Newer Way of Art

How thought provoking a piece of art can be depends how open you are to the message an artist is trying to tell you. The most artistic work from the 19th century to around the 1970's was called "modern art". This approach had artists displaying their emotions and abstractions on canvas as they were able to veer away from the traditional concepts of painting that had been used since the Renaissance era.

During the second half of the twentieth century, modern art turned its name more towards contemporary art. Contemporary art encompasses all art being done now. It tends to include any art made from around the 1970s to the present, or after the end of the modern art period.

When talking about art, modern is not used as a synonym for contemporary. The art that was first defined as modern was the art of the first half of the 20th century. Futurism, Cubism, Constructivism are all parts of modern art. Contemporary art is exactly what the name says, the art of today or the very recent past. Characterized by no real common ground, contemporary art offers a wide range of styles.

Abstract art by Osnat Tzadok

Since World War Two, art movements have included Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Post-modernism, Minimalism and Feminist art. The number of art movements has grown so much that virtually every year avant-garde movements with new names have surfaced in the art world. One movement that dominated contemporary art for several decades was one of the movements I just mentioned, Abstract Expressionism. Artists in this movement felt that the expression of their feelings was the main reason for making art, and the art they made generally had no reference to anything in the external world.

Although many people love modern and contemporary art, there are some that do not think of it as an art. These viewers think of art as being something like portraits or landscapes...something recognizable. When modern and contemporary artists create something that makes them think, something that is not easily recognizable, then these viewers reject the idea of this even being art.

After reading through a survey concerning contemporary art, I noted one quote regarding the matter. She states, "I just don't think it takes any great talent to spatter paint on a canvas (Jackson Pollack) or paint cubes (Various Artists). How does one discern any meaning to such things? It is like the ink blots during a psychological exam? How do tell good splattering from bad splattering? It's much easier to look at a painting that gives you some sort of idea of the message it's trying to convey." So similar to abstract art, it is more about understanding the concept and knowing about the artist and their artwork to truly grasp the meaning of what they are trying to portray.

So for today's world, we will try to enjoy what contemporary art brings us. We will learn to interpret what contemporary artists try to portray with their work. Art is a form of expression, a mode of communication that is supposed to convey some sort of message from artist to viewer. How that is done is up to the artist, and how the message is received is up to each individual viewer.