The expression contemporary art is usually used to indicate the practices and achievements of artists of today, as well as the museums, institutions, galleries showing their works. Actually, this idea would have to be moderated: the contemporary art itself starts as from 1945. From 1972, some speak with twists current Art or of alive Art marking a scission with pluralism.
The concept of contemporary is initially a historical concept. It means simultaneity between two things. Therefore, is contemporary what is in same time as the subject. The contemporary art would be thus the art which is done today, of the time of an alive speaker. But applied to art, this concept, without losing its historical character, revêt an esthetic character. This character becomes polemical, since the actors do not have the retreat necessary to indeed analyze works in a report/ratio of historian of Article.
The difficulty lies for the layman in the fact that Moderne and contemporary can be, in the language running, regarded as synonyms. This difficulty is accentuated owing to the fact that in the language of the historians, the terms, modern and contemporary correspond to precise times: modern time of the Rebirth to the Revolution, contemporary time of the Revolution to today.
The majority of the works, when they evoke the contemporary art, treat period which begins in 1945 and goes until our days, with the displacement of an artistic scene mediatized, of Paris towards New York…
More and more often, the contemporary art term is used only for artists still alive and active or still being able the being, which places the beginning of the contemporary art in the Années 1960, with the Pop Art and Fluxus. It is with these artistic movements that the modern art and the theory of Clement Greenberg end which defined it as the research of the specificity of the medium.
In the forms are generally excluded from art whose step or problems does not reflect any more the tendencies promoted by the critical contemporary.
The appearance of the Photographie exerted an influence on many artists as of the 19th century, such as Degas and allowed to give rise to the Modern art. Art does not have solely any more as a function important to accurately represent reality, photography is better capable to do it, art can from now on be tested with other forms, break the guns of the beauty, and propose new experiments and conceptual ideas.
The contemporary art has as a base the experiments of the Modern art (beginning XXe century), and in particular the desire to leave art the traditional and institutional places. In this direction, art loses little by little its representative functionality. Contemporary creation remains a mirror for a bathed reality of the conflicts and takeovers which these attacks against rationality cause. Art reflects the crises of the company and remains the place of expression of the values. The reports/ratios of art to the history are evaluated neither qualitatively nor quantitatively, but they lead to a more institutional design of art: collectors, head offices, galleries, museums, etc) to open with more many people. However, the actors of the modern art in their will to express their artistic opinion out of the institutional executives to apply to the public, remain related to the institutions; their step was to be opposed to an ideology (Heartfield towards the Nazism) or contrary to taking part in the propagation of a political thought.
In spite of the end of the ideologies imposed in the modern art, the current artists take again this heritage on their account by expressing their major engagement compared to the institutions. In particular, when their sensitivity is disturbed there.
Today, the contemporary art undergoes the decline of the ideologies of modern (in the years 1960, then as from 1990 with the fall of Communism); it is based on new behaviors: stylistic revival, artistic mixings, various origins, technological arts (access to the mathematical power of the computers and ergonomics of the software), approach to reality. Technologies always brought tools to Article Aujourd'hui, the artist makes use of it like instrument of mediatization, and invents the new ones. It is based on the historical culture, indexed; reads, visit, includes/understands, seeks, specializes, focuses its subject and exceeds what was made; It gives an opinion sometimes, wants to be conclusive or shocking, in any case it seeks the mediatization.
Of the Art schools to the visual arts
The contemporary art has as a base the experiments of the modern art, and regularly asserts the breach opened by Marcel Duchamp, which had released the practice of the art of the traditional constraints of representation. The thought postmodernist formulated the majority of the problems inherent in the contemporary art, freed from the ideological currents (Communisme and Capitalisme), without however preventing committed artists from criticizing the political or ideological abuses.
In France, the creation of faculties of Visual arts constitutes a base of dispute of the academic teaching of the Art schools; formerly foreign matters with the field of the teaching of art, Sociology, Ethnology, Esthetic and others, direct artistic research with the tuning fork of its recent evolutions.
The formal research of the Beau succeed of the new esthetic ways of research, of which most radical, Conceptual art, Minimalisme, performance, Corporal art, the sociological art, durably modify the significance and the perception of the art, which is directed sometimes in ways at first sight hermetic with the uninitiated persons.
