In honor of August’s American Artist Appreciation Month, we’ve released a list of the top five most researched American artists in our library. To celebrate, we’re opening up some of our best content to make reference works on these famous artists free for an entire month!
- Andy Warhol: Famous for his pop art paintings, prints, photography, film, music and much more, Andy Warhol is considered one of the most controversial artists of the century. Whether the opinion is positive or negative, it’s clear that Warhol’s art struck a nerve with many. “In more than one hundred books and in more than a thousand articles, writers have either adored or despised Andy Warhol, and no other artist has ever aroused such impassioned praise and vehement condemnation.” (Pratt xvii) [Pratt, Alan R., ed. The Critical Response to Andy Warhol.Westport,CT:Greenwood, 1997. Questia. Web.]
- Jackson Pollock: Famous for his technique of pouring, dripping and splattering paint onto the canvas, Jackson Pollock, appropriately nicknamed “Jack the Dripper,” is a pivotal figure in American postwar art. His large-scale paintings were influenced a great deal by the two artists that Pollock admired most, Picasso and Miró. “In recent years scholars have recognized the seriousness of Pollock’s artistic aims, the originality of his stylistic solutions, and his crucial role in the general development of contemporary art.” (Cernuschi 1) [Cernuschi, Claude. Jackson Pollock: Meaning and Significance.New York: Icon Editions, 1992. Questia. Web.]
- Mark Rothko: Mark Rothko was an abstract expressionist artist famous in the fifties and sixties for his paintings featuring colorful blocks and rectangles. While some declared Rothko to be a genius, others found his work simple and incapable of being considered serious art. “Rothko, back in the early 1950s, was a fighting word. I remember vividly the combative, black-and-white climate that divided theNew York art world into pro-or-con extremes when faced with the unheralded innovations of the Abstract Expressionists.” (Rosenblum 122) [Rosenblum, Robert. On Modern American Art: Selected Essays.New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1999. Questia. Web.]
- Mary Cassatt: A 19th century American painter, many of Mary Cassatt’s paintings focused on women, particularly mothers and their children. This female impressionist was praised for the wholesomeness of the figures in her work, while many fellow impressionists were accused of “scattering the body in calligraphic excess.” (Higonnet 105) “Cassatt’s pictures are filled with embraces. Everything extraneous to the physical contact between mothers’ and children’s bodies has been eliminated. Mother and child virtually never gaze toward anyone or anything except each other, so they are engaged only in their mutual absorption.” (Higonnet 104) [Frederickson, Kristen, and Sarah E. Webb, eds. Singular Women: Writing the Artist.Berkeley,CA:University ofCalifornia, 2003. Questia. Web.]
- Georgia O’Keeffe: Born in November of 1887, Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most celebrated female artists of the 20th century. Recognizable themes and imagery include flowers and bones, which O’Keeffe frequently painted so that they appeared extremely close up. “Georgia O’Keeffe was one of the ways to be a woman and an artist, and it seems important not to see her life as a mold, a pattern that determines form, defining a way to live.” (Patten and Cardona-Hine 5) [Patten, Christine Taylor, and Alvaro Cardona-Hine. Miss O'Keeffe.Albuquerque:University ofNew Mexico, 1992. Questia. Web.]
Visit Questia’s topic page on famous artists for more information.