The Best Contemporary Art: A Chronological List

The following is a meta-list of the best works of contemporary art.  I found and compiled approximately 10 lists of the best contemporary art to create this meta-list.  Here are the results: every work of art that is on at least two of the original source lists.  I’ve presented the list in chronological order but the number of lists the work is on is also provided parenthetically.

What is contemporary art?  Many have pointed out that all art was contemporary when it was created. Contemporary refers not to a particular style, school or movement but to a time period. Based on the lists I’ve found of best contemporary art, most critics and scholars date the beginning of the contemporary period to the early 1960s (although some say the 1970s), continuing to the present. I’ve chosen to begin with Robert Motherwell’s Elegies to the Spanish Republic, which appeared on three of the lists I found.  Although Motherwell began his series of paintings in the late 1940s, many of the most significant pieces of work date from the 1960s forward.

Note 1: Some of these works of art are individual pieces, others are series of works and still others are ephemeral or temporary installations or performances.  In this age of the commodification of art, many artists have managed to find ways to duplicate, replicate or repeat themselves, with or without variation.

Note 2: The list includes only visual art. There is no music or literature, although words and music may be incorporated into some of the artworks). Except for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Maya Lin (and, arguably, Splitting by Gordon Matta-Clark) I have not included any architecture. Many examples of contemporary architecture may be found on the best architecture meta lists, here and here.

Note 3: I believe that talking about visual art without providing visual references is pointless. Therefore, I have provided images of the works on the list.  I believe that this is fair use and for an educational, non-commercial purpose and therefore does not violate any copyrights.  If any copyright holder disagrees with this, please let me know.

motherwell elegy 110
Elegy to the Spanish Republic
(1948-1990) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Robert Motherwell (US, 1915-1991)
Description/Medium: Series of paintings. Abstract expressionism.
Locations: Various, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (No. 57, 1957-1961); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (No. 70, 1961); Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut (No. 78, 1962); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California (No. 100, 1963-1975); Museum of Modern Art, New York (No. 108, 1965-1967); Guggenheim Museum, New York (No. 110, 1971); Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan (No. 131, 1974); Tate, UK (No. 132, 1975-1985); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas (No. 171, 1988-1990); Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado (No. 172, 1989-1990)
Image: Elegy to the Spanish Republic, No. 110 (Easter Day, 1971)

jasper johns map 1961
Map
(1961) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Jasper Johns (1930- )
Description/Medium: Painting (oil on canvas)
Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York.

warhol_marilyn_diptych
Marilyn Diptych
(1962) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Andy Warhol (US, 1928-1987)
Description/Medium: Silkscreen painting. Pop Art.
Location: Tate, London, UK

twombly-leda-
Leda and the Swan
(1962) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Cy Twombly (US/Italy, 1928-2011)
Description/Medium: Painting
Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York

georg-baselitz-17
The Big Night Down The Drain
 (Die große Nacht im Eimer) (1962-1963) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Georg Baselitz (Germany, 1938- )
Description/Medium: Series of paintings
Location: Original is at Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany.  Another version is at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Image shows the version from the Museum Ludwig in Cologne.

Retroactive-I
Retroactive I
 (1963) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Robert Rauschenberg (US, 1925-2008)
Description/Medium: Silkscreen paintings. Neo-Dada.
Locations: Various, including: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut.

red-blue-green-1963
Red Blue Green
 (1963) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Ellsworth Kelly (US, 1923-2015)
Description/Medium: Painting. Hard Edge.
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California

Lichtenstein_whaam
Whaam!
(1963) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Roy Lichtenstein (US, 1923-1977)
Description/Medium: Painting. Pop Art.
Location: Tate, London, UK

fat chair  fat chair 2
Fat Chair
 (Chair with Fat) (1963-1964) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Joseph Beuys (Germany, 1921-1986)
Description/Medium: Installation/sculpture (wooden chair with fat on the seat).
Location: Two versions: Tate Modern, UK/National Galleries of Scotland (joint ownership); Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany
Images show the Darmstadt (left) and Tate versions.

birthday kienholz
The Birthday
(1964) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Edward Kienholz (US, 1927-1994)
Description/Medium: Installation art/assemblage art.  Group of sculptures arranged in a tableau.
Location: Occasionally on display in museums and galleries

