Modern Art Vs. Contemporary Art

Modern Art Vs. Contemporary Art - What's The Difference?

If you check out a few works of art these days, you'll come across the phrase contemporary and modern art. If you are not very knowledgeable in the art world, it's easy to get confused with the terms.


Modern Vs. Contemporary Art

The terms "modern" and "contemporary" refer to two distinct eras in art history. The term "modern art" refers to artwork that was created between the years 1880 and 1970.

Despite being a more recent development than the Renaissance or classical art, modern art is not the most recent art movement. The term "contemporary art" generally refers to recently created works of art.

Typically, from people who are still alive and doing art. Or those who recently died or retired. Drawing and painting are the primary forms of contemporary art.

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However, a significant expansion in the range of mediums open to contemporary artists has resulted from the quickening pace of technological advancement.

Understanding, processing, and categorizing contemporary art may be challenging at times. In contrast to the previous art periods, it is not unified by a style and cannot simply be categorized into a single separate movement.

Today's artists are less concerned with creating aesthetically pleasing works and more with bringing attention to the problems that plague today's society.

This move away from focusing on aesthetic beauty was initiated during the modern art era. Still, contemporary artists have pushed it to an even greater extent and turned the spotlight to the underlying notion of the work.

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The Objective Contemporary Art

The goal of contemporary art is to provoke thought, frequently depicting a wide variety of political, economic, and social topics.

Contemporary artists often focus their work on issues such as feminism, poverty, oppression, terrorism, globalization, and racism.

The audience and artists engage in a dialogue through the medium of contemporary art, which is frequently more of a discussion.

The method by which the art got at the end result is frequently regarded as more significant than the result itself. Also, as an audience member, you may occasionally be given the opportunity to participate in that method.

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Some Modern Art Examples

The term "Modernism" refers to the time period that modern art represents. Between the years 1880 and 1970, not only did the world undergo an enormous transformation but so did artistic trends.

During such a period, brand-new ways of creating art and ideas have emerged, such as photography and the concept of abstract art.

Personal iconography, abstraction, symbolism, and dreams became subjects that modernist painters began investigating in their artwork.

Screen printing, photography, collage and other forms of modern sculpture were all presented to the public for the first time by David Kracov, Angelo Accardi, and other modern artists who experimented with non-traditional materials.

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Many different words ending in 'ism were frequently used to characterize the art trends that were occurring during this period. Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, Post-impressionism, Surrealism, Impressionism, and Fauvism all refer to popular modern art movements.

However, not all modern art forms utilize the word "ism." Die brucke, de stijl, art nouveau, art deco, and pop art are considered modern art but don't end with an "ism." There are a significant number of well-known modern artists.

Famous Modern Artists

Piet Mondrian, Edvard Munch, Henri Mattise, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Goh, Wassily Kandinsky, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Piccaso.

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Some Contemporary Art Examples

The thing to keep in mind is that no single artistic style or set of characteristics defines contemporary art. On the other hand, it is still possible to recognize it through a particular technique or technological advancement.

Or, it can be identified through subject matter, which often falls into social or political. One piece that exemplifies modern art is Yayoi Kusama's well-known "Infinity Room," which is characterized as being uniquely contemporary due to the artist's use of technology.

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The 'Infinity Room' is an immersive experience that engages multiple senses through the use of lighting, mirrors, and music.

This "experiential art" style is prevalent in the contemporary zeitgeist, although throughout the modernist era, it was only a glimmer of a concept in people's minds. It is common to find contemporary artists employing more than one medium in their work. As an example, Banksy is known for combining elements of art installation, performance, and art graffiti. Alec Monopoly presents satirical settings or combines mixed media materials. Any artist that is still alive and practicing their craft is generally classified as a contemporary artist.

Famous Contemporary Artists

Other famous contemporary artists include Kehinde Wiley, Yoko Ono, Anish Kapoor, Banksy, Tracy Emin, David Hockney, Cindy Sherman, Ai Wei Wei, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kasuma, and Jeff Koons.

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Contemporary Art And Modern Art - The Similarities

The modern and the contemporary styles of art have some points in common. Both of these eras have the potential to be described as revolutionary.

In fact, the past two hundred years have been the most transformative in terms of art when compared to any other comparable period in human history.

Both contemporary and modern artists were interested in experimentation and revolution. However, modern art broke down the barriers for contemporary artists to truly have freedom of artistic experimentation.

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It is pretty rare to come across an artist considered to be of the modernist school and still active in their field. Nevertheless, there is the possibility of overlap.

Although many histories of art place the beginning of contemporary art in the 1960s, the word "contemporary art" can be used to refer to any artwork created following World War II.

Hence, there are still artists alive today that may have worked during the two art eras.

David Hockney is one example of an artist who continues to produce art even though he is far into his senior years. Due to this, Hockney would then be considered a contemporary as well as a modernist artist.

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Wrapping It All Up

There are plenty of ways to describe contemporary and modern art. Keep in mind that art is primarily subjective. Hence, categorizing it can get muddy.

Perhaps, the easiest way of defining modernism is works of art that were produced between 1880 and 1970. Works of art created after that may be considered contemporary.

Again, this definition is easy to dispute, depending on the perspective or approach. However, for the sake of simplicity, the definition mentioned above is functional enough.

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