The most influential artworks are oftentimes those that deal with the key issues of our time. We might like to turn a blind eye to them, but these underlying problems of conflict—political persecution, racism, sexism, and climate change—exist in our world, and by addressing them, artists have the ability to deliver powerful messages through their work. This is in turn sees art poised to be more relevant and powerful that ever. Take Ai Weiwei's 'F Lotus' installation for example, where 201 rings, each made with five life jackets worn by Syrian refugees, were arranged into the shape of the letter F. This help raise awareness and bring people's attention towards the Syrian refugee crisis.
Not surprisingly, Ai is one of the names in this list by Artsy. Find out who are the most influential living artists of 2016 and read the full feature exclusively on Artsy.