Certain currents, the such new realistic, the free Figuration and the Trans-before-guard, like certain franc-tireurs, do not leave however traditional médiums, while modifying their creative steps radically. The bursting of the types of medium (painting is often forsaken with the profit of installations, of performances or others) and of the contents of works modifies in-depth the networks of mediation of art; to new galleries new contexts of exposure and the appearance of new médiums of diffusion are added.
In Paris, the Living room " Comparaisons", with the Museum of modern art of the town of Paris, constitutes as of 1954, the point of meeting of all the exhibitors of these currents, confronted, in same space, with the painters figurative and abstracted from painting on rest.
Contemporary art at the era of the globalisation
Starting from the Years 1980, arts with strong component " technologique" make their appearance, with the Video art, the esthetics of the communication, the data-processing Art then, thereafter, the numerical Art, the Bio-art, etc the list is nonexhaustive and follows very close the projections of industrial research.
In the Years 1990, the Western contemporary art granted its " label" with many artists resulting from the countries known as " in the process of développement" , about absent formerly. The paradigms of the globalisation and the loss of the traditional space-time reference marks developed the personal modes of approach, or the components biographical, sociological, even religious, are developed within the steps of work.
The communication related to Internet plays an increasingly important part in the reception and the mediation of the contemporary art, upstream of the exposures themselves, which integrate the official structures of mediation more and more. The changes which have occurred within the most developed countries (in particular the growing share of the tertiary ) caused a need more and more generalized for art, which does not return the task of the artists, crisis obliges, easier for as much. The contemporary art, if there remains often obscure or provocant with the eyes of the general public, today much more is accepted and spread that before; a surge of work of unequal qualities returns it diverting and generally requires a personal investment on behalf of the public. (see art and esthetic)
Dimensioned on the Internet, the works of art contemporary are also a potential financial manna, which do not exclude the effects of mode to the detriment from really original work.
Between medium and mediation
Following the traditional médiums (oil-base paint, blood, bronzes, marble, etc), the contemporary art was particularly fond of delicacies new médiums, even of non-médiums. In particular, the vocation transitory or “in progress” of many works question the concept even of medium, which becomes often a simple vector of mediation rather than a stable support. That joined the change of the information supports started in the Années 1980, which are désincarnent gradually with the profit of a logic of " relation" :
- Environment (in particular for the Land art, light James Turrell)
- Situations difficulty and nunc (Collective of sociological art)
- Projects in progress ( work in progress of Romance Opalka)
- Experiment of press (Space Media Fred Forest)
- “technological” Mediums
Let us add that certain médiums, as the photography which becomes “plastician” (Joel-Peter Witkin), the cinema, who becomes “experimental” (series of the Cremaster of Matthew Barney), acquired the statute of art with whole share, and constitute autonomous categories today. The multi-media concept of Art, largely called into question today, questions the statute of works resulting from installations, of performances often frays, such as they appeared in the Années 1950.
Limits of art and babelisation
The provocative impulse of art, if it is far from being dead, is not any more a Sine qua non of creation. In the Years 1970, following May 68 and to the revolts coeds in the world, the provocative virtue of art was given to the last style, at least with the eyes of the general public. The Body art and the performance in particular put at evil the extreme limits values tolerated by the Western companies. The crucifixions of animals of Hermann Nitsch, the roll of Michel Journiac makes starting from his own blood, the settings in scene masochists of Gina Pane, always seem provocations free and wounding.
The provocation in art is seldom free, it implements at naked the psychic complexes within a company or of a group of individual given. Fred Forest with his artistic Square meter and his false publicities in the newspaper Le Monde in his headings of the economic pages, denounces the speculation of the market of art by making some the parodic amalgam with the market of the real estate. Hans Haacke, which on the contrary, it should be noted, takes part without reserve in this market when it was invited to represent Germany with the German house of the Biennale de Venise, broke the flagstones of the house to point out the origin of the foundation of the house, under the Nazis. The examples abound in this direction and invite the public to try to know the contents of works, a priori opaque in many cases. The “good taste” does not exist in contemporary art, because the artist ceased being a simple executant of works financed by a Mécène, which defined its statute before the Renaissance.
