Contemporary art stems from the second half of the 20th century and the 21st century, and continues into the present day. Contemporary artists are influenced by the prevalent cultural diversity that is easily accessible, the impact of globalization and technological advancements that are unfolding.
As a result, contemporary art seeks to challenge boundaries, fusing a variety of materials, concepts and subject depictions, into the final works. Accordingly, there are few similar elements that tie contemporary artworks together, yet there is minimal uniformity between collections.
However, what contemporary art tries to portray is a grander scale dialogue, tapping into social, political and cultural topics that are faced on a national and global scale.
What is contemporary art?
In a simplified sense, the term ‘contemporary art’ encompasses paintings, photography, installations, structures, artistic videos and live performances, produces in the last century. Art historians date the contemporary art movement back to the early 1970s, although this date is generally disputed.
Major contemporary art movements
There have been many major and definitive contemporary art movements. We will uncover some of the most popular contemporary art movements here:
Pop art is deemed an extension, or rather reaction, to modern art movements that have passed. Famous pop artists include the likes of Andy Warhol, who is also considered and abstract artist. The pop art movement started in the 1950s and unfolded well into the 1970s. Soon thereafter, it became known as neo-pop art.
Conceptualist artists did not view art as a commodity and rejected this notion. As a result, the artists strongly valued the idea that shaped the art piece, and on which, the final piece was designed. Conceptualism is considered an experimental form of art, surfacing as a formal art movement in the 1960s.
In the past few decades, both graffiti artists as well as citizens of different countries, have taken to the walls of the city, to portray their thoughts and emotions in a graphic manner. The result is under the umbrella of street art, seen across continents. Street art can fuse different graphical elements, such as stencils, murals and statements. One of the most prevalent global street artists of today is Banksy.
The minimalism art movements continues until present day, with artists challenging the existent frameworks in which art is made, shared and viewed. The key differentiating factor between minimalism and other contemporary art forms, is that viewers of an art piece are enticed to respond to the abstract art piece, versus try and analyze the meaning behind an art piece.
Installations have risen in popularity in recent years, taking over stages, museums and galleries across the world. Installation art seeks to immerse the viewer in the art piece, typically composed of 3D structures that engulf the viewer in the artistic experience. Artists who are well versed with installations create an interactive environment, bringing their art to life.