Tags

,

Welcome to M(art)ch Madness 2015, the not-entirely-serious contest to determine the greatest artist of the 20th century. The format is the same as the NCAA men’s basketball tournament: four brackets of 16 artists, in single-elimination contests. In this case, the winners are determined by YOUR votes.

After four play-in games to determine the four 16 seeds, the 64 bracket is set. The last two voted in were David Hockney (beating Max Beckmann) and Frida Kahlo (over Claes Oldenburg). Unfortunately, the votes split evently in the other two, so I had to cast the tie-breaking votes, in this case for Chuck Close (over Grant Wood) and George Bellows (over Agnes Martin). See what happens if you don’t vote?

The full 64-team bracket can be found here:

 http://www.bracketmaker.com/tlist.cfm?tid=457697.

(It’s a crappy website but it’s the best I found to host the bracket. Click on “championship bracket.” Suggestions for improving it are welcome)

The artists and seedings were chosen by me. Scroll to the bottom of this page to read more about that.

First-round voting begins today. I’ll post half of the first round match-ups today, then the rest tomorrow. Voting will run through Friday. Make sure you vote and please share this with anyone who might be interested.

Paris Regional

No. 1 Pablo Picasso vs.

32.PabloPicasso-Three-Musicians-1921

No. 16 David Hockney

Hockney.clark-percy-1

 

No. 8 Marc Chagall vs.

Marc_Chagall,_1911,_I_and_the_Village,_oil_on_canvas,_192.1_x_151.4_cm,_Museum_of_Modern_Art,_New_York

No. 9 Salvador Dali

EXHI006876

 

No. 5 Amedeo Modigliani

Modigliani

No. 12 Joseph Cornell

cornell.hotel-eden

 

No. 4 Alexander Calder vs.

calder1

No. 13 Josef Albers

02-albers_notext

 

No. 6 Alberto Giocometti vs.

alberto-giacometti-the-walking-man-i-1960-1342523714_org

No. 11 Gustav Klimt

Gustav_Klimt_046

 

No. 3 Georgia O’Keeffe vs.

O'Keeffe_Jack

No. 14 Arshile Gorky

The_Artist_and_His_Mother

 

No. 7 Francis Bacon vs.

crucify2

No. 10 Constantin Brancusi

brancusi_2

 

No. 2 Wassily Kandinsky vs.

several_circles

No. 15 Jeff Koons

ballon-dog

 

New York regional

No. 1 Jackson Pollock vs.

pollock.number-8

No. 16 Frida Kahlo

the-two-fridas

 

No. 8 Louise Bourgeois vs.

Bürkliplatz_-_Louise_Bourgeois'_'Maman'_-_Alpenquai_2011-06-25_18-54-28_ShiftN2-1

No. 9 Fernand Leger

three-women-1921

 

No. 5 Willem De Kooning vs.

excavation

No. 12 Jenny Holzer

13holz_600

 

No. 4 Roy Lichtenstein vs.

Roy_Lichtenstein_Whaam

No. 13 Arthur Dove

sunrise-3

 

No. 6 Giorgio De Chirico vs.

Bild 083

No. 11 Donald Judd

Untitled 1980 by Donald Judd 1928-1994

 

No. 3 Jasper Johns vs.

map

No. 14 Isamu Noguchi

Oval Sculpture (No. 2) 1943, cast 1958 by Dame Barbara Hepworth 1903-1975

 

No. 7 Richard Serra

richard-serra

No. 10 Helen Frankenthaler

690346af5907936212ca013ab00f5c79

 

No. 2 Piet Mondrian vs

6-mondrian-composition-c-no-iii-with-red-yellow-and-blue-1935

No. 15 Richard Avedon

avedon_beekeeper

 

 How I chose and seeded the artists:

The idea was to select the 64 most significant visual artists of the 20th century. I included painters, sculptors and photographers, and omitted architects, film makers and performance artists. That might seem arbitrary, but it I had to draw a boundary somewhere.

Then I went through lists of artists and grouped them in four tiers, from obvious top seeds down to more marginal cases. Those tiers formed the basis of the seedings, with the top group making up  the 1-4 seeds, the next group 5-8 and so on. I wanted the list to reflect conventional choices, but I also wanted diversity in genres, geography and gender. So when there was a border line call, I tended to choose a photographer or sculptor vs. yet another abstract expressionist. I tried to keep my own biases out of it, and I excluded some of my favorites. To get to 64, lots of major artists were left out but hopefully my choices make sense. If not, let me know.

The match-ups were somewhat arbitrary, although I tried to avoid having similar artists face each other in the first or second rounds. The contests are more fun when the style’s are so different, and I didn’t want a major school eliminated by the second round.

Advertisements