Looking back over the centuries of art history, it might be easy for you to rattle off a good list of masterpieces that -- in your humble opinion -- represent the very best works of artistic creation since the dawn of time. But what if you were to limit your timeline to, say, the past two decades? What works of art would you identify as the definitively influential objets d'art since the 1990s?
A new art book is boldly going where
no other a few other art books have gone before, daring to highlight 100 works of art that have defined the late 20th and early 21st century art world. From Matthew Barney to Kara Walker, the aptly named "100 Works Of Art That Will Define Our Age" aims to gather every worthy contemporary artist in one giant, 320-page compilation.
The list is varied in media -- works by performance artists like Marina Abramovic sit happily near the contraptions of conceptual bad boys like Jake and Dinos Chapman. And the 100 lucky honorees span the globe, ranging from pieces by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, Iranian-born Shirin Neshat, and Danish-Icelandic wunderkind, Olafur Eliasson. Plus, unlike the Renaissance-era art listicles, the roster is a bit more gender-inclusive, as artists like Barbara Kruger and Wangechi Mutu are given their much deserved attention.
Some notable names are missing though -- Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas and Breyer P-Orridge are no where to be seen. And if Cy Twombly is on the list, why not Yayoi Kusama? Scroll through the images below for a glimpse into the book and check out the full list here. Let us know your praise/critiques in the comments.
1. Matthew Barney's five-film project, "The Cremaster Cycle"
Matthew Barney, Cremaster 4, 1994. Production still. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. Photo Michael James O'Brien. (c) 1994 Matthew Barney.
2. Christian Marclay's epic 24-hour compilation piece, "The Clock"
Christian Marclay, video stills from The Clock, 2010. Courtesy White Cube. Photo Ben Westoby. © Christian Marclay
3. Jeff Koons' topiary sculpture, "Puppy"
Jeff Koons, Puppy, Installation at Arolsen, 1992. © Jeff Koons
4. Shirin Neshat's photograph, "Rebellious Silence"
Shirin Neshat, Rebellious Silence, from the series Women of Allah, 1994. Photo taken by Cynthia Preston. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. © Shirin Neshat
5. Cy Twombly's "The Rose (II)"
Cy Twombly, The Rose (II), 2008. © Cy Twombly Foundation
6. Sarah Lucas' "Au Naturel"
Sarah Lucas, Au Naturel, 1994. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. © Sarah Lucas
7. Ernesto Neto's "Leviathan Thot 2006"
Ernesto Neto, Leviathan Thot 2006. Installation at the Panthéon Paris. Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar gallery, NY and Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo. Photo Marc Domage. © Ernesto Neto
8. Pipilotti Rist's video installation, "Open My Glade (Flatten)"
Pipilotti Rist, Open My Glade (Flatten), 2000. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine. Photo Public Art Fund© Pipilotti Rist
9. Nan Goldin's photograph, "Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a Taxi"
Nan Goldin, Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC, 1991. Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery. © Nan Goldin
10. Ron Mueck's NSFW sculpture, "Dead Dad"
Ron Mueck, Dead Dad, 1996–97. Stefan T. Edlis Collection. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. © Ron Mueck
"100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age," by Kelly Grovier, is available through Thames & Hudson.