The Most Important Paintings of the 20th Century

Century after century, talented artists leave their mark by producing mesmerising pieces which are passed down and appreciated for years. The 20th century is known for its abstract expressionism and rejecting reality. The following article will look at arguably the most important paintings of the 20th century.


Starting with the most influential artist in the art world is Pablo Picasso. He is notable for his unique style of Cubist painting and one of his most famous paintings is the Guernica. Guernica is a large oil painting on canvas, creating to express his anti-war views and anger at the Nazi bombing of a city in Northern Spain. The black & white painting uses his Cubist approach and portrays a sense of destruction to the painting. It is currently exhibited in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.


Pablo PICASSO, Guernica, 1937, huile sur toile, 349,31 x 776,61 cm, Musée de la Sofia Reina, Mardrid.
Pablo PICASSO, Guernica, 1937, huile sur toile, 349,31 x 776,61 cm, Musée de la Sofia Reina, Mardrid.

Renowned pop art artist Andy Warhol produced many famous pieces of work in his time. The meaning behind his pop art was essentially a representation of mass culture as Warhol believed popular art deserved to be as respected as other forms of art. His most notable work which perfectly portrays this is the Campbell Soup Can. This was created on silk screening similar to all his work. The specific meaning behind this was that it emphasised his own devotion to Campbell soups as a customer.


Andy Warhol, Ethel Scull 36 Times, 1963, silkscreen.Photo: Robert Gerhardt and Denis Y. Suspitsyn / Copyright The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Andy Warhol, Ethel Scull 36 Times, 1963, silkscreen.Photo: Robert Gerhardt and Denis Y. Suspitsyn / Copyright The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Jackson Pollock was an American painter who played a massive part in the abstract expressionist movement. He is known for his detailed work of the Lavender mist, which is a form of abstract art. What makes this painting so unique is the fact it does not illustrate a real-life image. Instead it portrays the real and complicated process of creating such a piece of art work. Lavender Mist is now located in the National Gallery of Art, Washington in the United States.


Mural, an abstract painting from 1943 by the American artist Jackson Pollock
Mural, an abstract painting from 1943 by the American artist Jackson Pollock

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