2010s Contemporary Mixed Media
1990s Contemporary Color Photography
A Close Look at Contemporary Art
Used to refer to a time rather than an aesthetic, Contemporary art generally describes pieces created after 1970 or being made by living artists anywhere in the world. This immediacy means it encompasses art responding to the present moment through diverse subjects, media and themes. Contemporary painting, sculpture, photography, performance, digital art, video and more frequently includes work that is attempting to reshape current ideas about what art can be, from Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s use of candy to memorialize a lover he lost to AIDS-related complications to Jenny Holzer’s ongoing “Truisms,” a Conceptual series that sees provocative messages printed on billboards, T-shirts, benches and other public places that exist outside of formal exhibitions and the conventional “white cube” of galleries.
Contemporary art has been pushing the boundaries of creative expression for years. Its disruption of the traditional concepts of art are often aiming to engage viewers in complex questions about identity, society and culture. In the latter part of the 20th century, contemporary movements included Land art, in which artists like Robert Smithson and Michael Heizer create large-scale, site-specific sculptures, installations and other works in soil and bodies of water; Sound art, with artists such as Christian Marclay and Susan Philipsz centering art on sonic experiences; and New Media art, in which mass media and digital culture inform the work of artists such as Nam June Paik and Rafaël Rozendaal.
The first decades of the 21st century have seen the growth of Contemporary African art, the revival of figurative painting, the emergence of street art and the rise of NFTs, unique digital artworks that are powered by blockchain technology.
Find a collection of Contemporary prints, photography, paintings, sculptures and other art on 1stDibs.
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