|History of art|
Contemporary art is the art of today, produced in the second half of the 20th century or in the 21st century. Contemporary artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. Their art is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that continue the challenging of boundaries that was already well underway in the 20th century. Diverse and eclectic, contemporary art as a whole is distinguished by the very lack of a uniform, organising principle, ideology, or "-ism". Contemporary art is part of a cultural dialogue that concerns larger contextual frameworks such as personal and cultural identity, family, community, and nationality.
In vernacular English, modern and contemporary are synonyms, resulting in some conflation and confusion of the terms modern art and contemporary art by non-specialists.
Some define contemporary art as art produced within "our lifetime," recognising that lifetimes and life spans vary. However, there is a recognition that this generic definition is subject to specialized limitations.
The classification of "contemporary art" as a special type of art, rather than a general adjectival phrase, goes back to the beginnings of Modernism in the English-speaking world. In London, the Contemporary Art Society was founded in 1910 by the critic Roger Fry and others, as a private society for buying works of art to place in public museums.A number of other institutions using the term were founded in the 1930s, such as in 1938 the Contemporary Art Society of Adelaide, Australia, and an increasing number after 1945. Many, like the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston changed their names from ones using "Modern art" in this period, as Modernism became defined as a historical art movement, and much "modern" art ceased to be "contemporary". The definition of what is contemporary is naturally always on the move, anchored in the present with a start date that moves forward, and the works the Contemporary Art Society bought in 1910 could no longer be described as contemporary.
Particular points that have been seen as marking a change in art styles include the end of World War II and the 1960s. There has perhaps been a lack of natural break points since the 1960s, and definitions of what constitutes "contemporary art" in the 2010s vary, and are mostly imprecise. Art from the past 20 years is very likely to be included, and definitions often include art going back to about 1970; [ citation needed ]"the art of the late 20th and early 21st century"; "the art of the late 20th cent. and early 21st cent., both an outgrowth and a rejection of modern art"; "Strictly speaking, the term "contemporary art" refers to art made and produced by artists living today"; "Art from the 1960s or 70s up until this very minute"; and sometimes further, especially in museum contexts, as museums which form a permanent collection of contemporary art inevitably find this aging. Many use the formulation "Modern and Contemporary Art", which avoids this problem. Smaller commercial galleries, magazines and other sources may use stricter definitions, perhaps restricting the "contemporary" to work from 2000 onwards. Artists who are still productive after a long career, and ongoing art movements, may present a particular issue; galleries and critics are often reluctant to divide their work between the contemporary and non-contemporary.
Sociologist Nathalie Heinich draws a distinction between modern and contemporary art, describing them as two different paradigms which partially overlap historically. She found that while "modern art" challenges the conventions of representation, "contemporary art" challenges the very notion of an artwork.She regards Duchamp's Fountain (which was made in the 1910s in the midst of the triumph of modern art) as the starting point of contemporary art, which gained momentum after World War II with Gutai's performances, Yves Klein's monochromes and Rauschenberg's Erased de Kooning Drawing .
One of the difficulties many people have in approaching contemporary artwork is its diversity—diversity of material, form, subject matter, and even time periods. It is "distinguished by the very lack of a uniform organizing principle, ideology, or -ism" that we so often see in other, and oftentimes more familiar, art periods and movements. Broadly speaking, we see Modernism as looking at modernist principles—the focus of the work is self-referential, investigating its own materials (investigations of line, shape, color, form). Likewise, Impressionism looks at our perception of a moment through light and color as opposed to attempts at stark realism (Realism, too, is an artistic movement). Contemporary art, on the other hand, does not have one, single objective or point of view. Its view instead is unclear, perhaps reflective of the world today. It can be, therefore, contradictory, confusing, and open-ended. There are, however, a number of common themes that have appeared in contemporary works. While these are not exhaustive, notable themes include: identity politics, the body, globalization and migration, technology, contemporary society and culture, time and memory, and institutional and political critique. Post-modern, post-structuralist, feminist, and Marxist theories have played important roles in the development of contemporary theories of art.
