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Throughout history, there have been a lot of artistic movements that had been changed until to what we know today. In Olga Guarch we have decided to focus this text on the different stages of contemporary art and the social impact that they generated until present.

¿What do we understand about contemporary?

The word contemporary makes us think about the present, and in one way it is correct. Contemporary means our own time, something that happens now and responds to cultural and social awareness about the moment, to what happens at that time. 

The same happens when we are talking about art. Contemporary art is totally inherent to humanity, its culture and evolution. All the artistic manifestations have a connection with the cultural history of an era.

However, this movement was born some decades ago and since then, it has collected a lot of artists that express themselves by creations. So when we are talking about this, we could be talking about different stages of contemporary art.

Therefore, we can say that knowing contemporary art is, in a bit, knowing human history.

Stages of contemporary art

The origin of this movement started at the end of the 19th century, by Impressionism and Postimpressionism like the responsible to lay the foundations for the current of the 20th century that would do the first steps about that now we know contemporary art.

1.Avant-garde hatching – Begin 20th century

Cubism, Fauvism, Dadaism, Expressionism, Futurism, Surrealism are some of the streams that make up the first phase of contemporary art. Its most important characters were to generate awareness of the group and look for a different view of reality. They had preferences about novelty and unsightly. They wanted to go beyond reality, breaking prototypes.

2.End of the Second World War

Post second world war, developed new artistic currents, which using popular, ironic and trivial images, they wanted to be against the cultural elite. They didn’t like modern art, and they wanted to come back to the origins of the art to claim classic techniques, make way for invention, creation, free election and manipulations of styles.

In this movement, we can find currents like pop art, minimalism, urban art, abstract expressionism. The artist who made before and after this age was Andy Warhol.

3.Since 1970 to the present

Technology and the Internet were very essential for the last phase that we now know as phases of contemporary art. While the artists kept the spirit of postmodern art, they also included their commitment to social causes such as feminism, ethnic diversity, sexuality, the environment, among other things, through their work.

Some currents born through these years, were body art, bad painting, photorealism, feminist art, digital art, hyperrealism and street art. 

Today, there are many artists who dedicate their lives to postmodern art. Photography could have been a threat, but it became a tool to be able to make his creations. And the fact of being able to talk about social issues, raising awareness through art, is valid now and will continue to be in the future. After all, contemporary art is inherent to humanity.