Contemporary Art Trends Illustrated by Contemporary Artists
Contemporary art trends is an ever-evolving topic about art of the late 20th century and early 21st century. Artists’ works today are often hybrids of several styles including abstraction with figurative work; obscure references with blatant writings; symbolic narrative with bold splashes of color. Their media can include oil, acrylic, latex paint, charcoal, pastels, resin and newspaper clippings.
The blurring of variations in art often leads to the creation of hybrid artworks. These works can obscure traditional distinctions between:
Before 1960, modern art was categorized into movements or styles - such as surrealism or abstract expressionism. Art was more clearly defined by use of colors, brush strokes, techniques, mediums and canvas. Movements such as cubism, surrealism and action painting were easy to identify.
Since 1960, globalization has impacted contemporary art trends. Diffusion of borders and divisions among countries, classes and monetary systems has dramatically affected art, often blurring differences among styles and movements. These changes can lead to works that 100 years ago would not be considered art. At a recent art show, paper money fed into an old-fashioned meat grinder came out the other end shredded.
As explained in postmodernism, much of the art made today embraces cultural influences as well as a continual process of re-creation.
Contemporary art trends can also encompass non-traditional media as
- Natural and physical sciences
- Popular culture
- Words, literature and poetry
Art today is also influenced by Modern Art movements, including:
As financial systems go through roller coaster gyrations, so too does the monetary health of museums, galleries, auction houses and the prices of individual artworks. Some contemporary art trends are increasingly related to the economy, rather than to the validity, authenticity or originality of the artworks. When a piece of art costs a lot, it can become a status symbol.
Contemporary art often confronts global issues, including economics, politics, illness, sexuality, race, human rights and war. While artists have addressed these issues in the past, today money and race are more directly the subject of contemporary artworks. The painting, Surreal by Marcus Antonius Jansen on the postmodern art page is a depiction of extreme poverty. If our economy continues to fluctuate wildly over the next five years, perhaps new contemporary art trends will likely emerge.
"Some of the greatest bursts of creativity have come out of the most difficult times," wrote Michael Napoliello Jr., a Los Angeles based art dealer, in "101 Things I Don't Know About Art" in 2004. He added, "Race and place are imminent artistic crossroads. Ethnic, third world and outsider artists, historically disenfranchised, will rise up. If embraced, we may witness a great flowering of the global art garden. If not, we may face an increasingly frustrated and polarized art world."
Please enjoy reading about the many contemporary artists linked to this page, below.
(See Contemporary Art Dialogue Sitemap for complete listing of pages on contemporary and modern art movements, styles, trends and artists.)
- Contemporary Art Trends - Contemporary art trends is an ever-evolving topic about art of the late 20th century and early 21st century. Artists’ works today are often hybrids of several styles including abstraction with figurative work; obscure references with blatant writings; symbolic narrative with bold splashes of color.
- Barbara White - Barbara White travels the world, creating pictures that express the beauty and diversity of our planet's cultures. Her tools are the camera, the magnificent worldwide scenes of people practicing their religions, the natural world and the multitude of plant species.
- Chitra Ramanathan - Chitra Ramanathan, an abstract artist, creates brightly colored paintings that evoke flowers blooming in the spring.
- Claudia Meyer - Claudia Meyer Monographie is a series of elegant, mostly abstract works, made from wood, Plexiglas, stainless steel, acrylic paint, precious stones and sand.
- Dennis McGonagle - Dennis McGonagle creates art murals inspired by a variety of 20th century art movements and artists, including George Bellows, John Sloan, the Ashcan School and American Scene paintings of Edward Hopper.
- Eadweard York - Eadweard York is a graffiti artist with deep roots. He has worked in the graffiti style nearly all of his life and professionally for more than 20 years. The formerly disenfranchised youth is creating significant art while transcending his personal demons.
- Ernie Gerzabek - Ernie Gerzabek's Abstract Landscape Paintings are inspired by the Australian topography, its wilderness regions, wetlands, virgin countryside, deserts and seashores.
- Jerry Burchfield - After Jerry Burchfield was diagnosed with colon cancer in late 2007, I requested an interview to discuss his love for photography and involvement with...
- Ken Auster - Ken Auster, Laguna Beach artist, paints expressive pictures of San Francisco.
- Leslie Davis - Worlds in Collision, an art exhibition, was created to draw attention to four illnesses. Through construction of dynamic metal and glass sculpture, glass artist Leslie Davis informs viewers about the gravity of four illnesses and about the pioneering scientists working on alternative cures.
- Mark Chamberlain - Mark Chamberlain is a fine art photographer, as well as an environmental, assemblage and performance artist. He owns BC Space Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
- Mary Aslin - Working in a centuries old classical style producing pastel art, Mary Aslin creates still life, figurative, and landscape paintings - artwork so luminous and lifelike, the viewer is treated to a rich visual experience where the play of light on the subject engages all of the senses.
- Michael Rosenblatt - Michael Rosenblatt’s pursuit as an artist - segueing between abstract art paintings and figurative work - is evident when viewing his hundreds of canvasses scattered around his Carlsbad, California studio. Here, expressive paintings in primary and secondary colors often depict whimsical shapes of stars, rainbows, fish and dragons.
- Pat Sparkuhl - Pat Sparkuhl creates artworks that focus on personal concerns and relationships to social issues. Recurring themes in his works are sex, war, health, politics, religion and money. His themes encompass the broad range of human behavior and other...
- Scott Moore - Scott Moore creates artworks that touch viewers' psyches, resonate with memories of a long lost America, conjure up images by Norman Rockwell with hints.
- Snezana Petrovic - For Snezana Petrovic, winning the Ovation Awards prize for costume design was the most recent accolade of a long, illustrious career that began with studio.
- Tom Swimm - The paintings of Tom Swimm are exquisite renditions of water and light, of boats and fishing villages, inspired by his travels to picturesque spots in places like Italy, Greece and the Caribbean.