Contemporary art

From Academic Kids

Template:Art history series The term contemporary art encompasses all art being done now. It tends to include any art made from around the 1960s to the present, or after the end of the modern art period. The use of the literal adjective "contemporary" to define this period in art history is due to the lack of any recognized or dominant form or genre of art as recognized by artists or art historians and critics. The period of art since modernism is also sometimes called postmodern art, but as postmodernism refers to an approach or paradigm that many contemporary artists do not operate from, "contemporary" may be preferred as a more inclusive adjective.

Trends in contemporary art

The most important component within Contemporary art practice, is that it continually engages matters and issues that are presently affecting the world. Cloning, politics, economics, gender issues, human rights, or perhaps even the high price of bread being sold locally.

Contemporary art operates in multiple formats, media, and is in synthesis with global, political, socio-cultural change. It is not limited by materials nor methodology. It may or may not encompass traditional formats such as painting, drawing, and sculpture, but may popular conceptual practices engage performance, installation, and multi-media works. Contemporary art is often engaging a multi-disciplinary discourse, utilizing a diverse body of skills and peoples to ultimately engage the mass with a substantial, and sometimes provocative discourse pertaining to the relevant issues shaping the world right now. It is continually engaging, and affecting the boundaries of perception.

Contemporary art should not be confused with the workings of modern art, although the trends and movements in contemporary practice may directly refer to modernism. Philosopher and art critic Arthur Danto has asserted that modernism (as well as "art history" itself) died with the making of Andy Warhol's Brillo Boxes, which functioned as art yet were indistinguishable from their real life counterparts for all relevant purposes. These sculptures therefore marked the end of any pretense that art had some essential and objectively discernible trait that separated it from non-art objects. Since the modernist days of the first half of the 20th century, art has also engaged post-modernism, neo-conceptualism, High art Lite (the Young British Artists movement (YBAs) of the mid nineties, as well as multi-culturalist work within the post-postmodern.

Contemporary artists today such as The Yes Men, Maurizio Cattelan, and Marc Quinn utilize a sophisticated language to communicate with a variety of audiences. The relationship between the viewer and the artist has grown increasingly complex over the later half of the 20th century and into the 21st. Contemporary art is becoming increasingly more global, and is slowly breaking down the cultural barriers that separate the antiquated elitism of high art from the public forum of the masses.

The future development of Contemporary art is often directed by massive biennials (The Whitney Biennial, The Venice, Sao Paulo, the Kwan Ju, the Havana...), triennials (Echigo-Tsumari), and most importantly the exhibition of documenta in Kassel, Germany.


A few important competitions, awards and prizes in contemporary art are

See also

fr:Art contemporain nl:Hedendaagse kunst sv:Samtida konst


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