M(art)ch Madness is back! The online tournament that combines the thrills of NCAA basketball with the fun of Art History 101 is back for its second year. This time, due to popular demand, we’re matching up the greatest artists of the 20th century. I’ve taken the top 68 artists of the last century and seeded them 1 through 15, with four play-in games to determine the 16th seeds. The full bracket is here.

Credit, and blame, for the seedings is entirely mine. I ranked the artists by significance, fame and skill, and tried to reflect what might be consensus choices. Where possible, I also strove for diversity of genre, geography and gender. Lots of wonderful artists were left out,  but choices had to be made. There were a great many on the bubble who could have easily been included. Please don’t be offended on behalf of your favorites; I left mine out as well. But comments and helpful criticisms are always welcome.

This year, to round out the field of 64, we’ll vote to determine the 16th seeds, who next week will face off against the four No. 1 seeds: Picasso, Matisse, Pollock and Duchamp Chagall. Voting for the play-in games will close Sunday. First round action begins Monday.

(Corrected to reflect Duchamp, not Chagall, is the fourth No. 1 seed, after the error was pointed out by an offended art historian).

Make sure you vote and please share this anyone who might be interested (or horrified).

Play-in games Max Beckmann vs. party-in-paris-1947 David Hockney pool_2_figures_72_f

Frida Kahlo vs.


Claes Oldenburg CLOTHSP

George Bellows vs.


Agnes Martin 31291_MARTIN

Grant Wood vs.


Chuck Close 69.102_close_imageprimacy_compressed_1140