Bridget_Riley._Current_(1964)
Current
(1964) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Bridget Riley (UK: England, 1931- )
Description/Medium: Painting. Op Art.
Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York

one and three chairs kosuth
One and Three Chairs
(1965) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Joseph Kosuth (US, 1945- )
Description/Medium: Conceptual art consisting of instructions/diagram, which instructs the curator to display a chair, a photograph of the chair, and a copy of the dictionary definition of “chair.”
Locations: Various, including: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France
Image: Version at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

how to explain pictures
How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare
 (1965) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Joseph Beuys (Germany, 1921-1986)
Description/Medium: Performance art.  The artist, his head covered in gold, walked around an closed room of an art gallery with a dead rabbit cradled in his arms, occasionally speaking to the rabbit, while spectators peered through the windows.
Location: Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, Germany
Image: Photograph from performance.

infiltration-for-piano
Homogenous Infiltration for Grand Piano
 (1966) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Joseph Beuys (Germany, 1921-1986)
Description/Medium: Assemblage; tableau of sculptures, including a grand piano wrapped in felt.
Location: Georges Pompidou Center, Paris, France

nauman_fountain
Self Portrait as a Fountain
 (1966) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Bruce Nauman (US, 1941- )
Description/Medium: Photograph. Conceptual art. Also during 1966, Nauman produced text-based works containing the statement, “The true artist is an amazing luminous fountain.”
Location: Prints in various locations, including Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

broken obelisk
Broken Obelisk
 (1966-1967) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Barnett Newman (US, 1905-1970)
Description/Medium: Sculpture made from Cor-Ten steel
Location: Four versions: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Rothko Chapel, Houston, Texas; University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York
Image: Broken Obelisk at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Equivalent VIII 1966 by Carl Andre born 1935
Equivalent
 (1966-1969) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Carl Andre (US, 1935- )
Description/Medium: Series of eight sculptures, composed of rows of bricks arranged in a rectangle on the floor.
Location: Various, including: Museum of Modern Art, New York (Equivalent V); Tate Modern, London, UK (Equivalent VIII)
Image: Equivalent VIII

narcissus garden
Narcissus Garden
 (1966-Present) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Yayoi Kusama (Japan, 1929 – )
Description/Medium: Installation of 1,500 silver reflective spheres (plastic or stainless steel) arranged on the ground or in water.
Location: First exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1966. Also exhibited at Instituto Inhotim, Brazil and Central Park, New York (2004); The Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut (2016); Gateway National Recreation Area, Queens, New York (2018); Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Las Vegas, Nevada (2018-2019).
Image: View of installation at The Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut.

love_forever_room_kusama
Infinity Mirrored Room – Love Forever
(1966-Present) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Yayoi Kusama (Japan, 1929- )
Description/Medium: Installation consisting of a mirrored room with thousands of tiny, colored electric lights and open wooden frames.
Locations: Various occasional installations.

hockney bigger splash
A Bigger Splash
(1967) (on 2 lists)

Artist: David Hockney (UK: England, 1937- )
Description/Medium: Painting
Location: Tate, London, UK

judd stacks 2  judd stacks 1
Untitled (Stack) (1967-1994) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Donald Judd (US, 1928-1994)
Description/Medium: Series of sculptures. Minimalism.
Locations: Various, including: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas; Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan; Nelson-Atkins Musuem of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Tate, London, UK
Images: Two different Untitled stack works by Donald Judd.

spiral jetty
Spiral Jetty
(1970) (on 8 lists)

Artist: Robert Smithson (US, 1938-1973)
Description/Medium: Earthwork; land art.
Location: Rozel Point, Great Salt Lake, Utah, US

tourists duane hanson
Tourists
(1970) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Duane Hanson (US, 1925-1996)
Description/Medium: Sculptures (casts of two life-sized figures)
Location: Scottish National Galleries, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Andy-Warhol-Mao-1972-lithography-60x60cm-800x811
Mao
 (1972-1973) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Andy Warhol (US, 1928-1987)
Description/Medium: Series of nearly 200 silkscreen paintings, with significant variations.  Pop art.
Location: Various, including: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Broad, Los Angeles, California

kiefer-resurrexit
Resurrexit 
(1973) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Anselm Kiefer (Germany, 1945- )
Description/Medium: Painting
Location: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Collection Sanders)

splitting
Splitting
(1974) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Gordon Matta-Clark (US, 1943-1978)
Description/Medium: Radical sculpture; “Anarchitecture”; video. The artist cuts a house in half.
Location: Englewood, NJ (home of Holly Solomon)

