By the time you begin to learn about art styles and movements, it becomes pretty common to be confused about contemporary and modern art. Words like “modern” and “contemporary” are interchangeably used in describing something new or is on trend.
What is Modern and Contemporary?
Modern is often used in describing the recent or present times rather than the remote past. With this in mind, it is a fair assumption that modern art was recently created. But this isn’t the case. Modern art is referring to artworks produced throughout a specific time in the past. Believe it or not, many popular examples of modern art are nearly 200 years old.
When talking about art that is of the present, what we actually mean is contemporary art. Contemporary is the right term to use when describing art of the present time, or frequently, those made by living artists.
Differences between Contemporary and Modern
Contemporary and modern art came from different time periods. The latter is in reference to art that is made from the 1880s all the way to 1970s. Modern art is more recent compared to the classical or Renaissance period. It’s by no means the latest.
With contemporary art on the other hand, it can be described as the present work of art. Normally, those who are still creating arts and alive or those who’ve recently retired or died.
The Focus of each Medium
With modern art, it is mainly on painting or drawing. On the other hand, the rapid increase in technology has significantly changed the available mediums to contemporary artists since the time when the modernist period has ended. In fact, art is not only limited to tangible artwork pieces but you can also see one in form of digital arts, which perhaps can be seen in Minecraft survival servers.
Today, contemporary artists are bolder with their mediums. Just as mentioned, it can be any medium that you can ever think of from object design, video art, graphic arts, tech-enabled/digital artworks and so forth. To some, it can be a challenge to understand and classify contemporary art. Compared to art periods of the past, contemporary art isn’t united by a specific style and can’t be grouped easily to different movements similar to modern art.