This is a question that isn't asked often enough. This is something that we all assume everyone knows, and should know by telepathic means because you wouldn't want to ask a "silly" question at an art function.
The answer can be complicated with tangents into understanding the study of many “isms” in six decades of art. But the simple answer is... Contemporary just means "art that has been and continues to be created during our lifetimes". This means it is contemporary to us, today!
So, what is the difference in contemporary art and modern art?
Modern art is art created in and around 1860 to around 1970. This is when artists such as 'The Impressionists', including Vincent Van Gogh, began to challenge the traditional academic view of art and started to look at the world differently.
Vincent van Gogh, Country road in Provence by Night, 1889
And Post-modern art?
Contemporary art includes, and develops from Post-modern art, which is itself a successor of Modern art. It is within our lifetime, particularly the last twenty years. Contemporary artists use a variety of materials and techniques and technologies such as computers to produce their work.
To explore further... The term of contemporary art does not necessarily commit to a particular style, however contemporary artists can express themselves and respond to social issues in a way that previous artists couldn't. Often today's artists work in and respond to a global environment that is culturally diverse, technologically advancing, and multifaceted. They can work in various mediums and often reflect on modern-day society.
When engaging with contemporary art, onlookers should set aside questions like, "Is a work of art good?" or "Is the work aesthetically pleasing?" Instead, they should consider if it is "challenging" or "interesting." Contemporary artists may question traditional views of art definitions, what art is, and how art is made, while creating a dialogue with, and in fact sometimes rejecting previous the styles and movements.
Here are some of our upcoming contemporary art works- notice the varying styles.
Lot 1837: Laetitia Guildbaud, Guiness Babe, acrylic on canvas, estimated at £300 - £500.
Lot 2022: Paul Bloomer, Bigton Sunset, oil on canvas, estimated at £300 - £500.
Lot 1851: James Fullarton, The War Memorial, Saltcoats, acrylic on board. Estimated at £200 - £500.
Come along and view our Scottish Contemporary Art Auction on Sunday 4th August at 2pm, to form your own impressions on contemporary art- especially now that you are an expert- or just come along to get your hands on a nice new picture that would look great your wall!