Joseph-Beuys-I-like-America-and-America-likes-me
I Like America and America Likes Me
 (1974) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Joseph Beuys (Germany, 1921-1986)
Description/Medium: Performance (the artist was transported to and from the airport by ambulance, wrapped in felt, to spend eight hours over three days in a room with a coyote)
Location: René Block Gallery, New York, US

Running-Fence-christo-jeanne-claude
Running Fence
 (1976) (on 4 lists)

Artists: Christo (Bulgaria/France, 1935- ) and Jeanne-Claude (Morocco/France, 1935-2009)
Description/Medium: Temporary installation (September 10-24, 1976). The 18-ft-tall fence ran 24.5 miles, ending in the Pacific Ocean.
Location: Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, US

lightning field
The Lightning Field
(1977) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Walter De Maria (US, 1935-2013)
Description/Medium: Land art (400 stainless steel poles arranged in a rectangular grid)
Location: Catron County, New Mexico, US

cindy sherman 21
Untitled Film Stills
(1977-1980) (on 5 lists)
Artist: Cindy Sherman (1954- )
Description/Medium: series of photographs; book.
Location: Various
Image: Untitled Film Still #21 (1978).

HOLZER-TRUISMS
Truisms
(1977-1989) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Jenny Holzer (US, 1950- )
Description/Medium: Conceptual art.  Truisms consists of nearly 300 aphorisms or slogans. They were originally distributed using stickers, t-shirts and posters, but were later displayed electronically.
Location: Various, including Museum of Modern Art, New York (photostat)
Image: Paper with list of some of the Truisms.


roden crater 1
roden crater 4
Roden Crater
 (work in progress, 1977-Present) (on 7 lists)
Artist: James Turrell (US, 1943- )
Description/Medium: Land art; naked-eye observatory
Location: Painted Desert (near Flagstaff), Arizona, US
Images: Exterior and interior views of parts of the Roden Crater project.


judy-chicago-the-dinner-party
T
he Dinner Party (1979) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Judy Chicago (US, 1939- )
Description/Medium: Installation (triangular table with place settings for 39 important mythical and historical women, set on The Heritage Floor – tiles with names of nearly 1,000 women)
Location: Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York

alice-neel-self-portrait-1980
Self-Portrait
(1980) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Alice Neel (US, 1900-1984)
Description/Medium: Painting
Location: National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., US

keith-haring-subway-drawingsArt in Transit (1980-1985) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Keith Haring (US, 1958-1990)
Description/Medium: Ephemeral drawings on New York City subway platforms.
Location: New York City subway system (now destroyed). Also, there is a book of photographs of the drawings.

tilted arc 3
Tilted Arc
 (1981) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Richard Serra (US, 1939- )
Description/Medium: Sculpture; public art installation (120-ft-long, 12-ft-tall, Cor-Ten steel plate).
Location: Foley Federal Plaza, Manhattan, New York (removed in 1989)

untitled 96 cindy sherman
Untitled #96
(from Centerfolds series) (1981) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Cindy Sherman (US, 1954- )
Description/Medium: Photograph (chromogenic color print) (edition of 10)
Location: Various, including Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Anselm-Kiefer-Margarete-
Margarete
(1981) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Anselm Kiefer (Germany, 1945- )
Description/Medium: Painting (oil and straw on canvas)
Location: Private collection.

vietnam veterans memorial aerial view
Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial
(1982) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Maya Lin (US, 1959- )
Description/Medium: Sculpture/architecture. Memorial wall etched with the names of Americans who served in the Vietnam War.
Location: Constitution Gardens, Washington, D.C., US

basquiat cabeza

Cabeza (1982) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Jean-Michel Basquiat (US, 1960-1988)
Description/Medium: Painting.  There is also a series of 85 screenprints.
Location: Private collection

