Development of Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art

A question that isn’t asked nearly often enough is "What is

Contemporary Art


This is another one of those art definitions that regularly causes confusion but the

answer is quite simple. Contemporary Art just means “art that has been, and continues to
be, created during our lifetimes”. In other words, contemporary to us.

Of course, depending on your age, you can expect a certain amount of overlap between "Contemporary Art" and
"Modern Art" in your lifetime.

A good guide to the difference is:

Modern Art
is art from the Impressionist period (about 1880) up until the 1970’s.

Contemporary Art
is art from the 1970’s up until now.

The 1970’s is the cut-off point of Modern Art for two reasons. First, because it was around 1970 that the
terms "Postmodern" and "Postmodernism" appeared – indicating that the Art World had moved on
to a new period.

Secondly, 1970 seems to be the last period of easily classifiable art movements.

While it may be hard to classify emergent
movements, Contemporary Art is much more socially conscious than any previous era has been.
A mass of art from the last 30+ years has been connected with one issue or another: feminism, multiculturalism,
globalization, bio-engineering and AIDS awareness all come readily to mind as subject matter.

So, the simple answer is Contemporary Art is art being created now by living artists and runs from (roughly) 1970
until now.