The Artsy Vanguard 2020

The Artists to Know Right Now

Being an artist has never been easy. Yet now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a global reckoning around racism and inequity, artists are taking on more than ever.

Over the past six months, despite a volatile economy and record unemployment, artists have not shied away from the demands of this moment. They have used their talent and influence to run fundraisers, spread activism, document protests worldwide, and create works that add nuance to our fraught reality—or offer much-needed relief. When we look back on this time, we’ll almost certainly look at the art.

The 35 artists of The Artsy Vanguard 2020 are integral to this moment. Nominated by an international cohort of curators and art professionals, they are engaged with social and political issues, but they’re also at the forefront of contemporary art. And they’re shaping its future.

This year, artists are split into two categories: Newly Emerging, which presents on-the-rise names generating buzz at leading galleries and institutions, and Getting Their Due, which spotlights artists who have persevered for decades, yet only recently received the acclaim they deserve. The Artsy Vanguard 2020 features the artists you need to know, right now.


The breakout artists

Igshaan Adams
Farah Al Qasimi
Maxwell Alexandre
American Artist
Amoako Boafo
LeeLee Chan
Jadé Fadojutimi
Ja’Tovia Gary
Kahlil Robert Irving
Tomashi Jackson
Claudia Martínez Garay
Lindsey Mendick
Asuka Anastacia Ogawa
Frida Orupabo
Naudline Pierre
Eric-Paul Riege
Cinga Samson
P Staff
Sung Tieu
Salman Toor
Gray Wielebinski
Issy Wood
Mak Ying Tung 2
Getting Their Due

The artists finally receiving the acclaim they deserve

Emma Amos
James Barnor
Sonia Boyce
Guo Fengyi
Anna Bella Geiger
Edgar Heap of Birds
Suzanne Jackson
Lee Kun-yong
Daniel Lind-Ramos
Nonggirrnga Marawili
Abel Rodriguez
Ming Smith