Twenty New Entrants To The 500 Club In 2023

A mature artist finally getting some deserved recognition

We’re not done yet with reflecting on the previous year; the data is just too interesting to resist! So this week we’re celebrating the whopping twenty new entrants to the top 500 club, with the number of entrants doubling from 2022.

To land in one of the coveted positions in the top 500 is no small feat: many who have had a successful lifelong career, will not end up in this group. Though it is important not to arbitrarily equate a position in the top 500 as the only measure of success, for those that do manage to land there, it reflects a colossal amount of both hard work and commercial success, maintained over many years.

This year, the average age is 64, with the youngest aged 37 and the oldest, an impressive 93.

Faith Ringgold’s “American People Series #20: Die,” from 1967. Faith Ringgold/Artists Rights Society (ARS),New York, Courtesy ACA Galleries, New York; The Museum of Modern Art

Claiming that most mature position and also experiencing the highest growth, is the political American painter, mixed media sculptor, performance artist, activist, writer, teacher and lecturer, Faith Ringgold (b.1930, New York). Ringgold is best known for her narrative quilts and for her fearless political commentary, often confronting race relations. One such masterpiece was her brutally powerful 1967 painting American People Series #20: Die, which captures a race riot during the Civil Rights movement. Much of Ringgold’s political work was not given the recognition it deserved at the time, but MoMA’s purchase of the work in 2016 (almost 50 years after it was created), and the inclusion of it in its 2019 major rehang ingeniously placed in direct conversation opposite Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), has helped to re-boost the artist’s career.

As shown in her trends graph (included below), the years following have seen a massive increase in her inclusion in exhibitions around the globe, the importance of her seminal works having finally been recognised.

Faith Ringgold, Exhibitions by institution type, Ranking Graph, showing the last 25 years

The 2023 entrants into the top 500 are:
(Listed in order from highest percentage growth to lowest.)

N.B. These rankings are for the end of 2023, were you to look at the ranking on any of the artist’s profiles now, it would reflect their current rank.

1. Faith Ringgold
(b. 1930, United States)
From: 804 to 489
Growth: 1.64%

2. Howardena Pindell(b. 1943, United States)
From: 540 to 379
Growth: 1.42%

3. Tala Madani(b. 1981, Iran)
From: 565 to 404
Growth: 1.4%

4. Cecily Brown(b.1969, United Kingdom)
From: 638 to 473
Growth: 1.35%

5. Renate Bertlmann(b.1943, Austria)
From: 637 to 484
Growth: 1.32%

6. Jeffrey Gibson(b.1972, United States)
From: 567 to 447
Growth: 1.27%

7. Orlan(1947, France)
From: 569 to 454
Growth: 1.2%

8. Tony Cokes(1956, United States)
From: 625 to 500
Growth: 1.25%

9. Ibrahim Mahama(1987, Ghana)
From: 590 to 477
Growth: 1.24%

10. Claude Closky(1963, France)
From: 604 to 497
Growth: 1.22%

11. Carolina Caycedo(1978, United Kingdom)
From: 517 to 427
Growth: 1.21%

12. Daniel Steegmann Mangrané(1977, Spain)
From: 507 to 428
Growth: 1.18%

13. Andrea Büttner(1972, Germany) F
rom: 589 to 498
Growth: 1.18%

14. Robert Mangold(1937, United States)
From: 520 to 452
Growth: 1.15%

15. Anna Jermolaewa(1970, Russia)
From: 556 to 494
Growth: 1.13%

16. Dara Birnbaum(1946, United States)
From: 542 to 482
Growth: 1.12%

17. Miquel Barceló(1957, Spain)
From: 512 to 479
Growth: 1.07%

18. Ulrike Rosenbach(1943, Germany)
From: 519 to 492
Growth: 1.05%

19. Sheila Hicks(1934, United States)
From: 501 to 483
Growth: 1.04%

20. Wu Tsang(1982, United States)
From: 515 to 499
Growth: 1.03%

DSunflower Quilting Bee at Arles, 1991, by Faith Ringgold. Acrylic on canvas with pieced fabric border, 74 x 80 in.

As seen in Ringgold’s career path, the road is not always straight nor fast to broad institutional recognition. There are many contributing factors, with politics playing but a part (albeit a significant one).

Each of these artists has an impressive story to tell, and deserves to be on this list. We encourage you to dive deeper to learn more about them all.
Expand the way you see art,

The Artfacts Team
Headerimage by Cody Hiscox on Unsplash