Indian Paintings

Why is Contemporary Art outplaying the Traditional Paintings?

Contemporary Art is nothing but Speculation.”

Jean-Michel Rene Souche

It is true. The contemporary form of art, which represents artworks from our time, is somehow pushing the traditional paintings on a back foot.

Artists after the 1970s crafted contemporary style of paintings emerging out of the shadow of the conventional way of making artworks. You see, art is evolving from the times the first of humans started creating miniatures on the wall caves and it still is.

The evolution of art has gone through many stages or time epochs and has given the world a number of styles since. Out of such, contemporary has become the artwork of present. It (contemporary painting) is the representational manner in which artists depict the today’s problems that persist in society through vague patterns and vivacious colour patterns.

Since the time contemporary form marked its arrival, slowly, the demand for traditional paintings is getting lost.

For an instance, in the United States alone, art museums witness a footfall of 60 million art aficionados every year. But, the more intriguing fact is between the year 2007 and 2015, more than half of the art exhibitions conducted in the USA are focused on the paintings that are created after 1970 showing the increasing popularity of contemporary style.

If we go just 21 years back, i.e. to the year 1997, impressionism ruled the US art market convincingly. This has, however, completely changed now. The sophisticated art galleries research centres, and museums admitted having more audience for contemporary paintings exhibition than the traditional ones.

So, what does it means? It implies that the reign of traditional art that represents the depiction of Gods, religious epics, historical events, and so on is almost over.

Although these traditional paintings still got its followers (not much), the essence of our history is slowly being covered by the storms of the present.

This article is, therefore, fully dedicated to the understanding of why is this happening. Why is the contemporary style of paintings are drawing more attention and is it good? Or it really doesn’t matter because art is ever-evolving?

Let’s unfold the truth:

What’s happening?

The art world, especially the visual art sector is transforming at a greater pace. But, it is not necessarily happening with other art forms actually.

Take, for instance, the music. The symphony halls are still being filled when the classical epic music of Beethoven is played, but barely filled when contemporary chords are being showcased.
The music industry still holds, preserves, and nourishes the oldest forms of art and a majority of music lovers also admire the classics more than the moderns.

A lot of art curators and directors confessed that in present scenario it becomes really arduous to make the conventional paintings ‘to-the-purpose’. On the other hand, the contemporary form gets more attention because paintings are made in our times.

Another argument states that contemporary paintings are much more accessible than any other art form in today’s time. What do you think? You may or may not agree, but the sad truth is that contemporary style is really invading the traditional art forms majorly.

The ‘accessibility’ factor is somewhat true because most of the contemporary artists free the space to interpret more than one meaning from the painting. When the artist leaves the freeness of choosing the meaning for the viewers, it becomes really interesting for the art aficionados.

In fact, since there is no obligation to even learn anything from the historical events, stories, and tales, the entire symbolisation factor eroded from the paintings.

Another aspect that contributes to the uprising of the contemporary forms is record-breaking price of the paintings by renowned names such as Koons and Andy Warhol. The whooping prices draw the attention of media, which, in turn, brings more art lovers closer to the delightful contemporary art.

Some of the museums, directors, and art gallery owners have told that they keep contemporary paintings because traditionally a lot of races were not even included in the art circle. In addition, women were not even considered in the traditional form of art.

Naturally, the gallery owners and directors do not want to showcase anything from such oppressive times.

Author’s take

IMHO, we are losing a priceless and necessary segment of art due to sheer negligence. People need to understand that even though contemporary art is an evolved form, traditional paintings are still a witness to our historical times.

Traditional form is precious and should be appropriately managed and preserved to save our diminishing human history. Art is one of the best forms to save human culture and if we don’t act now, 100 years or so from now, no one will know what was the art like in the 15th or 16th century.

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