Contemporary art movements

What is Contemporary Art? An In-Depth Look at the Modern-Day Movement

To many people, coming up with a contemporary art definition can be a tricky task. While its title is simplistic and straightforward, its modern-day meaning is not as clear-cut. Fortunately, understanding what constitutes as “contemporary” is entirely possible once one traces the concept’s history and explores its underlying themes.

What is contemporary art?

In its most basic sense, the term contemporary art refers to art—namely, painting, sculpture, photography, installation, performance, and video art—produced today. Though seemingly simple, the details surrounding this definition are often a bit fuzzy, as different individuals’ interpretations of “today” may widely and wildly vary. Therefore, the exact starting point of the genre is still debated; however, many art historians consider the late 1960s or early 1970s (the end of modern art, or modernism) to be an adequate estimate.

History: Major Movements and Artists

Given its “art of today” definition, you may be surprised to hear that contemporary art actually has a relatively long history. To trace its evolution, let’s take a look at the major movements and important artists that compose its history.

Pop Art

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Pop art"

Intended as a reaction to preceding modern art movements, contemporary art is thought to have begun on the heels of Pop Art. In post-war Britain and America, Pop Art was pioneered by artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. It is defined by an interest in portraying mass culture and reimagining commercial products as accessible art. While the movement lasted roughly from the 1950s through the early 1970s, it was reborn as Neo-Pop Artin the 1980s thanks to artists like Jeff Koons.


Résultat de recherche d'images pour "photorealism"

Much like artists working in the Pop Art style sought to artistically reproduce objects, those involved with Photorealism—a concurrent movement—aimed to create hyperrealistic drawings and paintings. Photorealists often worked from photographs, which enabled them to accurately reproduce portraits, landscapes, and other iconography. Chuck Close and Gerhard Richter often worked in this style.

Street Art

PichiAvo, le duo de graffeurs qui réussit à mixer beaux-arts et graffiti

As one of the most recent contemporary art movements, street art is a genre that gained prominence with the rise of graffiti in the 1980s. Often rooted in social activism, street art includes murals, installations, stenciled images, and stickers erected in public spaces. Key street artists include figures from the 1980s, like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, as well as practicing artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey.

Other movements like Conceptualism, Minimalism, Performance Art, Installation Art and Earth Art very interesting. Leaving the reader consult this very interesting website containing the following article :

What’s Next for Contemporary Art?

Contemporary Art

While some of the artists we’ve looked at are either no longer alive or unable to practice, many aforementioned greats, including—but not limited to—Damien HirstAi Wei WeiMarina AbramovićYayoi Kusama, and Jeff Koons, continue to create avant-garde works of painting, sculpture, installation, and performance art.

In addition to these famous figures, many up-and-coming contemporary artists are stunning the world with their original approach to art. On top of putting their own twists on conventional forms like painting, sculpture, and installation, they’ve also popularized unexpected forms of art, like embroideryorigami, and tattoos, proving the endless possibilities of the all-encompassing genre.

This article has been edited and updated.

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