Events from the year 1970 in art.
- January 16 – John Lennon's exhibition of Bag One at the London Arts Gallery is shut down by Scotland Yard for displaying "erotic lithographs".
- October 26 – Garry Trudeau's comic strip Doonesbury debuts in approximately two dozen newspapers in the United States.
- November 27 – Bolivian artist Benjamin Mendoza tries to assassinate Pope Paul VI during his visit to Manila.
- Tom Keating admits that a number of watercolours in the style of Samuel Palmer were painted by him.
- Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the Federal collection of contemporary art, is established in Germany.
- Contemporary Art Museum of Macedonia in Skopje, designed by the "Warsaw Tigers" (Wacław Kłyszewski, Jerzy Mokrzyński and Eugeniusz Wierzbicki), is built.
- Conceptual Art and Conceptual Aspects, the first dedicated conceptual art exhibition, is mounted at the New York Cultural Center.
- Theodor W. Adorno's book Aesthetic Theory (Asthetische Theorie) is published posthumously in Germany.
- Gilbert and George – The Singing Sculpture (performance)
- Barbara Hepworth – Family of Man
- Alvin D. Loving Jr. – Cube 27 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
- Henry Moore – Reclining Figure LH608
- Kanda Nissho – Indoor Landscape
- Isamu Noguchi – Night Wind
- Victor Pasmore – Apollo Pavilion (Peterlee, England)
- William Scott – Still Life With Orange Note (Arts Council of Northern Ireland)
- Aaron Shikler – Official portrait of President John F. Kennedy
- Robert Smithson – Spiral Jetty
- January 17 – Genndy Tartakovsky, Russian-born American animator
- January 22 – Alex Ross, American comic book painter and illustrator
- January 24 – Maria Balshaw, English curator
- February 10 – Peter Richards, British artist and curator
- February 15 – Shepard Fairey, American artist, graphic designer and illustrator
- February 27 – Matthias Lechner, German set designer and art director
- March 12 – Marine Delterme, French actress, painter, sculptor and model
- May 3 – Jeffrey Sebelia, American fashion designer
- May 9 – Damian Loeb, American painter
- May 26 – Nobuhiro Watsuki, Japanese manga artist
- June 1 – Joshua Compston, British gallerist (d.1996)
- July 6 – Grant Bond, American comic book artist and writer
- July 9 – Benoit Pierre Emery, French art director and fashion designer
- August 4 – Pete Abrams, American webcomic writer and illustrator
- August 23 – Ben Eine, né Flynn, English street artist
- November 22 – Aleksander Balos, Polish-born American artist and figurative painter
- date unknown
- January 27
- February 25 – Mark Rothko, Latvian-born American painter and printmaker (born 1903)
- February 26 – Ángel María de Rosa, Argentine sculptor and philanthropist (born 1888)
- March 2 – Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Canadian painter (born 1888)
- March 8
- March 22 – Georges Malkine, French Surrealist painter (born 1898)
- April 20 – Robert Laurent, American sculptor (born 1890)
- April 29 – Charles R. Chickering, American illustrator (born 1891)
- May 13 – William Dobell, Australian sculptor and painter (born 1899)
- May 29 – Eva Hesse, German-born American sculptor (born 1936)
- May 31 - Clare Sheridan, English sculptor and author (born 1885)
- June 6
- June 27 – Edwin La Dell, British artist (born 1914)
- July 4 – Barnett Newman, American artist (born 1905)
- July 7 – Dame Laura Knight, English Impressionist painter (born 1877)
- July 13 – Lazar Drljača, Serbian painter (born 1883)
- July 30 – Maud Lewis, Canadian folk artist (born 1903)
- November 29 - Walter Stuempfig, American painter (born 1914)
- December 1 – Hermine David, French painter (born 1886)
- December 19 – Stig Blomberg, Swedish sculptor (born 1901)
- date unknown – Ze'ev Raban, Israeli painter (born 1890)