Contemporary Art in focus: late 20th century

Let's start with the question - what is contemporary art? That question is still an open-ended one, but the most crucial point here, is to define what feelings and associations you personally feel when perceiving art. In my understanding contemporary art is a feeling of freedom, of expressing your thoughts and concerns, of expressing yourself in any forms of art with no boundaries or prejudices. It is also the Art of the Present. However, this term traditionally refers to works of art that were created between 1870 and 1970. This "modern age" followed a long reign of academic art inspired by the Renaissance. We would like to elaborate on the movements of contemporary art at the end of the 20th century in this article: abstract expressionism, conceptualism, neo-dada, pop art, hyper-realism and fractal art.


Abstract Expressionism


The term "Abstract Expressionism" spread in the 50s, it reflected the success of American art, at that time zealously winning positions in competition with European art. Abstract expressionism has set itself the aim of spontaneous expression of the artist's inner world, his subconscious in chaotic, abstract forms and has taken as its main creative principle spontaneous, automatic application of paints on canvas, which takes place solely under the influence of mental and emotional states. Thus, it is the movement of people painting rapidly, wide strokes, splashing paint with cans and buckets for the full release of emotions.

The most prominent American Abstract Expressionist painters were Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Mark Rothko.



In conceptualism, the concept of a work is more important than its physical expression; the purpose of art is to transmit an idea. Conceptual objects can exist in the form of phrases, texts, schemes, graphics, drawings, photographs, audio and video materials. The object of art can be any object, phenomenon, process, as conceptual art is a pure artistic gesture. The leading movement in the field of art was formed in the late 60s - early 70s in America and Europe.Conceptualism asserts the priority of mental origin over visual, the priority of intent over perception. Neglecting the visual impression, on the one hand, leads to the denial of representativeness, on the other hand, serves as a ploy that excludes the commercial approach.

Representatives of conceptual art are Joseph Kosuth, Yves Klein, Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Beuys, Piero Manzoni Christo Javacheff, Marina Abramović, Damien Hirst, Ai Weiwei, Ilya Kabakov, Viktor Pivovarov, Pavel Pepperstei.



Neo-dadaism (neo-dada) is a term referring to a variety of styles, movements and works of contemporary art in which worldview attitudes, revived techniques or methods of historical dadaism are guessed. Dadaism was an art movement categorized as “defiantly anti-art”: fed up with the world and disillusioned by what it had to offer, the new generation of artists after World War I essentially said, “screw this,” and began making art that juxtaposed all that came before it.


Marcel Duchamp (July 28, 1887 - October 2, 1968) was a French and American artist, chess player, art theorist who initiated Dadaism and Surrealism. Although his artistic legacy is comparatively small, due to the uniqueness of his vision Duchamp is regarded as one of the most significant persons in the art of the 20th century. According to such artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers, John Chamberlain  art should be expansive and inclusive, adapt non-fiction materials to suit your needs, use everyday reality and celebrate popular culture.


Pop art


Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the 1950s and flourished in the 1960s in America and Britain, drawing inspiration from sources in popular and commercial culture. Key role in the evolution of the movement has been played by: advertising, trend, fashion, style icons, and a variety of means of promotion and commercial promotion. Pop art was a response to the severity of abstractionism and other 20th century art styles.


The founder was Andy Warhol. Also there are such prominent artists as Dmitri Vrubel,Roy Fox Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, David Hockney, Patrick Caulfield and others.



Hyperrealism is a movement of contemporary art, which became widespread in painting, sculpture and cinematography in the 1990s and 2000s.Hyperrealism is considered an advancement of Photorealism by the methods used to create the resulting paintings or sculptures. Hyper-realistic artists do not focus on replicating reality, irrespective of their accurate representation of details and the visual appearance of subjects. Instead, they use additional, often subtle, pictorial elements to create the illusion of a reality which in fact either does not exist or cannot be seen by the human eye. Furthermore, they may incorporate emotional, social, cultural and political thematic elements as an extension of the painted visual illusion; a distinct departure from the older and considerably more literal school of Photorealism.


The artists of hyperrealism are Lee Price, Alysa Moncs, Glennray Tutor, Gottfried Helnwein and others.

Fractal art


Fractal art developed from the mid-1980s onwards. It is a genre of computer art and digital art which are part of new media art.The fractal art is based on the geometry of a certain mathematical formula or set of equations. A visual image is created with the help of a computer program that generates fractals, but any digital art object requires an artistic flair. The result can be a static image as well as animation. Fractal art is very popular among many digital artists as it is extraordinary and bewitching. The images created by the fractal generator are very vibrant and resemble blazing patterns.


Notable fractal artists include Desmond Paul Henry, Hamid Naderi Yeganeh. The British artist William Latham, has used fractal geometry and other computer graphics techniques in his works. Greg Sams has used fractal designs in postcards, T-shirts and textiles.

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