Depending on what type of wall you plan to hang your contemporary art on you may not be able to use a standard picture hook.
Hard masonry walls
If you have very hard walls you will not be able to simply bang in the picture hook nail with a hammer. Your only option is to drill a hole and use a plastic rawlplug and screw. If the walls are in poor condition you may need to prepare your walls first to ensure they are sound, particularly if you have a large glazed and framed artwork as they can be very heavy.
Note: Always use a domehead screw which has an edge to hang the picture on – not a countersunk screw.
Note: Never drill above or below light switches or plug sockets, where electric cables may be concealed. And always use an electronic tester to check for wires and pipes before drilling.
If you have moved to an older house the walls in older houses are made from lath-and-plaster but in more recent homes from plasterboard (drywall). In both cases, these are thin, soft walls attached to a lattice of vertical and horizontal timbers which means a picture can easily pull out nails and screws. You can try and locate one of the timbers by tapping on the wall and you will hear a more hollow sound between the timbers. This would give you a solid fixing for a screw or nail but the chance of a timber being in the exact location you wish to attach your art is quite unlikely.
Insider Tip: Depending on the width of your picture and the distance between adjacent vertical timbers you can fix a horizontal wooden batten between the timbers to give you a solid fixture onto which to attach your hook or nail.
There are, however, some clever devices to get around the problem of hanging art securely such as a Spring Toggle or Hollow Wall Anchor. For more information on how these work and where to buy them take a look at DIY Doctor – Hanging Art