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The functioning of the art world is dependent on art institutions, ranging from major museums to private galleries, non-profit spaces, art schools and publishers, and the practices of individual artists, curators, writers, collectors, and philanthropists. A major division in the art world is between the for-profit and non-profit sectors, although in recent years the boundaries between for-profit private and non-profit public institutions have become increasingly blurred.[ citation needed ] Most well-known contemporary art is exhibited by professional artists at commercial contemporary art galleries, by private collectors, art auctions, corporations, publicly funded arts organizations, contemporary art museums or by artists themselves in artist-run spaces. Contemporary artists are supported by grants, awards, and prizes as well as by direct sales of their work. Career artists train at art school or emerge from other fields.[ citation needed ]
There are close relationships between publicly funded contemporary art organizations and the commercial sector. For instance, in 2005 the book Understanding International Art Markets and Management reported that in Britain a handful of dealers represented the artists featured in leading publicly funded contemporary art museums.Commercial organizations include galleries and art fairs.
Corporations have also integrated themselves into the contemporary art world, exhibiting contemporary art within their premises, organizing and sponsoring contemporary art awards, and building up extensive corporate collections.Corporate advertisers frequently use the prestige associated with contemporary art and coolhunting to draw the attention of consumers to luxury goods.
The institutions of art have been criticized for regulating what is designated as contemporary art. Outsider art, for instance, is literally contemporary art, in that it is produced in the present day. However, one critic has argued it is not considered so because the artists are self-taught and are thus assumed to be working outside of an art historical context.Craft activities, such as textile design, are also excluded from the realm of contemporary art, despite large audiences for exhibitions. Art critic Peter Timms has said that attention is drawn to the way that craft objects must subscribe to particular values in order to be admitted to the realm of contemporary art. "A ceramic object that is intended as a subversive comment on the nature of beauty is more likely to fit the definition of contemporary art than one that is simply beautiful."
At any one time a particular place or group of artists can have a strong influence on subsequent contemporary art. For instance, The Ferus Gallery was a commercial gallery in Los Angeles and re-invigorated the Californian contemporary art scene in the late fifties and the sixties.
Contemporary art can sometimes seem at odds with a public that does not feel that art and its institutions share its values.In Britain, in the 1990s, contemporary art became a part of popular culture, with artists becoming stars, but this did not lead to a hoped-for "cultural utopia". Some critics like Julian Spalding and Donald Kuspit have suggested that skepticism, even rejection, is a legitimate and reasonable response to much contemporary art. Brian Ashbee in an essay called "Art Bollocks" criticizes "much installation art, photography, conceptual art, video and other practices generally called post-modern" as being too dependent on verbal explanations in the form of theoretical discourse. However, the acceptance of non traditional art in museums has increased due to changing perspectives on what constitutes an art piece.
A common concern since the early part of the 20th century has been the question of what constitutes art. In the contemporary period (1950 to now), the concept of avant-gardemay come into play in determining what art is noticed by galleries, museums, and collectors.
The concerns of contemporary art come in for criticism too. Andrea Rosen has said that some contemporary painters "have absolutely no idea of what it means to be a contemporary artist" and that they "are in it for all the wrong reasons."
Some competitions, awards, and prizes in contemporary art are:
This table lists art movements and styles by decade. It should not be assumed to be conclusive.
Art is a diverse range of human activities involving the conscious use of creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas.
An art museum is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be accessible to all or have restrictions in place. Although primarily concerned with visual art, art museums are often used as a venue for other cultural exchanges and artistic activities, such as performance arts, music concerts, or poetry readings. Art museums also frequently host themed temporary exhibitions, which often include items on loan from other collections.
The avant-garde are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society. It is frequently characterized by aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability.
Postmodern art is a body of art movements that sought to contradict some aspects of modernism or some aspects that emerged or developed in its aftermath. In general, movements such as intermedia, installation art, conceptual art and multimedia, particularly involving video are described as postmodern.
Joseph Kosuth, an American conceptual artist, lives in New York and London, after having resided in various cities in Europe, including Ghent and Rome.
The art world comprises everyone involved in producing, commissioning, presenting, preserving, promoting, chronicling, criticizing, buying and selling fine art. It is recognized that there are many art worlds, defined either by location or alternative definitions of fine art. Some may use the singular art world to refer only to the elite level of globalized fine art. The art world(s) are continually changing in response both to the creativity of those that create art and in response to social change.
Arthur Coleman Danto was an American art critic, philosopher, and professor at Columbia University. He was best known for having been a long-time art critic for The Nation and for his work in philosophical aesthetics and philosophy of history, though he contributed significantly to a number of fields, including the philosophy of action. His interests included thought, feeling, philosophy of art, theories of representation, philosophical psychology, Hegel's aesthetics, and the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre.
