The word contemporary accordingly to the Cambridge dictionary means existing or happening now. Art is also defined by the most dictionary as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual forms such as sculpture or painting, producing works to appreciated for it primary beauty and emotional power.
The problem begins when these two words come together as Contemporary Art Arts expert has not yet arrived at one definition due to the debatable date as to which contemporary art began. To understand Contemporary Art we have to first look at the transition of the Prehistoric Art Art down to Contemporary Arts and the factors that caused it.
It began very late about 73,000 years ago in the preliterate. This culture continued until they developed a system of keeping a record of major events. Scientist discovered the Engraved shells created by Homo erectus dating as far back as 500,000 years. Most Art experts argues that it can't be properly classified as art work.
Ancient arts began when the era of prehistoric Arts ended. At this point the cultures of ancient societies was a little advanced with some form of writing, examples are those of ancient China, India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. We can never talk about ancient Art without acknowledging the following artist.
- Pheidias (from 480 – 430 BC) was a Greek sculptor, painter, and architect. He created the statue of Zeus at Olympia. Phidias also designed the statues of the goddess Athena on the Athenian Acropolis, namely the Athena Parthenos and the Athena Promachos
- Apelles of the 4th century BC was a renowned painter of ancient Greece. He was known for his famous artworks and many more.
- Zeuxis was an innovative Greek painter. He became famous during the 5th century.
- Polykleitos was an ancient Greek sculptor also became famous in the 5th century BCE.
And Pharhasius (popular in 399Bc's) Apollodorus (became famous in the 5th Bc), Euphranor (mid-4th century),. Scopas (350Bc - 395Bc) And many others
The Transition of ancient art at this stage to modern and contemporary Art was caused by the following factors
know as The Landmarks of transition
- The industrial and commercial production of materials such as paints in several colors, canvases ..etc.
- The change in art commission..(ancient art was always customized with specific details but during this era, Artist were Free to create anything they wanted to create.)
- Rapid societal change
- Advancement of Science and the Social Sciences
These are the major factors but there are many other
The change occurred in this chronological order
Prehistoric Art (change caused by the development of a record-keeping system)
Ancient Art (30,000 B.C.E to 400 AD)
Medieval to Early Renaissance Art (400AD to 1400AD)
Renaissance to Early Modern Art (1400AD to 1880AD)
Modern Art ( 1880 to 1970)
And the main topic interest of Contemporary Art. 1970s is what most Art experts believe to be the beginning of contemporary Art.
Now Trying to define contemporary Art I personally recommends three theories:-
- Contemporary Art is anything (considered art) created after Duchamp ( the main pillar of dadaism movement )
- Contemporary Art is anything (considered art ) create during the last ten(10) years till now
- Contemporary Art is anything ( considered art) which is still in production despite the period of its origination.
Contemporary also has the various movement under it
- Pop Art (1960s onwards)
- Word Art (1960s onwards)
- Conceptualism (1960s onwards)
- Performance (Early 1960s onwards)
- Fluxus Movement (1960s)
- Installation (1960s onwards)
- Video Installations (1960s onwards)
- Minimalism (1960s onwards)
- Photo-Realist Art (Hyperrealism) (1960s, 1970s)
- Earthworks (Land or Environmental Art) (1960s, 1970s)
- Contemporary Photography (1960s onwards)
- Arte Povera (1966-71)
- Supports-Surfaces (1966-72)
- Contemporary Realism
- Post-Minimalism (1971 onwards)
- Feminist Art (1970s)
- New Subjectivity (1970s)
- London School (1970s)
- Graffiti Art (1970s onwards)
- Neo-Expressionist Art (1980 onwards)
- Transavanguardia (Trans-avant-garde)
- Britart: Young British Artists (1980s)
- Deconstructivist Design (1985-2010)
- Body Art (1990s)
- Chinese Cynical Realism (1990s)
- Neo-Pop (late 1980s onwards)
- Stuckism (1999 onwards)
- New Leipzig School (2000 onwards)
- Projection Art (21st Century)
- Computer Art (21st )
Check out More images regarding contemporary art.