Strictly speaking, the term " contemporary art" refers to art made by artists living today. Today's artists work in a global environment that is culturally diverse, technologically advancing, and multifaceted. Working in a wide range of mediums, contemporary artists often reflect and comment on modern-day society. Viewers are encouraged to set aside questions such as, "Is a work of art good?" or "Is the work aesthetically pleasing?" Instead, whether art is "challenging" or "interesting." Contemporary artists may question traditional ideas of how art is defined.
The history of contemporary art
Since the early 20th century, some artists have turned away from the realistic depiction of the human figure. They have moved increasingly towards abstraction. In New York City after World War II, the art world coined the term "abstract expressionism". To characterize an art movement that was neither completely abstract nor expressionistic. Nevertheless, the movement challenged artists to place more emphasis on the process of making art rather than the final product.
Artists like Jackson Pollock brought art-making to new heights by dripping paint in grand yet spontaneous gestures. One critic noted, "what was going on in the canvas was not a picture but an event.".
Contemporary artists working within the postmodern movement reject the concept of mainstream art. And embrace the notion of "artistic pluralism," with the acceptance of a variety of artistic intentions and styles. Influenced by performance art, pop art, Minimalism, conceptual art, or video, artists pull from an variety of materials, sources, and styles.
Vancouver is home to many amazing contemporary artists and galleries like this one. The Contemporary Art Gallery is an internationally acclaimed gallery and is a credit to Vancouver.
For more great examples of contemporary art see my gallery.