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  • Writer's pictureArte Actual

What is the Contemporary Art?

Contemporary art covers the period from the end of the 19th century to the middle of the second half of the 20th century.

It is important to remember that this artistic period had its beginnings with Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, which are two fundamental artistic currents for the later development of contemporary art.

At the end of the 19th century, Europe was going through a moment of social, economic and political disorder that finally culminated in the First World War. And it is at this time that the first artistic vanguards emerge.

Various currents are framed in contemporary art and all of them, although with different styles, are characterized by the interpretation of reality instead of trying to recreate it. Starting from this base, the range is opened to various styles in which art adapts to the interpretation of the artist. Here we list you along with a few brushstrokes of each one, the most outstanding:

Fauvism: It is characterized by aggressiveness, through the use of primary and secondary colors mainly, which provide intensity and strength, and by thick and intense brushstrokes, with which the artist seeks to fill his works with emotion.

Expressionism: This movement prioritizes expressions of self and emotional attitudes. The colors are more violent and the content of the works is symbolic.

Cubism: Play with the approach of the canvas, in this way it raises a multiplicity of points of view. There are two stages within cubism: analytical cubism, which seeks the simplicity of forms through geometry, and synthetic cubism, with two-dimensional works by eliminating the volume of his works.

Futurism or dynamic cubism: This style is characterized by its dynamism, in which the artist transmits movement, speed, strength and rhythm, through lines and shapes.

Figurative art: Although it represents real elements, it does so through its own interpretation, distorting (all or partially), idealizing through geometric shapes, exaggerating and deforming certain features or elements and always with a strong background symbolism.

Dada movement: although there are several versions about the origin of the word “dada”, there is agreement that the Dadaists said that this word was unimportant, since what was really important was art. It arises as a manifestation of the dislike of rectitude on the part of certain artists and is established as an ideology, based on change and freedom, chaos and imperfection, using new artistic forms and assembling fragments.

Surrealism: its goal is to go beyond the visible to express the unconscious, what the mind has no control over, such as dreams, with a figurative style.

Pop Art: This artistic trend was born in the United States and makes use of images and aesthetic elements of the consumer society, such as advertisements, with which to elaborate a critique of said consumerism, and is characterized by an impersonal style, with close-ups and repetitions of the same motif in his works.

Conceptual art and abstract expressionism: It is born with diverse manifestations that are difficult to distinguish between them, but in all of them the concept that underlies the work is much more important and is considered the center around which the work itself revolves.

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