Contemporary Art

Contemporary art is the art of today. Art created in the second half of the 20th century and the 21st century is considered contemporary. Not to be confused with the term modern art which is artwork created specifically between the 1960’s and 70’s. Contemporary artists work with a wide range of medias, from the more traditional, paints, ink and natural materials to digital painting and drawing. Common themes inspiring contemporary artists include the ever advancing technological world, politics and cultural diversity. Contemporary artist often set out to challenge the boundaries of what is considered acceptable, what is considered right and uniform. Sending a message, creating confusion or simply leaving the audience asking questions would often be considered inspiration for many contemporary artists.

Contemporary Art Institutions

The art world is dependent on art institutions. Art institutions range from curators, writers, individual artists to art schools and major international art galleries. Contemporary art is displayed in a number of ways. Well known contemporary artists art is often exhibited in major commercial contemporary art galleries. Artist themselves may exhibit their own work either out in the public or within local or international galleries or their art work may have been purchased by gallarie’s in an attempt to draw in crowds. Often extremely popular and famous exhibitions travel the world. Visiting the Galleries willing to pay to host them. The large majority of the worlds most valuable art however is not publicly on display… or even privately on display, but more often locked away in vaults. This is because it is owned by art collectors as investments. Pieces like this may be put on display at private functions or again loaned to galleries for short periods of time.

Famous Names in Contemporary Artists

In the 1990’s contemporary art became part of popular culture. Artist became extremely famous and were considered stars, however contemporary art was not without its critics at this time. Two noticeable outspoken art critics of the time include Julian Spalding and Donald Kuspit. Julian Spalding has heavily criticised contemporary art throughout his career as a curator and critic. He has largely criticised some of the highest recognised contemporary artists of the past decade, The most noticeable of the past 10 years being Damien Hirst, describing some of Hirst’s most famous work as ‘worthless’.

Damien Hirst is an English artist who was born in 1965 and was one of a number of British contemporary artist’s that dominated the British art scene during the 1990’s. Hirst’s work revolves around death, rising to fame after a series of artwork he created revolving around dead preserved animals, including, a cow, a sheep and most famously a shark. Hirst is the richest living British artist with a net worth north of £215 million.