Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art



Contemporary Art, generally mean the art produced at the present period of time. Contemporary Artists refer generally the artists born after 1910 and are active during 1950s. Nowadays, Contemporary Art have a profound influence on worldwide.


Contemporary Art develops from postmodern art, which is a successor of modern art. For non-specialists, “modern art” and “contemporary art” are synonyms, resulting in a conflation of both of these art.


In terms of the contemporary art, the language of art is innovative. It refers to the “universal value” of human beings, as a result, “Universalism” become the represented theory of contemporary art. Compared with Modenist Art (1916-1960), originator as Marcel Duchamp, (“Fountain”, which is the most notorious of the readymades, Fountain was submitted to the 1917 Society of Independent Artists under the pseudonym R. Mutt.)  Post-Modemist Art (1960-1979), originator as Joseph Beuys, ( How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare--As for most of his subsequent installations and performance work, Beuys had created a new visual syntax not only for himself, but for all conceptual art that might follow him.)Contemporary art has extended the art form, additionally developed with a tolerance of all form of art; expressing the “Contemporaneity” of artists based on the social context; a trend of strengthen “Individualism”; exceeding the definition of “Art” ( it is the art with modern spirit and culture)and reflecting the contemporary age.



Contemporary Art form:


There are a lot of art streams--more than fifty types of arts: Cubism, Futurist, Surrealistic, Abstractionism, Pop art, Photographic Realism, Classicism, Impressionist, Fauvism, Expressionism, Conceptual art, Metaphysics, Supremacy,Dadaism, Realism, etc.


While contemporary art is recognized formally by the collectors, museums, galleries, art schools, public organizations and audition agencies, the artists have produced many art forms under this classification. In the post-Information Age, you can decide if newer media like digital, interaction installation, site-specific and video works are true forms of contemporary art.


Contemporary Art is in a flourish, we cannot understand all of the art forms in one page of blog, we are going to generally introduce you some types of contemporary art:


Contemporary painting:


Contemporary paintings are diverse—diverse in the material, form, subject matter, and even time periods. Contemporary art does not have one, single objective or point of view. It is prismatic and multi-faceted. Sometimes we can see the contradictory, confusing, and open-ended. From the measure of auction sales prices, the the world's most valuable contemporary work of art is: Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969) by Francis Bacon, which sold at auction at Christie's New York in 2013, for $142.4 million. He was fascinated by the Christian nature of the triptych. He uses the archaic format of the gothic triptych to give the image a three-eyed variety and terrible authority.


In second place is Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) (1963), painted by Andy Warhol, which sold at auction (Sotheby's New York) in 2013, for $105.4 million. His art depicts a body sprawled across a car's mangled interior and has only been seen once in public in the past 26 years. 

In third place is Orange, Red, Yellow (1961), by Mark Rothko, which sold for $86.9 million Christie's New York 2012. It looks simple but by staring at each colored segment individually, the color affects the perception of those adjacent to it.


Contemporary photograph:


The beginning of contemporary photography is from 1970s. As the technologies and formats progressing, the medium has been redefined fine art. From white-black photographs to the color photography, digital manipulation and large-scale printing techniques. Contemporary photographers present various perspectives on traditional subjects and compositions together with the developments on science and technologies. Contemporary portrait photography is best illustrated by the camera work of Diane Arbus (1923-1971)--One of the greatest photographers of her generation, Diane Arbus revolutionized fine art photography during her mature period (1959-71). She became internationally known for her harrowing black-and-white pseudo-documentary photography, featuring freaks, eccentrics and marginal people, including dwarfs, giants, transvestites and other ugly or surreal individuals( Fine Art Photography Series). Modern contemporary portraiture has deviated a lot from the static and somber poses of the past and evolved into something that is more dynamic and true to life.

Contemporary photographers are testing the boundaries between reality and fiction in a bid to reach a public that is accustomed to these narrative forms in the literary and cinematic worlds. Contemporary documentary and fiction photography is represented by the camera art of Steve McCurry (b.1950)--his reputation as one of the best portrait artists in the medium of humanist photography was established by his female portrait "Afghan Girl" (1984), which appeared on the front cover of National Geographic magazine. Always informative and relentlessly optimistic, his fine art photography has become a central ingredient of National Geographic from the early 1980s(Fine Art Photography Series).


Contemporary installation:


Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that often are site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called public artland art or intervention art; however, the boundaries between these terms overlap. The representatives of installation art are “Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away by Yayoi Kusama”. Consisted by hundreds of multicolored LED lights. It shows the viewer a wonderfully surreal experience in the space.

“Rain Room by Random International”. Every person has the experience of been wet in the rain, by the automatic intelligent system, it is a wonderful experience for keeping out of the rain inside of the Rain Room.


“Forever Bicycles by Ai Weiwei”. In the 100 feet in length and 30 feet in height and depth in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, maximum as 3,144 bicycles consist the all-night contemporary art event.

“In Orbit by Tomas Saraceno”. It is contrasted by the mesh suspended over 25 meters high. The mesh net alone weighed three tons and there were a half a dozen “spheres” or inflated PVC balloons positioned within it.



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Author: Sylvie Deng



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