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Neha  Gupta Understanding The Difference Between Modern Art And Contemporary Art
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Regardless of the fact that whether you are an art lover or someone who does not really understand art, you will surely agree with us Modern Art is one such catchphrase that has often boggled the mind of the onlooker. As an art curator, I am often asked what exactly does it mean and how is it different from other forms of art? Some people even ask questions like whether it is analogous to the contemporary art. The terms “modern” and “contemporary” may sound similar to you because there dictionary meaning is same. While in a general parlance, these two words are analogous; however, in the world of art, the term “modern” is unquestionably different “contemporary”. Though the words “modern” and “contemporary” can substitute each other, but in terms of art there is a variation in the two. To understand this variation better, let us go through some key pointers that will help us elucidate and clear the picture.

How is Modern Art different from Contemporary Art?

The term Modern Art is used to define a period of avant-gardism that is a period of new and experimental ideas in art. This period began near around 1890s and continued till 1960s. Eminent artists, like Cezanne, Manet, Monet, van Gogh, Renoir, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Maurice de Vlaminck and many more are considered as the “Masters of Modernism” as they were the key players in the inception and development of art movement and techniques during the said period. They explored and experimented with new ways of expressing their thoughts and ideas. The art that was created in this period was the embodiment of the style, as well as beliefs and values of society. The prime focus of the artists was the subjective representation of modern-life themes. They experimented and attempted to use unique styles to reflect inner or outer worlds. Modern artists intended to express their innermost visualizations and reflected real life social concerns, metaphors and experiment on canvass. In India, the firmness in defining art types started taking an edge off when general public started acknowledging this new age art. Premier Modern Art Gallery was established to display this new form of art that dealt with concerns and apprehensions related to the current world. Different art movements like cubism, fauvism, futurism, surrealism, dada, abstract art etc. defined the era of modern art.

The term Contemporary Art is frequently used to categorize the artwork which has been created in the last 30-40 years. Contemporary Art is something that is being made at present. Any artists who are creating paintings or artwork NOW are considered as contemporary artists even when they may be deeply influenced by the past work. In contemporary form of artworks, the artists usually use a variety of materials and techniques, but recurrently use new technologies, such as personal computer and laptops. Theme that the contemporary artists covered is generally racial discrimination, climatic changes due to global warming, sanctity, human rights, global political issues etc. The artists are not much concerned with the thought of piousness in art as in case of modern art. In the end, we conclude by saying that these two forms of art have extremely influenced the people from different eras and will still continue to do that in all the centuries coming ahead.

Having gone through both the basic definition of modern art and contemporary art, one can say that both the forms of artworks reflect their own value and distinctiveness. They are the means through which artists beautifully articulated their thoughts and concerns about the world they are living in at during their respective eras.

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