Compiling a list of the art giants of Detroit is hard work. But fortunately Jim Pallas has already done the heavy lifting. Last year, Pallas presented a series of 16 paintings at George N'Namdi's gallery depicting the 16 art giants of Detroit. The word 'painting' is not entirely accurate, as these pieces have an almost sculptural three-dimensionality to them. The pieces, at six by six feet each, are gigantic for an art gallery, but surprisingly not heavy at all.
Some could fault Pallas on his selections, but most likely it will be on a matter of omission rather than one of inclusion. There is one omission Pallas has already explained: there is no self-portrait in the series, as he stands on the shoulders of these giants. In another decade or two it will be necessary to acknowledge a few more art giants of Detroit. But for now, the list compiled by Pallas stands almost unimpeachable.
There will be no attempt here to rank the artists by any criteria, objective or subjective, but since they must be presented in some kind of order, they appear in alphabetical order by last name.