You can use a WP function called get_posts or WP_Query to query the database. There is a documentation article over on the docs page to get you started with this.
You can query the DB for artist posts ordered by ‘modified’ date, and limited to x amount.
Then you can loop through those artists and load the gallery field data, and then do what ever you wish with teh data such as displaying the first image and a link to the artists permalink.
Does that help?
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