What is Contemporary Art? A Conscientious Outlook

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What is Contemporary Art? A Conscientious Outlook

If you would ask any art cognizant about contemporary style the reply would be quite typical in nature; “the artworks created in our lifetime or made after the 1970s”. The word contemporary itself means ‘belonging or occurring at the present time’. This makes the definition of contemporary art quite subtle in wordy form. However, the multifarious and byzantine ilk of this art form makes it a much fascinating subject to brainstorm.

Since the time contemporary artworks start coming into the market, there were assumptions, theories, disagreements, and suspicion about where this is heading. Art, as we all know, is the perfect balanced brew of artist’s expression and observers’ interpretation. One cannot survive without another.

If an artist put up his work thinking that his/her audience will pick the vested meaning, it means there are some elements or tip-offs that will make the observer align with former’s vision. On the other hand, if this doesn’t happen or if the artwork is too baffling or sophisticated, art lovers might regard it as a bogus and meaningless attempt.


This is exactly what is happening with contemporary art. People are not getting the true beauty and strong grip that contemporary art is able to make on the limitless prospective of art itself. This is so because the number of paintings and artworks produced today are way more than what it used to be before. Also, the accessibility has become quite easy, making the art forms exposed to a larger number of opinions. Hence, the entire process of interpreting and comprehending art style has become much convoluted.

Then again, the pursuit for that one pressing question still remains active.

What is Contemporary Art?

To eradicate all the scepticism and unfathomable aspects about contemporary art, we have to look far behind; to the beginning of modernism and the idea behind it. To many, contemporary art has been able to blossom and exist because of strong backing from modernism.

Modernism started as a result of many reasons that include the advent of the industrial revolution, the rise of the middle class, and people getting agitated of the limited access of the artworks.

Artists in the early 18th century slowly begun to realise that the whole point of traditional and academic style of art is actually limiting them to work within the rules of an elite section of society. Also, the conventional ways were blocking the artists’ imagination and creative flair to explore the untouched territories.

The old-age perception of regarding art as beautiful was now transforming into bold expression and liberal usage of colours and designs. Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, abstractionism, etc were few of the evolved forms of art that were generated as a result of modernism.

Now, contemporary movement commenced in the early 1960s with the pop art. Artists were beginning to become more courageous to express themselves in a much avid manner, defying the traditional guidelines. All this was inspired from the idea of freeing the artists’ creative knack and weeding off the necessity of carving out only the real-life elements in paintings.

The Final Takeaway

I suppose the overall discussion would have given you a glimpse of how contemporary art form actually came into existence and emancipation of artists’ concoction became the primary cornerstone behind its rising.

Contemporary artworks are actually not just rejecting the old convention of glorifying deities and elite section of people but these are also about documenting the current trends of our society and humane values that are running. Whether it is aesthetic or grisly, contemporary paintings show the world the real face of our society and at the same time, evoke different emotions out of us. To apprehend the trait of contemporary works you require patience and a tolerant outlook of the world as we know it.

Amidst the chaos that is happening all around, contemporary art pieces offer us the tranquillity, valiant, brash, and a bohemian approach to look at the things. So the next time the question ‘What is contemporary art’ bothers you, look at the history that defines the dawn of this impeccable art form.

After all, contemporary form is one of the best-enhanced version of art till now.

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