Art visions critic contemporary
The three extracts below summarize the main part of criticisms formulated with regard to art says contemporary: the vision lampoonist of Jean Monneret which sees there primarily an art of State supported by irresponsible civils servant who waste the money of the taxpayer and Philippe Lejeune analyzes which goes until the end of dialectical of holding of art says contemporary by showing their negation of the idea of Beauty. Fred Forest passed to the act to defend his convictions close to those of Jean Monneret by tackling the State in front of the administrative courts:
In the catalog reasoned of the Living room of Independent the of 1999, the president of the living room, Jean Monneret, lance a violent one lampoon against the agreed definition of the contemporary art, after having lengthily criticized the civils servant who govern the teaching of the visual arts and the choice of the works bought by the State and the local government agencies (page 51):
“contemporary art? All the alive artists belong to the contemporary art. They are the artists who make to Article All the artists. Freely!
Or, the State wants to make accept the public that there is only one art worthy of interest, art says “contemporary”, i.e. the art of State. Like if the installation, the performance or uncultivated art - for little that the legend which accompanies it changing by logorrhée - are, alone, the historical, linear, indisputable continuation of the artistic tradition. It is true that in art says “contemporary”, less there is to see, more there is to say! In an exposure of contemporary art, a ventilation shaft, the material of help or the tiling of medical often merges with works presented. Is the question then, where is work? Such an amount of the harmony is perfect between the container and the contenu.
Actually, the art of State borrows a single track which arbitrarily draws aside the art of the best artists of the historical living rooms. The democracy would require that the State, concerned of the money of the taxpayer, give an account of contemporary reality in all its diversity, without exclusion… ”
In the moral report/ratio of Taylor , re-examined foundation of the baron Taylor, from July 2006, page 6 and 7, the vice-president, the painter and journalist Philippe Lejeune, distinguishes the concept of Art schools of that of contemporary art.
“Us others, let us practice an art named “painting”, this activity was formerly regarded as belonging to Beautiful arts. Concerned of modernity, eager especially to get rid of a as heavy requirement to carry as the beauty, the quarrel of old and the modern ones as we live quite simply consists in removing the reference to the beauty. Not being able more to more deteriorate the traditional values of art after the experiments of half of last century, they were warned, always with the same apparent label, to provide completely different goods. They had honesty, recognize it, to change name. The contemporary living rooms are not any more of the Art galleries, they are living rooms of contemporary art.
The contemporary art exposes in places where one exposed “painting”, which maintains a confusion naturally. But rather than to define a new form of art, one observes the rules of another discipline to him, like a player, wearied bridge, adapts the rules of the belote… the contemporary art refuses all rules, except that of exclusion. You know that a famous slogan was to prohibit all prohibits. The contemporary art saw only ukase. Anything except the representation.
Contemporary art known as conceptual, i.e., on the basis of a concept, one manages to get a feeling. The Art schools give each other very an other goal, have a quite different program. On the basis of tested, they confront it with the collective memory to arrive precisely at an idea, i.e. with an element which one can compare. ”
After its lawsuit against the MNAM (Georges-Pompidou center) http://www.fredforest.org/proces Fred Forest written in last of cover of its book Operation and dysfunctions of the contemporary art (Harmattan, Paris 2000)
“This book tends to reveal the limits and contradictions of a system which cannot any more perdurer in the current form élitaire with the profit of a handle of privileged people, always the same ones, who profit from kindness and the public basket. Fight of the ground pot against the iron pot, it is about description by the menu of my lawsuit until in Council of State against the Georges-Pompidou center, and through him, against the public institutions of the contemporary art for their refusal of transparency on acquisitions and their failure with the respect of the law of 78 on the public accounts. Beyond art, the step engaged here wants to be before a a whole step citizen putting the true question of the use of the public funds, and that of the culture in a democracy. ”