ARKEN Museum of Modern Art is a private non-for-profit charity, state authorised, contemporary art museum in Ishøj near Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. The museum is amongst Denmark's major contemporary and modern art ventures, encompassing significant international cultural works and exhibitions. Arken is located in the suburb-city Ishøj, close to Køge, twenty kilometres south of Copenhagen, Denmark. Arken museum was designed by 25-year old architect student Søren Robert Lund in a distinct architectural form and was authorised by Copenhagen County. It was inaugurated on the 15th March 1996 and was conceived by Queen Margrethe; her majesty of Denmark.
Fine-art photography is photography created in line with the vision of the photographer as artist, using photography as a medium for creative expression. The goal of fine-art photography is to express an idea, a message, or an emotion. This stands in contrast to representational photography, such as photojournalism, which provides a documentary visual account of specific subjects and events, literally representing objective reality rather than the subjective intent of the photographer; and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products, or services.
Ursula von Rydingsvard is a sculptor who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is best known for creating large-scale works influenced by nature, primarily using cedar and other forms of timber.
Raimund Johann Abraham was an Austrian architect.
Canadian artist-run centres are galleries and art spaces developed by artists in Canada since the 1960s. Artist-run centre is the common term of use for artist-initiated and managed organizations in Canada. Most centres follow the not-for-profit arts organization model, do not charge admission fees, pay artists for their contributions are non-commercial and de-emphasize the selling of artwork.
Iwona Maria Blazwick OBE is a British art critic and lecturer, and has been Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London since 2001. She discovered Damien Hirst and staged his first solo show at a public London art gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1992. She supports the careers of young artists. Blazwick is said to be one of the most important woman in British art and was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to art in 2008. She is married to Canadian philosopher and fine art lecturer at Goldsmiths University of London, Richard Noble.
Clarence Major is an American poet, painter, and novelist; winner of the 2015 "Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts," presented by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. He was awarded the 2016 PEN Oakland/Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award.
Contemporary Indigenous Australian art is the modern art work produced by Indigenous Australians, that is, Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander people. It is generally regarded as beginning in 1971 with a painting movement that started at Papunya, northwest of Alice Springs, Northern Territory, involving Aboriginal artists such as Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri and Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, and facilitated by white Australian teacher and art worker Geoffrey Bardon. The movement spawned widespread interest across rural and remote Aboriginal Australia in creating art, while contemporary Indigenous art of a different nature also emerged in urban centres; together they have become central to Australian art. Indigenous art centres have fostered the emergence of the contemporary art movement, and as of 2010 were estimated to represent over 5000 artists, mostly in Australia's north and west.
Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc. is an arts organization based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York that serves to preserve and encourage the production of avant-garde art, particularly forms such as performance art that are under-represented by arts institutions due to their ephemeral nature or politically unpopular content.
Chaim Koppelman was an American artist, art educator, and Aesthetic Realism consultant. Best known as a printmaker, he also produced sculpture, paintings, and drawings. A member of the National Academy of Design since 1978, he was president of the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), which presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. He established the Printmaking Department of the School of Visual Arts in 1959, and taught there until 2007.
Nicole Eisenman is an American artist primarily known for her paintings. Eisenman was a professor at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson from 2003 to 2009. She has been awarded the Guggenheim fellowship (1996), the Carnegie Prize (2013), and has thrice been included in the Whitney Biennial. On September 29, 2015, she won the MacArthur "Genius Grant" award for "restoring the representation of the human form a cultural significance that had waned during the ascendancy of abstraction in the 20th century". Eisenman currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Her Williamsburg studio is managed by Sam Roeck.
Sarai Sherman was a Pennsylvania-born Jewish American artist whose work, both in America and Europe shaped international views of women and abstract expressionism. She was a significant twentieth century painter and sculptor known for her abstract paintings, prints and ceramics.
An art gallery is a room or a building in which visual art is displayed. Among the reasons art may be displayed are aesthetic enjoyment, cultural enrichment, or for marketing purposes. While "gallery" continues to be used in the name of institutions for the study, preservation, and restoration as well as the display of art, these additional functions identify the institution as an Art museum. Most art galleries open to the public are commercial enterprises for the sale of artwork, others may be part of art cooperatives or non-profit organizations. As part of the art world, art galleries play an important role in maintaining the network of connections that define fine art.