Vanity Fair’s “The Six Greatest Living Artists”

In December of this past year, the magazine Vanity Fair published an article on the best living artists in today’s contemporary art world. The results were compiled based on poll data from the top artists, curators, art historians and related scholars, and the list of the top six artists is both predictable for some and surprising for others. Here’s the list:

1) Gerhard Richter, 24 votes
2) Jasper Johns, 20 votes
3) Richard Serra, 19 votes
4) Bruce Nauman, 17 votes
5) Cindy Sherman, 12 votes
6) Ellsworth Kelly, 10 votes
…and several others were voted for, but did not make the cut.

The data is naturally skewed. Of the 100 people who were asked to vote, only 54 did so. This is a more than 50% turnout rate, but one would expect a poll making such a grand assumption about the history of art to attract more contributors. In addition, the majority of voters were white, American males, over the age of 55. This is reflected in the fact that 5 of the 6 top artists are white and male, and almost all are American.

Read the full article, by Mark Stevens, here:

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