New masters of paint: today's top contemporary painters

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Ryan Mosley

contemporary painting ryan Mosley
image © Ryan Mosely


UK: born 1980

We first spotted the work of Ryan Mosely at his 2007 RCA degree show and were immediately captivated.

Since then, the 28-year-old UK artist has maintained a steady string of appearances in the UK and Europe, and several of his works have recently been added to the Saatchi Collection. A young, vibrant and extremely promising new painter.


new contemporary painting - Ryan Mosely
image © Ryan Mosely

Tomoo Gokita

Tomoo Gokita, new contemporary painters
image © Tomoo Gokita


Japan: born 1969

Japanese artist Gokita began his career with quirkily surreal charcoal drawings, but his recent transition to striking grey-scale paintings has met with wider - and growing - acclaim.

Fractal-like explosions of form coupled with looser, generous brushwork invigorate a restricted palette and make his work immediately arresting.


Bjarne Melgaard

Bjarne Melgaard, contemporary painters
image © Bjarne Melgaard


Australia / Norway: born 1967

Melgaard was born in Sydney, raised in Norway and studied at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.

Melgaard also lived for some time in Berlin, and his vivid, expressionistic paintings show similarities with New Actionists such as Jonathan Meese and Andre Butzer, both in terms of style and the evolution of a personal mythology of recurring subjects and characters.

While Melgaard's work has attracted some controversy for its frequent references to S&M and other forms of sexual violence, the highly stylised, gestural nature of his painting is far from explicit in any conventional sense; the scrawled texts that often adorn his work are potentially more offensive.

Melgaard is an uneven painter, but at best, his uncompromising nature translates into work that resonates with extraordinary energy.


contemporary painting: Bjarne Melgaard
image © Bjarne Melgaard

Pietro Roccasalva

contemporary figurative painting: Pietro Roccasalva
image © Pietro Roccasalva


Italy: born 1970

Roccasalva's body of work encompasses a wide variety of disciplines including installation, video and sculpture, but his idiosyncratic painting and drawing always lies at the heart of his practice.

Roccasalva's figurative works - which are generally portraits - reference an exhaustive range of art historical precedents to create a kind of amalgam; fusions which, within the wider context of Roccasalva's installations or existing body of work, take on specific, multi-layered meaning.

For many, however, the artist's formidable academic painting skills and unique pictorial vision are the undoubted highlight of what is a essentially a conceptually-based practice.


Pietro Roccasalva
image © Pietro Roccasalva

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