The Most Influential Living Artists of 2016

There would be no art world without artists. It’s nearly impossible to whittle down the many thousands if not millions around the world who have dedicated their lives in some way to an art practice; even in the art world, influence is ever more global and diffuse. But through combining the insight of Artsy’s editors with data from UBS’s art news app Planet Artand other sources, some trends do emerge for 2016. The artists who most captured the public’s—and the media’s—attention were primarily dealing with key issues of our time: political persecution, racism, sexism, and climate change. And they were privileging and engaging vast audiences with content, not flash. If this is any indication of the direction that the art world itself is headed in, then art is poised to be more relevant and powerful than ever. Below, in no particular order, are the most influential living artists of 2016. (+info)