Jackson Pollock Hand Detail - Number 1a 1948

Jackson Pollock Hand Detail – Number 1a 1948

Contemporary art is art produced at the present period in time. Contemporary art includes, and develops from, Postmodern art, which is itself a successor to Modern art. In vernacular English, “modern” and “contemporary” are synonyms, resulting in some conflation of the terms “modern art” and “contemporary art” by non-specialists.

Jeff Koons ~ Michael Jackson + Bubbles, Detail 1988

Jeff Koons ~ Michael Jackson + Bubbles, Detail 1988

The classification of “contemporary art” as a special type of art, rather than a general adjectival phrase, goes back to the beginnings of Modernism in the English-speaking world.

Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era.

The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of experimentation. Modern artists experimented with new ways of seeing and with fresh ideas about the nature of materials and functions of art. A tendency away from the narrative, which was characteristic for the traditional arts, toward abstraction is characteristic of much modern art. More recent artistic production is often called Contemporary art or Postmodern art.

Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty 1970 41° 26′ 16″ N, 112° 40′ 8″ W

Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty 1970 41° 26′ 16″ N, 112° 40′ 8″ W