Art lovers rejoice! This guide is for you - in it, we'll explore contemporary art: what it is, the history of contemporary art, and the most popular contemporary artists of today. So whether you're a fan of modern art or you're looking to expand your art education by visiting the new contemporary gallery in Melbourne, this guide has something for everyone.
What Is Contemporary Art?
Contemporary art generally refers to art that has been created within the past 60 years, and strives to break away from traditional norms and stereotypes in both their subjects and methods. As a result, many contemporary artworks are thought-provoking and even controversial. But that's part of what makes contemporary art so interesting - it challenges viewers to think outside the box and see the world in new ways.
The History of Contemporary Art
The roots of contemporary art can be traced back to the Late Renaissance period in Europe. At this time, there was a growing interest in naturalism and realism, which led to more lifelike paintings and sculptures being produced. This trend continued into the Baroque period, during which artists such as Caravaggio and Rembrandt pushed the boundaries of realism even further.
In the 18th Century, Neoclassicism emerged as a reaction against the excesses of the Baroque period. Artists such as Jacques-Louis David strove for simplicity and accuracy in their work.
The 19th Century saw completely new styles of art emerge, including Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, and Expressionism. Each of these movements had a profound impact on subsequent generations of artists, laying the foundation for what we now know as contemporary art.
The 20th Century was marked by numerous artistic movements, including Dadaism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and minimalism. These movements were all influential in shaping the field of contemporary art as we know it today.
Most Popular Contemporary Artists
Now that we've answered the question 'What is contemporary art?' and taken a brief journey through its history, it's time to talk about some of the most popular contemporary artists working today.
These artists are pushing boundaries, challenging norms, and creating thought-provoking artwork that is sure to stand the test of time - some of our favourites include Yayoi Kusama, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, and Banksy.
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who is best known for her Infinity Mirror Rooms - immersive installations that feature mirrors placed at strategic angles to create an optical illusion of infinite space. Jeff Koons is an American artist whose work often deals with themes of consumer culture and desire, while British artist Damien Hirst is perhaps best known for his provocative 'natural history' pieces featuring dead animals preserved in formaldehyde.
Lastly, we have Banksy - probably the most famous street artist in the world today. Banksy's work often addresses social and political issues in humorous and poignant ways.
As you can see, contemporary art is a rich and varied field with plenty to offer everyone from long-time fans to newcomers alike. We hope this guide has helped you learn more about what contemporary art is and why it matters. Be sure to check out some of our favourite contemporary artists next time you're looking for a dose of inspiration!