Judd-100-untitled-works-in-mill-aluminum-detail-1982–86-aluminum.-2009 Photo-Douglas-Tuck100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminum (1982-1986) (on 3 lists)
Artist: Donald Judd (US, 1928-1994)
Description/Medium: Installation of 100 boxes. Minimalism.
Location: Chinati, Marfa, Texas

7,000 oaks beuys
7,000 Oaks – City Forestation Instead of City Administration
 (1982-1987) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Joseph Beuys (Germany, 1921-1986)
Description/Medium: Land art. Planting of 7,000 oak trees, each paired with a columnar basalt stone.
Location: Kassel, Germany.  Additional trees have been planted in Manhattan, New York by the Dia Art Foundation (five trees in 1988; 25 trees in 1996 and seven new stones next to preexisting trees.

parthenon of books marta minujin
The Parthenon of Books
(1983; 2017) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Marta Minujín (Argentina, 1943- )
Description/Medium: Temporary installation. Replica of Parthenon using steel frame and thousands of banned books. Books used in Argentina had been banned by the government between 1976 and 1983. The Kassel, Germany replica, also using banned books, was located on this site of a Nazi book burning. After the exhibit, the Parthenons were dismantled and the books distributed to the public.
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina (1983); Kassel, Germany (2017)
Image: View of Kassel, Germany installation (2017).

kabakov man who flew into space
The Man Who Flew Into Space from His Apartment
(1981-1984) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Ilya Kabakov (Ukraine/US, 1933- )
Description/Medium: Installation. Using poster panels, collage and mixed media (including furniture and sneakers), the artist created a small room with a large slingshot and a gaping hole in the ceiling.
Location: Various occasional installations.

polke watchtower
Watchtower (Hochsitz)
(1984-1988) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Sigmar Polke (Germany, 1941-2010)
Description/Medium: Series of paintings
Location: Various, including: Museum of Modern Art, New York (Watchtower); National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., US (Watchtower I); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Watchtower II); Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (Watchtower with Geese)
Image: Watchtower (1984).

manncandy-cigaretteImmediate Family (1984-1991) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Sally Mann (US, 1951- )
Description/Medium: Series of photographs. Book.
Location: Various.
Image: Candy Cigarette (1989).


christo-und-jeanne-claude-pont-neuf-wrapped
The Pont Neuf Wrapped
(1985) (on 2 lists)

Artists: Christo (Bulgaria/France, 1935- ) and Jeanne-Claude (Morocco/France, 1935-2009)
Description/Medium: Environmental art. Temporary wrapping of bridge in fabric. Also preparatory drawings. Photographs by Wolfgang Volz.
Location: Paris, France (August-October, 1985)

nan-goldin-nan-one-month-after-being-battered-1984
The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
(exhibition, 1985; book, 1986) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Nan Goldin (US, 1953- )
Description/Medium: Series of photographs presented as an exhibition, as individual prints and as a book.
Location: Various
Image: Nan one month after being battered (1984)

koons rabbit
Rabbit
 (1986) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Jeff Koons (US, 1955- )
Description/Medium: Four stainless steel sculptures of an inflatable Easter bunny.
Location: Various, including The Broad, Los Angeles, California

kruger_i_shop
Untitled (I Shop Therefore I Am)
(1987-1990) (on 3 lists)
Artist: Barbara Kruger (US, 1945- )
Description/Medium: Various media, including: photolithograph printed in colors; photographic silkscreen print on vinyl; seriegraph on vinyl
Location: Various, including: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas; Museum of Modern Art, New York

gerhard_richter_man_shot_down_1
October 18, 1977
 (1988) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Gerhard Richter (Germany, 1932- )
Description/Medium: Series of 15 paintings based on photographs of four members of the Red Army Faction (also known as the Baader-Meinhof Group).
Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York
Image: Man Shot Down 1.
Morimura_Portrait Futago
Portrait (Futago) (1988) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Yasumasa Morimura (Japan, 1951- )
Description/Medium: Photograph
Location: Various, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California

hirst a thousand yearsA Thousand Years (1990) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Damien Hirst (UK: England, 1965- )
Description/Medium: A decaying cow’s head, flies and maggots inside a vitrine which also contains a insect electrocuting machine and a large die with a single dot on each face.
Location: Private collection.

