Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art: The Art of Today

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Contemporary art is the art of today, produced since the the second half of the 20th century. Contemporary artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. Their art is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that continue the challenging of boundaries that was already well underway in the 20th century. Contemporary art primarily is distinguished by the presence of cultural identity, community and nationality made by the artists living today.

Contemporary art is not confined to a single point of view or any one objective. Any art of this genre is open-ended and can have many connotations making it a visual treat. Each viewer can reflect on this form of art in his own way. However, there are some themes that are common in the contemporary art world for example, women, children or some other social issues. 

While these are not exhaustive, notable themes include: identity politics, the body, globalization and migration, technology, contemporary society and culture, time and memory, and institutional and political critique. Some other important theories that have played a decisive role in development of contemporary art include post-modern, feminist and Marxist thought process.

Though contemporary art, by definition, is an art of today, but has a relatively long history. Intended as a reaction to preceding modern art movements, contemporary art is thought to have begun on the heels of Pop Art. Pop art was initiated by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, in post-war Britain and America and lasted from the 1950s through the early 1970s.

Others phases of contemporary art movement are : Photorealism, Conceptualism, Minimalism, Performance, Installation , Earth and Street Art. Chuck Close and Gerhard Richter, and Jenny Holzer, Donald Judd, Joseph Beuys, Yayoi Kusama, Andy Goldsworthy, Keith Haring are some of the known artist of their respective art forms.

Individual artists, curators, writers, collectors and philanthropists are important part of the world of art and institutions like museums, private galleries, non-profit spaces, art schools and publishers play major role here.
A major division in the art world is between the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Professional artists prefer to exhibit their contemporary art work at commercial contemporary art galleries run by private collectors, art auctions, corporations, publicly funded arts organizations; contemporary art museums or by artists themselves in artist-run spaces. They are supported by grants, awards, and prizes as well as by direct sales of their work. Career artists train at art school or emerge from other fields.

A common concern since the early part of the 20th century has been the question of what constitutes art. In the contemporary period that is 1950 to now, the concept of avant-garde may come into play in determining what art is noticed by galleries, museums, and collectors.


Contemporary artists are impressive with their original approach to art. Some unexpected forms of art like origami, embroidery, tattoo and henna are offering vast horizon to the all-encompassing genre of acrylic on canvas. Contemporary art has not limited itself to painting, sculpture and installation only. List of some of the top Oil on Canvas paintings by top Indian artists that will make you fall in love with art again and again.

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