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Contemporary Art

What is Contemporary Art?

Contemporary art is the art that was made after the 1950s. In the visual arts, this period includes the Post-Dada and Fluxus movements, Abstract Expressionism, the beginning of Pop art, minimalism and conceptual art. In the wider media, contemporary art also includes postmodern architecture, sound art, performance art and other types of post-1960s art which are less closely tied to the visual arts.

What Makes Contemporary Art Contemporary?

Contemporary art is an art that responds to current events, social issues or cultural trends. Contemporary artists are engaged in the present – their work may comment on the political climate, reflect on the way we live now or explore social issues. This can make what is made now seem very relevant, but it can also make it more challenging to appreciate. Even the best contemporary art might not seem as relevant in decades to come, as it did in the here and now. Making art that responds to the present can also make it hard to pinpoint when specific works were made. In contrast, art that focuses on universal themes and ideas may still be relevant in future, whatever happens in the world.

Types of Contemporary Art

There are many different types of contemporary art, including: – Conceptual art – Environmental art – Installation art – Interdisciplinary art – Performance art – Pop art – Sound art – Video art These different types of art all have different characteristics. However, they are all contemporary art.

Why Is Contemporary Art So Controversial?

Contemporary art is always challenging and questioning, and it sometimes confronts audiences. This can make it appear controversial, but controversy can also be a sign of a good exhibition. Art should make you think, and it may do this best when it challenges you. However, controversy is not always a good thing, and some exhibition-makers are too keen to create controversy. This can lead to controversial art that is too extreme.

How to Make Sense of Contemporary Art?

Understanding contemporary art can be challenging, but it is still worth making an attempt. Start by understanding the type of contemporary art you are looking at – how does it fit into one of the categories above? What does it look like? What materials are used? What was the artist trying to say? What does it mean to you? What do you think it says about our world? If you can answer these questions you will have taken a first step towards understanding contemporary art. The rest is up to you, but the more you look the more you will find.

Summing up

Art has always been in dialogue with the present moment, but contemporary art is particularly engaged with social and political issues. Contemporary artists often use new technologies and engage with ideas from other art forms, such as performance and video. This makes contemporary art challenging to appreciate. It can engage with the present, but it can also be ahead of its time. Contemporary art is always controversial and challenging, but it is also fascinating, complex and varied. If you want to understand it, you have to get involved.