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This informal list was compiled from hundreds of reader suggestions online and reflects living, contemporary, working artists. It is not a formal statistical study. If an artist is retired from active production they may not be listed. If an artist is primarily active as a teacher, they may also not be listed. Making the list reflects international reputation and acclaim or being among the best in a particular niche or style. About 20 names were repeatedly suggested most often.  The list also orients around traditional notions of sophisticated, skilled oil painting, excluding conceptual and abstract painters (who are terrific in their own regard.) If the list seems skewed towards white males that may reflect an unfair bias to name certain white male international artists, but this fame bias does exist. Certainly there are many international, female, and artists of color that might be named to this list. This list is not about status, it exists merely to share names of high-quality artists which we may enjoy keeping an eye on. - Walt Morton

Gerhard Richter. John Currin. Odd Nerdrum. Antonio López García. Jenny Saville. Michaël Borremans. Gottfried Helwein. Nicola Samori. Golucho. Chuck Connelly. Luc Tuymans. Paula Rego. Phil Hale. Justin Mortimer. François Bard. Neo Rauch. Anna Halldin-Maule. Alyssa Monks. Rick Berry. Mark Tansey. Mian Situ. Sean Cheetham. Jerome Witkin. Robert Sample. Stephen Wright. Margaret Bowland. Daniel Sprick. Jan Uldrych. Jeremy Lipking. Vincent Desiderio. Kerry James Marshall. James Jean. Hernan Bas. Marlene Dumas. Lisa Yuskavage. Nicole Eisenman. Kaye Donachie. Peter Doig. Kehinde Wiley. Jamie Coreth. Clio Newton. Robert Williams. Zhaoming Wu. Mark Ryden. Casey Baugh. Steven Assael. Cesar Santos. Helmut Ditsch. Paco Pomet. Frank Auerbach. Vincent Xeus. Kris Knight. Victor Man. Razvan Boar. Daniel Pitin. Kris Lewis. Jeremy Geddes. Alex Kanevsky. Ann Gale. Lars Elling. Benjamin Bjorkland. Robin Eley. Katie O'Hagan. Malcolm Liepke. Miguel Angel Moya. Edwige Fouvry. Pamela Wilson. Nick Alm. Ashley Wood. Bo Bartlett. Cara Thayer and Louie Van Patten (collaborative work). Michael Hussar. Rose Freymuth Frazier. Christian Rex Van Minnen. Will Cotton. Nicolás Uribe. Adrian Ghenie. Liu Xiaodong. Stefan Boulter. Brendan Kelly. Diarmaid Kelley. Daniel Adel. Kevin Llewellyn. Teresa Oaxaca. Ruprecht von Kaufmann. Viktor Safonkin. Jose Luis Ceña Ruiz. Xevi Sola Serra. Sebastian Schrader. Wei Dong. Neil Hollingsworth. Kenichi Hoshine. Giorgio Pignotti. Jeremy Mann. David John Kassan. Maria Kreyn. Michael Carson. Cindy Wright. Richard Schmid. Matthew Cornell.


Publisher's Note: Bold=Published in PoetsArtists  Italics=Women. This list was compiled by the usual Facebook suspects and as noted contain very few women and does not express the opinion of our publication. It is a good list to discuss further and bring to light possibly the squeaky wheel theory and the impact of social media. Some bold or italics may have been missed during the posting process. - Didi Menendez