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Contemporary Vs Modern Art

Art provides many people with a way to express their creativity and open up their minds and imaginations. Art is very versatile and facilitates its existence in different forms. Sculptures, music, film, photography, painting and literature are some of the different art forms that exist today.

Every artist taps into an overflowing fountain of creativity when coming up with the concept behind a piece of art.  Some of the art produced is best understood by people with a keen eye for art. Different people translate art pieces differently.

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Art is not a new form of expression as it existed even during the stone age period where curvings were discovered in caves. People confuse modern art for contemporary art because of the word ‘modernn’. In actual sense, it is the opposite.

To differentiate between the two, a few factors have to be considered.

Era Of Art Production

To distinguish between modern and contemporary art we must bring to focus the era in which an art form was created.

Modern art refers to art that was created before 1960 and after 1888. It marks the end of traditional art and the beginning of modern age art. This form of artistic expression dates back to the late 19th century to the late 20th century period. It was called modern because it did not rely on the teachings of academic art school but instead took a completely new direction. It embodied a new way of thinking and creating art.

Gustave Courbet can be described as the father of modern art in his realistic depiction of a burial around the year 1850. During this time the artist challenged the status quo by changing the way art was essentially presented back then. Before him, all they ever created was romanticized art forms not in their raw nature. Courbet used real and actual representations of the subjects instead of art models.

Contemporary art, on the other hand, is essentially the art form we see today created by the living. It can also be termed as post-modern art. While the transition of art from one form to another was a gradual process, contemporary art first emerged in 1960 and is still being developed today. In that way, its date range is open-ended.

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With increased technological advancements and the economic growth of world economies, more and more creatives have come out of the woodwork to present new exotic art pieces.

Social Impact Scale

Because the two art forms were created in different eras, they served different purposes to society. When modern art was developed, the times in which it existed were riddled with societal and economic problems. There were also a lot of inhibitions and art wasn’t a trusted form of expression. Because of this, it had almost zero social impact.

Contemporary art, on the other hand, plays a critical role in impacting the social and political atmosphere of a society. The ability of this art form to have a social impact is credited to the increased freedoms people enjoy today. More freedom means more room to be creative and create art. People nowadays have been privileged with the freedom of expression and hence are more confident in creating what feels right to them.

Dynamic Shifted Focus

A key distinction between the two is that the focus of the art shifter from the art piece presented in its final form to the process the artist took to get there.

People today are more focused on what emotions and feelings inspired the artist’s expression. What exactly is his or her source of expression? When presented back in the day, an art form was judged by its aesthetic appeal.

Authenticity

There was emphasis and focus on being original and authentic in modern art as compared to contemporary art. In the latter, the artists are in some ways considered impersonal where their art is concerned. For example, in modern art, an artist would attempt to use colours matching a leaf or the sky to represent them in their art. It was therefore very calculated and intentional.

Fast forward to contemporary artists who will use just about any colour to represent anything. Always part of a bigger picture.

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