gursky siemens larger
Siemens, Karlsruhe
 (1991) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Andreas Gursky (Germany, 1955- )
Description/Medium: Photograph (edition of four)
Location: Various private collections

cell-the-last-climb
Cells
(1990-2010) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Louise Bourgeois (France/US, 1911-2010)
Description/Medium: Each cell is a collection of objects and sculptural forms, set in a cage or other enclosed space.
Location: Various, including Tate, London, UK (Cell (Eyes and Mirrors), 1989-1993; Cell XIV (Portrait), 2000); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Cell II, 1991); National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (Cell (Glass Spheres and Hands), 1990-1993); St. Louis Art Museum (Cell (Three White Marble Spheres), 1993); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts (Cell (Hands and Mirror), 1995); Museum of Modern Art, New York (Spider (Cell), 1997); Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands (Cell XXVI, 2003); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada (Cell (The Last Climb), 2008).
Image: Cell (The Last Climb).


koons made in heaven
Made in Heaven
 (1990–1991) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Jeff Koons (US, 1955- )
Description/Medium: A series of sculptures and photographs featuring the artist and his wife, Ilona Staller engaged in various sexual acts.
Location: Various, including private collections and Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (Violet-Ice (Kama Sutra)).
Image: Several sculptures from Made in Heaven.


antony gormley field
Field
 (1990-2003) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Antony Gormley (UK: England, 1950- )
Description/Medium: Series of temporary installations in which many thousands of small (3-10 inches tall) human figures made of baked clay stand close together on the floor. The first version of Field (35,000 figures) was made in 1990 with the Texca family of brick makers in San Matias, Cholula, Mexico. Other versions include: Amazonian Field (1991), made in Porto Velho, Brazil (approx. 24,000 figures); Field for the British Isles (1993), made in St Helens near Liverpool in the UK (approx. 40,000 figures); European Field (1993), made in Östra Grevie, Sweden (approx. 40,000 figures); Asian Field (2003), made in Xiangshan County, Guangdong, China (approx. 190,000 figures).
Location: Various.
Image: A view of the installation of the 1990 American version of Field at Tate Liverpool in 2004.

mother-and-child-divided-damien-hirst
Natural History
 (1991-2014) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Damien Hirst (UK: England, 1965- )
Description/Medium: Series of works in which animal corpses (whole or divided) or body parts are set in formaldehyde-filled vitrines. Some of the works are: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991) (shark); Out of Sight, Out of Mind (1991) (cow’s heads); Because I Can’t Have You I Want You (1993) (fish); Alone Yet Together (1993) (fish): Mother and Child (Divided) (1993) (cow and calf); Philip (The Twelve Disciples) (1994) (bull’s head); Away from the Flock (1994) (sheep); The Prodigal Son (1994) (calf); Away from the Flock (Divided) (1995); This Little Piggy Went to Market, This Little Piggy Went Home (1996) (pig); In His Infinite Wisdom (2003) (calf); The Immortal (1997-2005) (shark); The Wrath of God (2005) (shark); The Dream (2008) (foal); Cock and Bull (2012) (bull and rooster).
Location: Various, including Tate, London, UK (Mother and Child (Divided), 1993; Away from the Flock, 1994)
Image: Mother and Child (Divided).

damien hurst shark 2
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
 (from Natural History series) (1991) (on 6 lists)

Artist: Damien Hirst (UK: England, 1965- )
Description/Medium: Sculpture (dead shark floating in formaldehyde in vitrine)
Location: Private collection

puppy Bilbao
Puppy 
(1992) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Jeff Koons (US, 1955- )
Description/Medium: Gigantic sculpture of a puppy covered in flowering plants; extensive infrastructure for providing water and nutrients.
Location: Original set up at Arolsen, Germany in 1992 (temporary installation). Two existing versions: Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao Spain (since 1997); Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut.
Image: The Guggenheim Bilbao Puppy.

andreas-gursky-paris-montparnasse
Paris, Montparnasse
 (1993) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Andreas Gursky (Germany, 1955- )
Description/Medium: Photograph
Location: Various, including Tate, London, UK

jeff wall sudden gust of wind
A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai)
 (1993) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Jeff Wall (Canada, 1946- )
Description/Medium: Photograph (transparency on lightbox)
Location: Tate, London, UK

kippenberger happy end
The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s ‘Amerika’
(1994) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Martin Kippenberger (Germany, 1953-1997)
Description/Medium: Temporary installation consisting of tables, chairs and other objects.
Location: Tate Modern, London, UK (1994).

