10 Difference Between Contemporary Art And Traditional Art With Examples

SHARE

What Is Contemporary Art?

Contemporary art is the art produced at the present period of time, produced by people who are living in our time. In other words, it is related to more recent artistic production.  Also, the art that was created from the 1960’s through 1970’s up until now is regarded as contemporary art.

Contemporary art provides opportunities to reflect on society and the issues that are important to us and the world. It is part of a cultural dialogue that concerns larger contextual frameworks such as identity, family, community and nationality. At any point in history, the making of new art is always contemporary. Offering a fresh perspective and bringing in new techniques and materials.

It relies heavily on the new, globalized and culturally diverse world to create new, interdisciplinary art forms.  Many different subjects are given attention; there is no specific subject that explored. Matters relating to consumerism, materialism in the modern society, the environment, feminism, multiculturalism, bioengineering, HIV/AIDs, politically incorrect issues, stereotypes etc. are all canvassed under contemporary art.

Contemporary art is broad and vast in terms of style; the whole idea of its style goes like the protest against the traditional artistic canons, including those of modern art. Some of the styles include impressionism, post-impressionism, fauvism, cubism, expressionism, Dadaism, realism, futurism, installation art, minimalism, Suprematism, Pointillism, Constructivism and pop art etc.

Examples Of Contemporary Art

  • Elizabeth Zvonar, French Fantasy, 2016
  • Jessica Hargreaves, Another Hamburger, 2018
  • Irene Mamiye, Collapse (After ‘’The Kiss’’), 2017
  • Eleanor Aldrich, Sunglasses and a veil (After Sargent), 2017

What You Need To Know About Contemporary Art

  • Contemporary art refers to an art produced at the present period of time that reflects the current culture by utilizing classical techniques, painting, mosaics, drawing, printmaking and sculpting.
  • At any point in history, the making of new art is always contemporary. Offering a fresh perspective and bringing in new techniques and materials.
  • The art that was created from the 1960’s through 1970’s up until now is regarded as contemporary art.
  • Contemporary artworks commonly use a variety of materials and techniques, including new technologies such as computers, three-dimensional, live elements and performances etc. The current contemporary artists can still use traditional paint and pencils, but others use photography, light, sound and installation.
  • In contemporary art, many different subjects are given attention; there is no specific subject that explored.
  • Contemporary artists may also find inspiration in artwork from previous time periods, both in subject matter and formal elements.
  • Much like what spurred the modern art movement, contemporary art has begun to incorporate new mediums to match societal advancement in resources and technology including video art, site-specific art and installation art.
  • Styles of contemporary art include: Abstract art, Conceptual art, Landscaping Painting and Still Life Painting etc.

What Is Traditional Art?

Traditional arts are kind of arts, which are a part of any culture, skills and knowledge of a group or generation of people, passed down through generations from masters to apprentices. In other words, the traditional art reflects the art forms of previous generations, their lifestyle, thoughts and belief. These art forms comprise of anything done with hands such as the painting, drawing printmaking, mosaics and sculpture among other, although Painting, sculpture and drawing were the prominent art forms used to depict cultural and religious perspective in traditional art.  

The traditional artists do not try to focus on the materialistic ideas or views. The practicing artists are mainly concerned with the preservation of time-honored skills in creating works of figurative and representation forms of fine art as means to express human emotions and experiences. Subjects are based on the aesthetics of balancing external reality with the intuitive, internal conscience driven by emotional, philosophical thought or the spirit.   

A good example of traditional art is Traditional Japanese woodcut prints; pictures made from printed wooden blocks, using methods and following art styles set down by hundreds of years of artists living in Japan who created these methods.

Other examples of traditional artworks are:

  • The Mona Lisa
  • Starry Night
  • The Last Supper
  • American Gothic
  • Girl with a pearl earring

What You Need To Know About Traditional Art

  • Traditional art is that art that is part of a culture of a certain group of people, with skills and knowledge passed down through generations from masters to apprentices.
  • These art forms comprise of anything done with hands such as the painting, drawing printmaking and sculpture among other.
  • Traditional art was prominently created using cultural perspective and ideas, this means different cultures used different materials and processes to display their own cultural ideas.
  • Traditional arts often represent a place or a group of people. It can also express the thoughts and feelings of a point in history.
  • Traditional art aimed to represent reality or realism through narrative.
  • Materials commonly used within traditional art are paint pencils, charcoal, clay, plaster, brush, pottery wheel, palette knife and others. Techniques included those that were traditional to art such as traditional painting and drawing methods.
  • Key subjects that are given attention in traditional art are religion and culture. This meant that artists somehow create similar arts.
  • Traditional art uses symbolic images of people, civilization, objects and nature to stir the thoughts and feelings of viewers in ways the artists see as worthwhile.

Difference Between Contemporary Art And Traditional Art In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON CONTEMPORARY ART TRADITIONAL ART
Description Contemporary art refers to the art of the present day and of the relatively recent past. Traditional arts are kind of arts, which are a part of any culture, skills and knowledge of a group or generation of people.
Ideas Covered The art reflect contemporary issues, ideas and thoughts which are subject to reprimand behavior or bring change in the society. They reflect ancient ideas, lessons and themes that are intended to impact the current generation or people.
Main Focus Many different subjects are given attention; there is no specific subject that explored.   Key subjects that are given attention in traditional art are religion and culture.
Era Developed after 1960s and is still emerging. Began in the 1880s to the 1960s.
Artists Created by artists who are still alive.   Created by artists who may either be alive or dead.
Material Used A  variety of materials and techniques, including new technologies such as computers, three-dimensional, live elements and performances etc. Materials commonly used within traditional art are paint pencils, charcoal, clay, plaster, brush, pottery wheel, palette knife and others.
Aim Aimed at Offering a fresh perspective and bringing in new techniques and materials.   Traditional art aimed to represent reality or realism through narrative.  
Depiction Contemporary art represents or depicts perspectives of all societies. Traditional art represents or depicts norms and culture of a certain group of people.
Relevance Has a high degree of social, cultural and political relevance May contain or lack social, cultural and political relevance.