Contemporary Art

689 artworks, 145 artists
The term “contemporary art” describes the art movements, directions and philosophy of the works of art which were created after the 1950 and became an alternative to modernism. This concept appeared and took its root in the art history after the end of World War II and it still causes a discussion about what is meant by “contemporary” or “actual”, and whether this definition is possible to be applied after two or three decades. At the early 21st century, contemporary art referred to name a complex of hundreds of artistic practices and trends that arose and developed in the second half of the 20th century.

The formation of the art movement began in the second half of the 19th century – the era of changes in science, technology, manufacturing and the people’s lifestyle. New technologies in design and architecture, the development of photography strongly influenced the visual arts and prompted artists to study and implement new ideas and techniques. Freud’s philosophical conceptions caused an increase in the popularity of the subconsciousness concept, which became the basis for the development of symbolism and surrealism in painting. Art has become less attractive aesthetically, and form has become obsolete in favour of content, the idea of work. Dematerialization of artworks was allowed, performances and happenings came into fashion.

The new trend has become a provocation: the rejection of old traditions and values, the search for self-expression. The viewer should not see the beauty, now the viewer would say “oh, what an incomprehensible nonsense” and ... think about it. Works of art were recognized as contemporary if their authors adhered to the rule – the painting or sculpture is distinguished by its internal value and reflects the artist’s philosophy regardless of its technique. The paintings were not created to conform the prevailing public opinion or political system. They became a manifestation of the will of a free person who decided “what”, “how”, and “which way” himself or herself. The main goal of contemporary art is the emotional impact on the viewer, the promotion of ideas and understanding of objective reality.

Fine art went beyond painting, graphics and sculpture, which turned out to be too small for the innovative and radical trend with its new techniques, methods and materials. Painting combined with collage, photography, animation. The artists were not afraid to create masterpieces of scraps of newspapers, household tools, stationery, synthetic paints and enamels. Pictures of contemporary art are easily recognizable by their rich multi-level textures and surfaces, free composition, and the unexpected size of the paintings. The picture object was not people or things, but an image, reflection or projection in the material world. Exhibits went beyond museums and galleries, artists painted on asphalt roads, house walls, sculptors installed objects on streets and squares, along roads or in the wild. The thematic range of contemporary artists has become extremely wide: it reflects changes in the external world and the reflection of an artist, his/her attempts to realize one’s place in the developing, changing world.

Paintings and sculptures of contemporary art:
Self Portrait with Magazine” 1961; “Faces” 1970s by Peter Blake; “Painter Working, Reflection” 1993, “Social Warden is Sleeping (Big Sue)” 1995, “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” 2001 by Lucien Freud; “Greens Crossing Greens” 1966 by Dan Flavin; “Michael Jackson and Bubbles” 1988, “Flower Puppy” 1992 by Jeff Koons; “The Endless Mirror Room” 2018 by Yayoi Kusama; “Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul” 2002 Tracey Emin.

Contemporary artists:
Jeff Koons, Francis Bacon, Eric Fischl, Yayoi Kusama, Peter Blake, Lucien Freud.