GALERIA SZTUKI WSPÓŁCZESNEJ
MODERN ART GALLERY
Some BLOG Thoughts about the history of modern art...
The official opinion about when the era of modern art (also known as contemporary art) began is that it happened in the 1960s, although some art critics state that it started a century earlier, in the 1860s, when the period of impressionism began. This opinion is supported with statement that during this period the artists began shifting away from the norms and started trying to change the world with their creation. Another opinion in regard to the beginning of contemporary art era is the time of creation of Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square. All these statements are disputable, but they have something in common – they all are related to moments when something new was introduced, something that made the new era’s art different. What was this ‘something’?
During the whole course of history art tended to imitate the surrounding world: from portraits of historical persons to illustrations for Greek myths and Biblical plots and everyday scenes – most pieces were dedicated to something that already existed and obeyed the classic scheme of composition. So to say, the art mainly was a mirror of the world. But then artists began experimenting in order to find out what could happen if something was missing (this is why the art of the beginning of the XX century is sometimes called “the art of absence”): for instance, the reality (like in Salvador Dali’s paintings, where the realistic details form odd landscapes and scenes resembling dreams), the colour (like in the already mentioned Malevich’s paintings) or the composition itself (like in Jackson Pollock’s works). As they say, the results surpassed all expectations.
2. Unique vs. everyday
Another important moment in the history of contemporary art was the mix-up of unique and everyday things. The brightest example of it is Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, which is basically an everyday item (a porcelain urinal) transformed into a sculpture by being signed. The same can be said about Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, which is one of the signature pop art pieces.
3. Technical diversity
We usually imagine brushes and paints, or pencils at least, when talking about art, and it makes us feel a little uncomfortable when artists use the newest technical devices in their work. It can be referred to photography, which reached its peak in 1970s-1980s and showed that everyday life contains much more emotional and strong moments than it is believed to contain. Tendency to use the latest achievements of technical sphere shows itself nowadays as well, although in a slightly different way for most people: using the Internet, one may go to the online gallery of almost any museum in the world and see the works of all periods of history. No talking about 3D art, which allowed showing the same image in completely different styles: from sepia to phantasmagoric.
4. Combining what cannot be combined
In all, the modernistic era was strange because its representatives… well, they did not end in vain, but they did not state almost anything certain. Therefore, the postmodernistic artists could not resume the modernistic traditions (because there actually were not any) or return to classics, so they decided to use what they already had. Globalization was due in no small part to it, so the observers became part of the art – the brightest example is installations, in which anybody is able to take part. Another peculiar example of combining what cannot be combined is hyperrealism, represented by pencil drawings which sometimes look even better than photos. We got used that pencils are used mostly by children and for sketching, but have we expected that they can be used to create such things? The third important aspect in which combining what cannot be combined is used is reflecting the world’s problems – from family violence to global warming. The main purpose of combining the incongruous here is shocking and making you think.
5. Commercial part
One, two, three, SOLD! Let’s be realistic: contemporary art wouldn’t be the same if it were not for public sales and availability of their results. The works like those by the aforementioned Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock may be interpreted in various ways, but it is often forgotten that they were sold for fabulous prices. The matter is that today the main investors and supporters of artistic activity are the collectors of artistic pieces, but this also caused the tendency of unpredictability. Nobody knows what kind of art is going to be appraised tomorrow. But there’s a positive side to this as well: museums and art galleries are also the supporters of artistic activity, for they are able to benefit from working with artists and increase, for instance, the flow of tourists to certain place. This stimulates the emerging artists to mature and work to get their place in the art history. Besides, online galleries are able to help them find balance between their preferred kinds of art and earning for a living.
Anyway, the world of contemporary art lives on, and not least due to possibility of buying art online and therefore supporting its creators. Nowadays getting feedback about the artworks is much easier than even 30 years ago, so your opinion about this online gallery is really appropriated! As well as learning about the newest art programs and emerging artists, so your word about the works by Strygaczowa will make her really happy! And after so many reasons it can be positively stated that the downfall of art is not going to happen and you are more than welcome to support art in all kinds of ways.