What is….. contemporary art? A definition
Posted by artradar on September 22, 2009
DEFINITION OF ART TERMS
This is the first in a new series of posts defining art terms in the contemporary art field.
Whether you are completely new to art or already count yourself among the cognoscenti, we hope this series will build your knowledge and confidence. For the new explorer we aim to clarify the basics. For the more experienced this useful refresher will be supplemented by intriguing background facts and details.
For a site which confines itself to contemporary art, we thought we had better start right there….
Definition: contemporary art
Term loosely used to denote the art of the present day and relatively recent past.
Usually avant-garde in nature.
Contemporary art museum definitions
Still confused? It is not surprising. Since the middle of the twentieth century, various museums have been established with a remit to focus on contemporary art. As a result these institutions have developed their own definitions which vary from one to another.
For example the Institute of Contemporary Art in London founded in 1947 champions art from that year onwards. The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York chooses the later date of 1977. In the 1980s the Tate planned a Museum of Contemporary Art in which contemporary art was defined as art of the past ten years on a rolling basis.
And how does Art Radar define contemporary art? Our focus is firmly current so we are interested in art being made today. However we do delve back in time. For example we like to look at the lifetime oeuvres of living artists and how current works have been shaped by the past. We may also look at the work of artists from any century who have played a part in influencing artworks being made today.