In one of our previous blog posts, we highlighted the difference between modern and postmodern art since these two periods are often confused due to their similar names and historical closeness. In the same breath, many people cannot draw a distinction between modern art and contemporary art, even though they are like apples and oranges. If you want to find out more about the gap between the two currently most influential movements, below is the list of key differences you should know.
Modern art vs. contemporary art
- Time period. The most noticeable difference between modern and contemporary art is their years of existence. The fact remains that modernity in art refers to everything artistic created between the 1880s and 1960s. By contrast, contemporary art is all about the recent past and present. Consequently, the majority of modern artists already passed away, while contemporary artists are those living and creating right now.
- Focus. Modern art is mostly self-expressive, meaning that artists focused more on the depiction of what they felt about different things. In other words, it is an individual reaction to something happening all around. Contemporary artists bring focus to society and people, partly detaching themselves from their works.
- Range of media. Contemporary art offers artists a comprehensive range of new art media. Among them are digital art, video art, neon art, etc. All this is possible thanks to swift technological progress. In the modern era, resources were scarcer, so every experiment was a risky venture.
- Concept of freedom and political impact. Over the years, the notion and value of freedom have changed. The art world is no exception. With time, artists have gained the freedom and liberty that only a few people had in the past. Generally speaking, modern art was more stigmatized and limited, while contemporary art is almost a ruleless platform for hardcore experimenters and passionate enthusiasts.
Now you know the main differences between modern and contemporary art. Hopefully, this will help you understand the fascinating world of art better.