Artistic movements in contemporary art
The Post-war period: the transition between modern and contemporary
- Figurative - Young painting of the School of Paris, Bernard Buffet, Jean Carzou, Yves Truss, Maurice Boitel, Pierre-Henry, Daniel of Janerand, Jean-Pierre Alaux, Jean Monneret, Gaston Sébire, Louis Vuillermoz, Andre Hamburg, Paul Collomb, Emile Frandsen
- Not figuration - Jean Bazaine, Maurice Estève, Jean Moal, Alfred Manessier
- the abstract Expressionnisme - Willem de Kooning , Jackson Pollock
- rough Art - Jean Dubuffet
- singular Art - Jerzy Ruszczynski
- European Figuration - Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti, Rene Iché, Marino Marini, Henry Moore
- Kinetic art
- Conceptual art
- contextual Art
- COp Art
- Art performance
- Pop Art
- New realism
- narrative Figuration
- Installation (art)
- feminist Art
- Corporal art
- Sociological art
- Arte Povera
- Land Art
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- audio-visual Art
- generative Art
- telematic Art
- Video art
- Esthetic of the Free communication
- Bad Painting
- New Deer
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- Abstraction hyperrealist
- pictorial Synthésisme
- Dynamic Art
Worldwide market of the Contemporary art
- 1990 : base 100
- 1991: 120 (higher)
- 1992 with 1997: around 40
- 1998 with 2001: progression up to 60
- mid- 2001: mini-crisis with 49
- 2002: increase with 60
- 2003: 65
- 2004 : 70
- mid- 2005: 75
Leaves the countries in the worldwide marketFigures starting from the sales from October 1st, 2004 to September 30th, 2005: The United States 58%, the United Kingdom 27%, France 3%, Italy 2%, Germany 2%, others 8%.
Evolution on behalf of France: 35% in 1990,9% in 1995,5% in 2003,3% in 2004. This fall on behalf of France in the worldwide market is explained mainly by the fact that many fortunate people left the country during this period for more lenient tax skies, in particular towards England.
- Evolution on behalf of the United Kingdom: 4% in 1990,27% in 2004.
Large fairsThe fairs of contemporary art are the place where the large galleries present to their international customers a selection among the artists which they represent.
See also: Demonstration of contemporary art
See also: contemporary Art gallery
- French State: 653 works bought in 2004, except gifts and public orders
- French regional Funds: more than 18.000 works were acquired since 1983 realized by 3.800 artists (including French 60%).
- Large collectors:
Places where to see Contemporary art
Great events of Contemporary art
See also: Biennial of contemporary art, Demonstration of contemporary art
Large museumsInstitutional places which have the role of preserving works, they buy Contemporary art and show the collections thus realized. They carry out also exposures by borrowing works from other public collections or private.
See also: Museum
- England :
- the Tate Modern
- Belgium :
- France :
- Spain :
- the Guggenheim museum of Bilbao
- Museo Nacional Central of Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid)
- Swiss :
- Museum of Modern art and contemporary of Geneva
- Canada :
- the United States:
Centers of Contemporary artContrary to the museums, their goal is not the conservation. So they do not constitute collections. They carry out exposures according to their leading choice, the objective being the diffusion and the promotion of the Contemporary art.
See also: List of the centers of contemporary art in France
- Center of contemporary art (Geneva)
- Wiels, Brussels
- CEAC, Fundation Centers Ecuadorian contemporary art (Ecuador)
- Fe gallery (Armnéie)
See also: Funds regional of contemporary art
Professional organizations of artistsThe trade unions of artists approach the artistic activity under the angle of the professional problems. Independent of the tendencies, the currents and the modes, they are a manner for the artists of acting collectively while asserting in particular, of integrating the places or lay down the public policies, in order to defend the plurality of the choices carried out there.
These organizations are grouped in France under initials USOPAV (the Federation of European and International Public Service Unions and Organizations Professionals of Visual Artists)
SNAPcgt, National union of the artists plastics technicians CGT
- SNSP, National union of the sculptors and plastics technicians.
- UPC, Union of the creative photographers
- Art, Modern art
- Contemporary art Japanese - Contemporary art Chinese - African Contemporary art
- Current artistic
- Glossary of the contemporary art
- List of artists in contemporary art
- Official art
- List of the articles relating to the contemporary art
- List of the creators of current art
- Modern music
- Work of art
- the artistic “1%”
- Greek Painters to XIXe and XXe centuries
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