I am totally convinced that painting is better than it's been in a century. A few strong painters carried the torch through the twentieth century, but since I began art school in the mid-nineties, great painting has exploded. That said, however, it is hard to think of many contemporary painter that are more powerful than Yuqi Wang, and he is the first in my "grand master" series.
In my opinion there are a rare few grand masters. There are many masters in the sense that many have mastered aspects of drawing, color and form, and composition, but there are others who possess a special kind of genius in pulling all of these components together to create something much larger than the sum of its parts and that is timeless and universal. Their works could easily share a wall with the great masters of the past, and yet are distinctively a product of their own time. In my opinion there are only five or six of these visionaries who lead the march, but I'd love to hear if you have a different list.