koons balloon dog
Balloon Dog
(from Celebration) (1994-2000) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Jeff Koons (US, 1955- )
Description/Medium: Five versions of a stainless steel sculpture resembling a dog made with balloons in different colors (blue, magenta, yellow, orange, red).
Location: Various, including: The Broad, Los Angeles, California (Balloon Dog (Blue))
Image: Balloon Dog (Magenta) on display in Paris.

matthew barney cremaster
The Cremaster Cycle
(1994-2002) (on 4 lists)

Artist: Matthew Barney (US, 1967- )
Description/Medium: Five feature length films, as well as related sculptures, photographs, drawings and books. Twenty sets of DVDs of the films have been produced and sold. The films are presented at occasional screenings.
Locations: Various
Image: A still image from one of the Cremaster films, featuring Matthew Barney at center.

lucian freud benefits supervisor sleeping

Benefits Supervisor Sleeping (1995) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Lucian Freud (Germany/UK, 1922-2011)
Description/Medium: Painting
Location: Private collection (Roman Abramovich)

reichstag wrapped
The Reichstag Wrapped
(1995) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Christo (Bulgaria/France, 1935- ) and Jeanne-Claude (Morocco/France, 1935-2009)
Description/Medium: Temporary installation
Location: Berlin, Germany

torqued-ellipse
Torqued Ellipse
 (1996-1999) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Richard Serra (US, 1939- )
Description/Medium: Series of Cor-Ten steel sculptures
Location: Various, including Dia:Beacon, New York, US (Torqued Ellipses I, II, 1996); Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain (Torqued Ellipses I, II, III, IV, V, VI, 1996-1999); Museum of Modern Art, New York (Torqued Ellipse IV, 1998).
Image: Photo from Dia:Beacon website.

slavery slavery
Slavery! Slavery!
(1997) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Kara Walker (US, 1969- )
Description/Medium: Temporary installation. Eighty-five foot-long mural of silhouettes cut from black paper, arranged on a curved wall. Full title: Slavery! Slavery! presenting a GRAND and LIFELIKE Panoramic Journey into Picturesque Southern Slavery or “Life at ‘Ol’ Virginny’s Hole’ (sketches from Plantation Life)”
Location: Originally displayed at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1997)
Image: A portion of the mural at an unidentified installation.

chen zhen 50 strokes
Jue Chang – Fifty Strokes to Each
(1998) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Chen Zhen (China/France, 1955-2000)
Description/Medium: Interactive installation composed of beds, chairs and other objects hanging from a large wooden loom and transformed into drums, which spectators are encouraged to bang on with drum sticks made from various objects and materials.
Location: First exhibited at Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (1998)
Image: Photo taken at a 2003 installation at PS1, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Rhein_II_
Rhine II
 (1999) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Andreas Gursky (Germany, 1955- )
Description/Medium: Digitally-manipulated photograph (C-print mounted to acrylic glass)
Location: Private collection

Gursky Chicago_Board_of_Trade_II
Chicago Board of Trade II
 (1999) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Andreas Gursky (Germany, 1955- )
Description/Medium: Photograph (edition of six)
Location: Various, including Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois

la nona hora
La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour)
(1999) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Maurizio Cattelan (Italy, 1960- )
Description/Medium: Sculptural installation showing a life-sized figure of Pope John Paul II lying on a red carpet and holding a crucifix after being struck by a meteorite. Broken glass litters the floor nearby. Two versions exist.
Location: First exhibited at Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (1999).

KENTRIDGE 5.08 N23.tif
Stereoscope
(1999) (on 2 lists)

Artist: William Kentridge (South Africa, 1955- )
Description/Medium: Animated film and accompanying drawings.
Location: The film is available on YouTube.com and at various museums, including The Broad, Los Angeles, California. Drawings from the film can be found in various museums, including Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Image: Drawing from animated film.

maman
Maman
(1999) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Louise Bourgeois (France/US, 1911-2010)
Description/Medium: A sculpture of a 30-ft-tall steel spider with egg case (containing marble eggs).  Several exist.
Locations: Various, including Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan.

gursky Shanghai larger
Shanghai
 (2000) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Andreas Gursky (Germany, 1955- )
Description/Medium: Photograph (edition of six)
Location: Various, including Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey

lumumba luc tuymans
Lumumba
(2000) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Luc Tuymans (Belgium, 1958- )
Description/Medium: Painting (oil on canvas)
Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York

one hundred years ago
100 years ago
 (2000-2002) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Peter Doig (UK: Scotland/Trinidad, 1959- )
Description/Medium: Series of paintings
Location: Various, including Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York
Image: I have been unable to identify the location of this painting.

