Contemporary art has always been difficult to define; even now, art houses across the world cannot agree on its definition. However, in general, contemporary art focuses on the ‘now’. It works by challenging the traditional boundaries of the art world. It comes across as dynamic and present. However, with the focus of contemporary art being in the moment, what does the future of contemporary art hold?
Due to the diversity of contemporary art, there are many paths that contemporary art can take, here are just some of the different routes that this genre may follow.
- It is now
The Tate define contemporary art as the ‘art of the past ten years on a rolling basis’. With this in mind, the future of contemporary art will still focus on art that is from the period of the time. However, time progresses. This means that what we may conceive as contemporary art now may look wholly different to contemporary art in future years.
- Innovative technology
Already, contemporary artists are adapting to and utilising new technologies as a way to grow their art and presence in the art world. Some are using technology as a tool of self-promotion such as online-only exhibition platforms and a way to sell artwork without a gallery or traditional exhibition presence. Contemporary art will not only use technology within the art itself but as a way to share the art with a broader audience.
- Contemporary art in the mind
Many artists believe that contemporary art is heading into the age of the mind. Terence Koh believes that in years to come, everybody will be able to see anything as art. Similarly, Doug Aitken believes art will be; “about complete connectivity and dialogue with the viewer with less and less of the detached formalism we see in art now. Art will take us to the edge of the horizon and question what is beyond.” Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist touches on this in his essay where he believes future art will be filtered according to our preferences in our own ‘personal ecosystem’.
- Will contemporary art be dead?
Another opinion is that contemporary art may not have a future. Indeed, much of the contemporary art we see today is incredibly temporal, expressing the struggles that we see today, which may not be the struggles we see in the future. However, will contemporary art of today have the power to stand against the test of time?
I firmly believe the movement of contemporary art over the last twenty years is just the beginning and art culture will continue to play a part in our socitey. The definition of contemporary art is so much wider in our society now – it is not just paintings and scultptures. Contemporary art galleries now offer so much more, everyone can take part and have an opinion on art. There are many new art galleries opening as a part of urban rejuvenation projects all around the United Kingdom – in cities, former industrial towns, small coastal towns and industrial spaces. What appeals to the public is the variety of contemporary art – times have changed.
Contemporary art may well evolve and techniques change, but the platform to keep people immersed in these environments is here to stay.