is a list of some influential and celebrated artists who made an impact during this time:
- Andy Warhol (United States) - A leading figure in the Pop Art movement, Warhol continued to create iconic works during the 1970s and 1980s, exploring themes of consumer culture, celebrity, and mass media.
- Jean-Michel Basquiat (United States) - A prominent Neo-Expressionist painter, Basquiat gained fame during the 1980s for his raw, expressive works that often incorporated graffiti, text, and social commentary.
- Keith Haring (United States) - Known for his bold, graphic style, Haring's work in painting, sculpture, and public art often addressed themes of social justice, sexuality, and popular culture.
- Cindy Sherman (United States) - A renowned photographer and filmmaker, Sherman gained prominence in the late 1970s and 1980s for her conceptual self-portraits, exploring themes of identity, gender, and the role of women in society.
- Anselm Kiefer (Germany) - A notable painter and sculptor, Kiefer's work often addresses themes of history, memory, and the human experience, using materials such as lead, straw, and ash to create large-scale, textured pieces.
- Gerhard Richter (Germany) - A versatile artist, Richter gained prominence during this period for his abstract paintings, photorealistic works, and exploration of various artistic styles.
- Robert Rauschenberg (United States) - A pioneering figure in the world of modern art, Rauschenberg continued to create innovative works during the 1970s and 1980s, blending painting, collage, and sculpture in his signature "combines."
- Frida Kahlo (Mexico) - Although Kahlo passed away in 1954, her work experienced a significant resurgence in the 1970s and 1980s, with her deeply personal and symbolic paintings becoming emblematic of feminist and LGBTQ+ movements.
- Barbara Kruger (United States) - A conceptual artist known for her text-based works, Kruger often uses bold typography and stark imagery to explore themes of power, identity, and consumer culture.
- Jenny Holzer (United States) - Gaining prominence in the late 1980s, conceptual artist Holzer often uses LED signs, projections, and other media to display provocative statements and explore themes of power, language, and perception.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and many other talented artists emerged and made significant contributions to the art world between 1970 and 1989. The artists mentioned above are just a few examples of the diverse and dynamic contemporary art scene during this period.