<img class="alignnone wp-image-16732" src="https://beckchris.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/the-weather-project-1.jpg?w=468&quot; alt="Olafur Eliasson: The weather project, 2003″ width=”468″ height=”583″ />
The Weather Project 
(2003) (on 7 lists)

Artist: Olafur Eliasson (Denmark/Iceland, 1967- )
Description/Medium: Temporary installation involving light effects and mirrors
Location: Tate Modern, London

The Tree 2003
The Tree
(2003) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Ibrahim el-Salahi (Sudan, 1930- )
Description: Series of paintings
Location: Private collections.
Image: One of the series of 2003 paintings by el-Salahi entitled The Tree.

kehinde wiley napoleon
Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps (2005) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Kehinde Wiley (US, 1977- )
Description/Medium: Painting
Location: Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York

cloud-gate
Cloud Gate
 (2006) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Anish Kapoor (India/UK, 1954- )
Description/Medium: Large, reflective sculpture
Location: Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois

damien hirst for the love of god
For the Love of God
 (2007) (on 6 lists)

Artist: Damien Hirst (UK: England, 1965- )
Description/Medium: Platinum cast of 18th Century human skull, with human teeth, encrusted with 8,601 diamonds
Location: Private collection; exhibited at various museums and galleries

Thomas-Ruff-jpeg-ny02-2004
jpegs
(2007) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Thomas Ruff (Germany, 1958- )
Description/Medium: Series of photographs; book. The artist took digital photographs from the Internet and expanded them to very large scale, exaggerating the pixel patterns.
Location: Various, including Museum of Modern Art (jpeg msh01, 2004).
Image:  jpeg ny02

the blindfolded man dumas
The Blindfolded Man
(2007) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Marlene Dumas (South Africa, 1953- )
Description: Painting (oil on canvas)
Location: Unknown (private collection?)


high school football
High School Football
 (2007-2009) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Catherine Opie (US, 1961- )
Description/Medium: Series of photographs
Location: Various
Image: Broc (2007)

new york city waterfalls
New York City Waterfalls
 (2008) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Olafur Eliasson (Denmark/Iceland, 1967- )
Description/Medium: Temporary (June-October 2008) site-specific installation of four man-made waterfalls in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Each waterfall was 90-120 feet tall and was lit at night.
Location: New York, New York (Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island, Pier 35 and Brooklyn Piers)
Image: Photo by Michael Daddino.

marat-sebastiao
Marat (Sebastião)
(from Pictures of Garbage) (2008) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Vik Muniz (Brazil, 1961- )
Description/Medium: The artist brought garbage from a Rio de Jainero dump and created portraits of dump workers (those who forage in the dump for materials to see or recycle) out of the garbage, often imitating classic works of art, then photographed the resulting work.  The making of the art is documented in the film Waste Land (Lucy Walker, 2010).  Here, a dump worker named Sebastião posed for a recreation of Jacques-Louis David’s Death of Marat (1793).
Location: Various

barack-obama-hope-poster-shepard-fairey
HOPE
(2008) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Shepard Fairey (US, 1970- )
Description/Medium: Poster featuring stylized stencil portrait of Barack Obama based on a 2006 photo by AP photographer Mannie Garcia.
Location: Various

sugimoto lightning fields
Lightning Fields
(2008-2009) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japan, 1948- )
Description/Medium: Series of photographs made by exposing film to high voltage electrical charges (generated by a 400,000 volt Van De Graff generator).
Location: Various

Shirin-Neshat-Women-Without-Men
Women Without Men
(2009) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Shirin Neshat (Iran/US, 1957- )
Description: 99-minute feature film
Location: Various
Image: Still image from Women Without Men.

