Contemporary art is the art of today, produced by artists who are living in the 21st century. It provides an opportunity to reflect on contemporary society and the issues relevant to ourselves, and the world around us. Contemporary artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. Here are some key points about contemporary art:
- Time Frame: Generally, contemporary art is understood to be art that has been and continues to be created during our lifetimes. In other words, it is contemporary to us. Often, it's said to begin in the post-World War II era, and includes artists and art production still ongoing.
- Styles and Movements: Unlike modern art, contemporary art is not defined by any one organization of style, technique, or philosophy. Instead, it is a complex amalgamation of approaches and it can be said that it is defined by the diversity and heterogeneity of art being made today. It encompasses many different styles and movements such as conceptual art, performance art, and digital art.
- Themes: Contemporary art often reflects and comments upon modern society. It's frequently socially conscious and can touch on topics such as political and cultural issues, environmental concerns, gender and identity matters, and critiques of media and consumer culture.
- Mediums and Materials: Contemporary artists use a wide range of materials and mediums. In addition to traditional forms such as painting and sculpture, contemporary art embraces new mediums brought on by technological advancements like video art, installations, and internet-based art.
- Institutions and Markets: Contemporary art is exhibited by cultural institutions like museums and galleries, often dedicated specifically to contemporary art. Art fairs, biennials, and festivals also play a crucial role in the presentation and market economics of contemporary art.
- Criticism and Discussion: Like all art forms, contemporary art is subject to criticism. As it's often so closely tied to modern society, these criticisms can be intense and varied. This discourse is an integral part of the ongoing development of contemporary art.
In summary, contemporary art is a broad and diverse field, encompassing a wide range of artists, practices, styles, and themes. It is often reflective of current issues in society, and as a result, can be a powerful tool for communication, provoking discussion and reflection.