American Master’s Art Poll

Artists, curators and art world officials share opinions on the ten most significant 20th Century American artists, based on skill, impact, innovation and vision.

Tyrone Brown-Osborne


Photographer / Video Artist
New York


01 Richard Avedon
02 Andy Warhol
03 Pablo Picasso
04 Stanley Kubrick
05 George Lucas
06 Christo & Jeanne-Claude
07 Cindy Sherman
08 Henri Cartier-Bresson
09 Quentin Tarantino
10 Graffiti

Too numerous to mention.


Richard Avedon, self-portrait, 1993 / © 2011 The Richard Avedon Foundation


Jamie Franklin


Curator of Collections, Bennington Museum
Bennington, Vermont


Morris Graves
Rockwell Kent
Carl Ruggles
Mark Rothko
Robert Motherwell
Jack Kerouac
Grandma Moses


Morris Graves


Cynthia Hawkins


New York


Hans Hoffman
Hale Woodruff
Aaron Douglas
Cy Twombly
Joan Mitchell
Martin Puryear
Michael Mazur
David Hammons
Howardina Pindell

Joe Overstreet
Ed Clark
Lorna Simpson


Hans Hoffman


Meenakshi Thirukobe


Independent Curator, Writer
Co-Founder, Project For Empty Space
New York/India


1. Allan Kaprow
2. Anna Mendota
3. Jean Michel Basquiat
4. Bas Jan Ader
5. Keith Herring
6. Louise Borgeoius
7. Frida Kahlo
8. Barbara Kruger
9. Yoko Ono
10. Shridhar Bapat



Allan Kaprow.
Photo: Hauser & Wirth Zürich London


Bapat was a little known artist who worked in NYC during the 70’s and was part of the early video art scene. Alexander Keefe, who is an amazing critic, just won an Andy Warhol Foundation grant to write an article on Bapat’s work because there’s virtually no record of anything about his life. He worked with the likes of Nam June Paik and showed at The Kitchen and The Whitney at a time when video art was at a nascent stage.

Hitomi Iwasaki

Director of Exhibitions/Curator
Queens Museum of Art
Queens, NY 11368


1. Jackson Pollock
2. Alexander Calder
3. Robert Rauschenberg
4. Jasper Johns
5. Andy Warhol
6. Robert Smithson
7. Donald Judd
8. Eva Hesse
9. Bruce Nauman
10. Dan Graham


Jackson Pollock
Photo: Martha Holmes

Runners Up: Arshile Gorky, Edward Hopper, Jean Michel Basquiat, Search Results, Walter De Maria, Ad Reinhardt, Frank Stella, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Ryman, Ulfert Wilke, John Piper