The starting point of the heyday of American fine art can be considered the middle of the 19th century. Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Jean-Michel Basquiat are universally recognized as the most talented, innovative, and famous American artists. It is thanks to them and many other painters that American art has reached not only the European level but also became the trendsetter of global culture.
It is safe to say that Andy Warhol, along with the title of one of the famous American artists of the 20th century, was also probably the most culturally influential personality of that period. Many of his works, such as Eight Elvises were bought for amounts of hundreds of millions of dollars. Although, he did not limit himself to just one cultural sphere being a flagship figure of pop art. Andy Warhol had a hand in the creation of music, films, photography and sculptures, having also established himself there as one of the famous American sculpture artists. Nowadays, the personality of Andy Warhol remains an idol and a role model for thousands of aspiring artists and painters.
Georgia O’Keeffe left her mark in history not only as one of the most famous American female artists but also as the first person Precisionism and modernism movement in the US. She sought to achieve a middle ground between the concepts of abstract and representative fields of art in her works. Her style is characterized by a large number of paintings depicting flowers. Experts highlight strong feminine features and motifs in her works. O’Keeffe’s most original paintings are Jimson Weed and Black Iris. Georgia O’Keeffe has received a state award for her contribution to American art and the struggle for gender equality. Also, a museum was opened in her honor in 1997.
Edward Hopper evermore established himself as one of the most famous American realism artists through the cold feeling of static in his works. The most striking example of his serene style is the picture called Automat. Hopper drew his inspiration from watching urban and suburban landscapes and the everyday life of ordinary Americans. Most of his creative activity took place from 20s to 50s of the 20th century. The main motive of his work is a free interpretation of the picture seen by the observer. Yet Hopper denied adherence to any art school or artists’ movement. Also, many experts note that it was Hopper who was able to capture the true essence of the American existence of the early 20th century.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was one of the most unusual and noteworthy famous American black artists of the 20th century. This is mainly due to graffiti as his form of self-expression. He expressed the problems of American society, such as social stratification, racial prejudice, and people’s indifference to each other in his works. The decisive influence on Basquiat’s work was exerted by the family circumstances of his childhood life and his escape from home during his teenage years. Many current famous African American hip hop artists claim that Basquiat’s graffiti influenced their way of thinking and music. Such his works as Hollywood Africans and Dustheads are distinguished by a large number of bright colors and rough features. Art historians attribute Basquiat’s style to primitivism and neo-expressionist movements.