The definition of contemporary art means different things to many people. The name sounds relatively simple and straightforward; however, this art genre is not as simple as it seems. It revolves around several underlying themes and cultures. This is why it means various things to different people across the world.
Cash Myricks is a contemporary art student who loves to learn about modern art. He also likes to write about artists and how they positively impact society. He is from New York and often shares his insights on the present era of art in his blogs and social media pages.
In its most fundamental sense, he says contemporary art means skill in the forms of painting, installation, performance, sculpture, video art, and photography that are created in modern times.
It sounds straightforward; however, when you see the details that revolve around the above meaning, it seems quite hazy as different people tend to interpret it differently. When it comes to the precise point of origin of this art genre, there is still a lot of debate.
A look at the origins of contemporary art
Most art historians consider the origins of contemporary art from the late ’60s or the early 70’s- this period is regarded as the end of the modern art era referred to as modernism.
Contemporary art has quite a long history, and to track its evolution over time, you should examine its major movements that compose its rich history as follows-
- Pop art – This form of art was targeted to react to the modern art movement that preceded it. It is generally believed that contemporary art starts with pop art that emerged in America and Britain.
Artists focused on re-imagining products commercially as an accessible art. This art portrayed interest in mass culture. It started around 1950, and its movement continued till 1970 till it was reborn in a new form known as Neo-Pop Art in 1980.
- Photorealism – Artists that worked with pop art style started to produce objects with hyper-realistic paintings and drawings that looked like photographs to help them create landscapes, portraits, and different types of iconography.
- Conceptualism – This form rejected the thought of art to be a commodity. In this genre of art, the concept over the artwork occupies precedence. It surfaced as a popular formal movement in the ’60s and still is a primary art form today.
- Performance art – This form of art is a drama inspired genre that has its roots in conceptualism. Though artists perform, the goal of this art does not stop here. This form of art tends to convey a message to the audience.
In the opinion of Cash Myricks the above are just some of the popular forms of contemporary art. There are others like street art, installation art, minimalism, and earth art that are also popular and practiced by artists all across the globe today.