Contemporary Art and ContemporaryArt 21

Contemporary Art and ContemporaryArt 21 - Sculpture area of art affairs
Contemporary Art and ContemporaryArt 21 - Sculpture area of art affairs

Hall4/dm-arena at art KARLSRUHE is devoted to “ContemporaryArt 21”, but contemporary artworks can, of course, also be found in the fair’s other halls. Which artists and styles can visitors find here?

Armin Mueller-Stahl in front of his watercolors
Armin Mueller-Stahl in front of his watercolors

Starting at the end of the 20th century and as a consequence of the increasingly close-knit global network, a type of art arose with the goal of forming a global community of contemporaries without borders. International art fairs and worldwide biannual shows inaugurated this embarkation into the global era. Gallery owners or curators at these fairs and shows presented international and regional contemporary art at new venues to an audience with an affinity for art.

This genre of art is no longer described as “modern” because that term is already used for Classic Modern and Postmodern art. It is accordingly not coincidental that the word “modern” has been replaced by “contemporary” in the names of museums and the catalogues of fairs and biannual shows.

Many of the art market’s participants also understand contemporary art to mean that these artworks are made by contemporaries, although it is not essential that the artist in question must necessarily still be alive for him or her to be perceived as contemporary and reflecting the current time.

The transition from Postmodern to Contemporary art distinguishes artistic styles such as Pop Art, Action Art like Fluxus and Happening, Land Art or Minimal Art. Die Neuen Wilden [The New Wild Ones] and the Zero Movement followed.

The term “contemporary art” or “art of the present day” is not associated with any particular statement about concept, artistic style, technique, form, adherence to a specific artistic trend or movement, or membership in a certain group. Contemporary art can be painting, but it can also exist in a form that has only recently established itself during the past years or decades, for example, video art, performance or concept art.

documenta 5 in 1972 was an important milestone for Contemporary art. Directed by the curator Harald Szeemann, who died in 2005, this show was no longer merely a compilation of pictures, but a stage for artistic processes and a dialogue among foreign and traditional art forms that included “parallel worlds of images” such as advertising and design.

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