What is contemporary art?
The works of art that have changed the way we see contemporary art
Contemporary art in Italy: 5 artists to know
When was contemporary art born?
Defining contemporary art, when it started and how it developed is very difficult as it does not present precise definitions. Many have tried to answer this question and very often they answered with the end of the Second World War, while others identify it with the arrival of the avant-gardes of the 1900s; others instead with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1986;
But what is contemporary art?
It is commonly thought that it is a new art, different from anything that had gone before such as modern art , medieval art and classical art . they were periods characterized by movements that followed a common style and dedicated to a manifesto accepted by all artists.
With the advent of technology and globalization, art has evolved quickly and in a multifaceted way, making it extremely difficult to pigeonhole artists into "movements". The advent of photography, cinema and gradually new technological discoveries have led to new types of art and a new definition of art itself; Contemporary art has been characterized by the avant-gardes, the first futurists, dadaism, pop art up to our contemporaries, fundamentally linked to four themes: environmentalism, post-colonialism, feminism and the post-human; up to a new beginning, that of the completely digital era with the NFTs and the recirculation of images with the Re-enactment .
The works of art that have changed the way we see contemporary art
During the twentieth century art has changed considerably, the germ of this change can be indicated with the 1917 work of Marcel Duchamp, Fountain . Duchamp decontextualized a urinal, turning it around and placing it on a pedestal using, in fact, an object known to all, ready made, and giving it a new meaning.
Lucio Fontana, with his Spatial Concept, Attese, sanctioned a way of doing conceptual, reasoned art in which it is not so much the result but the procedure that counts.
Andy Warhol, Lavender Marylin , 1962, pioneer of Pop Art (popular art) Warhol with his art wanted to make individuals reflect on the collective voyeurism caused by a "human" distance created by the new media.
In January 1963 Kounellis, a Greek artist, brought 12 live horses into the exhibition space; the horse is the most represented animal in modern art paintings and by recreating the setting for a painting he created a living picture by blurring the line between reality and fiction.
Jeff Koons is definitely a figure who revolutionized the art world with New hoover convertibles created a series of hyper-sponsored objects in the advertising world, such as vacuum cleaners, decontextualizing them from their function to remove any kind of aura from the work of art. This ploy led Koons to be known to most by removing that elitist idea of the art world for the few.
Damien Hirst was lucky enough to be noticed by one of the greatest British gallery owners who, thanks to the exhibition hosted at the Charles Saatchi Gallery and with the exhibition of today's famous The impossibility of death in the mind of someone living which earned him 12 million dollars and a fame that makes us say that Hirst is one of the most famous contemporary artists in the world.
In Italy a few years later, Maurizio Cattelan decided to portray the pope in the Ninth Hour , John Paul II, slumped to the ground, held in place by a large boulder; a game between the joke and the image of pain; an Italian artist who portrays the pope "outraging" the portraiture tradition of the great Renaissance masters while still managing to pay homage to him by giving the idea of a strong man who, not even after being hit by a large stone, stops and perishes, resists, on the contrary; respecting however the pain communicated by the head of the church.
Contemporary art in Italy: 4 artists to know
Alberto Burri (Città di Castello 1915 – Nice 1995)
Graduated in medicine he became the face of the Italian informal, Burri was the inventor of a new pictorial technique based on the use of materials from which his works take their name: bags , Plastics or by the way in which the material was transformed as in the case of Combustions and gods Cretti.
Franco Vaccari (Modena 1936)
Relational artist, photographer, visual poet. Vaccari believes in the importance of art as a trace, a sign and it is for this reason that the viewer is always questioned in his works so that he is no longer passive but "the one who triggers an event without being able to predict the results".
Alberto Biasi (Padua 1937)
Artist belonging to kinetic art, together with a group of friends he forms the Group N. his works study the visual and perceptive field by combining twisting, intertwining plates or overlapping of several planes creating hypnotic and disorienting senses; he also uses real environments in which the viewer can immerse himself.
Alighiero Boetti (Turin 1940 – Rome 1994)
A member of that collective we call Arte Povera until the 1970s, Boetti was an Italian nobleman with an extremely eccentric personality, now we could define him as a conceptual artist. He is most famous for his series of Kilims, carpets embroidered by Afghan weavers where he lived for many years. enigmatic embroideries form whole sentences in the embroidered carpets, creating huge colorful works of art.
Contemporary art in Italy: 5 female artists to know
Maria Lai (Ulassai 1919 – 2013)
She is a well-known artist known for her textile works, a symbol of female emancipation as she transformed the craft of "doing with the loom" into her art; thus creating a link between ancient Sardinian culture and contemporary art.
Carla Accardi (Trapani 1924 – Rome 2014)
Representative of Italian Abstractism, Accardi develops a politicized painting; in 1970 he formed the female Rivolta group together with Carla Lonzi and Elvira Banotti.
Ketty LaRocca (La Spezia 1938 – Florence 1976)
La Rocca reflects on the use of language: the media, the news, advertising and technology; that is, everything that in those years had begun to strongly influence people's lives.
Monica Bonvicini (Venice 1965)
Investigates the relationship between architecture, power, gender, space and control – is translated into works that question the meaning of making art, the ambiguity of language, the limits and possibilities linked to the ideal of freedom
Pippa Berry (Milan 1974 – Gebze 2008)
Known because she tragically disappeared during her last Brides on Tour performance in which she was brutally kidnapped and killed. Grandson of Piero Manzoni , exponent of conceptual art, from an early age tried his hand as a performer, in a life dedicated to art until the end.