remembering
Remembering
(2009-2010) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Ai Weiwei (China, 1957- )
Description/Medium: Temporary installation (October 2009-January 2010) in which the artist spelled out the Chinese characters for “She lived happily for seven years in this world” using 9,000 student backpacks in different colors.  The exhibit commemorated the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake, in which many young children died when their school buildings collapsed.
Location: Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

francis alys tornado
Tornado (2000-2010) (on 2 lists)
Artist: Francis Alÿs (Belgium/Mexico, 1959- ) (with Julien Devaux)
Description/Medium: Video showing the artist chasing tornadoes in Mexico.
Location: Various. The video may be downloaded from francisalys.com/tornado/.
Image: Still image from video.

© 2010 Scott Rudd www.scottruddphotography.com scott.rudd@gmail.com
The Artist is Present
(2010) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Marina Abramović (Serbia, 1946 – )
Description/Medium: Temporary performance/installation. The artist sat in a chair for eight hours a day over three months, as 1,000 strangers took turns sitting across from her and she made eye contact with them.
Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010)

mike-kelleys-mobile-homestead
Mobile Homestead
 (2010) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Mike Kelley (US, 1954-2012)
Description/Medium: A full-scale mobile replica of the home in which the artist grew up.
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, Michigan.

the clock marclay
The Clock
(2010) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Christian Marclay (US/Switzerland, 1955- )
Description/Medium: A 24-hour long video consisting of clips from films in which the time is displayed visually or mentioned on the soundtrack.  The video is intended to be played beginning at midnight and ending at midnight, so that the times in the video correspond to the actual time the video is being watched.
Location: Various.
Image: A still image from The Clock.

ai weiwei sunflower seeds
Sunflower Seeds
 (Kui Hua Zi) (2010-2011) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Ai Weiwei (China, 1957- )
Description/Medium: Temporary installation of more than 100 million handmade and hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds, placed on the floor of a room.
Location: The first, full-sized installation was at Tate Modern, London, UK (2010-2011). The piece was divided into smaller components and has been shown at various galleries and museums, including Haines Gallery, San Francisco, California (2012); Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles, California (2018)
Image: View of the original installation at the Tate Modern. Photo by Andrew Graham-Dixon.

obliteration room
The Obliteration Room
 (2011) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Yayoi Kusama (Japan, 1929- )
Description/Medium: Interactive installation. Visitors to a room with all white furnishings are provided with brightly-colored circular stickers of various sizes to apply wherever they wish. During each exhibit, the accumulating color dots transform the bare “canvas.”
Location: Various
Image: Before and after photos by David Brichford of the 2018 installation at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

maurizio-cattelan all


All
(2011-2102) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Maurizio Cattelan (Italy, 1960- )
Description/Medium: Temporary installation (November 2011-January 2012) in which the artist hung nearly every artwork he has created since 1989 from the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum by means of ropes.
Location: Guggenheim Museum, New York

pussy-riot-church
Punk Prayer: Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!
(2012) (on 3 lists)

Artist: Pussy Riot (Russia, formed 2011)
Description/Medium: Performance, music and video.
Location: Cathedral of Christ the Savior (Feb. 21, 2012). A video was later created including this performance and another, which is available on YouTube.com.
Image: A still image from the video of the Feb. 21, 2012 Pussy Riot performance.

installation-view-of-a-subtlety-photo-by-jason-wyche
A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby…
(2014) (on 6 lists)

Artist: Kara Walker (US, 1969- )
Description/Medium: Temporary installation. Large (75-ft long x 35 ft tall) polystyrene sphinx covered in sugar, accompanied by 15 young male attendants made of boiled sugar. Full title: A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant.
Location: Domino Sugar Factory, Brooklyn, New York, New York, US

christo floating piers
The Floating Piers
(2016) (on 3 lists)

Artists: Christo (Bulgaria/France, 1935- ) and Jeanne-Claude (Morocco/France, 1935-2009)
Location: Lake Iseo, Sulzano and Monte Isola, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
Description/Medium: Temporary installation (June 18 – July 4, 2016).

Love-Is-The-Message-The-Message-Is-Death
Love Is the Message, the Message is Death
(2016) (on 2 lists)

Artist: Arthur Jafa (US, 1960- )
Description/Medium: Video
Location: Various
Image: Installation view.