Angela Edwards

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January 3, 2023

Trends in contemporary art

Oil painting Sunday Light by Angela Edwards. 100 x 80cm Shown in a room

There are many trends in contemporary art, and these trends tend to change over time. Some current trends in contemporary art include the use of new technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality; the use of non-traditional materials, such as plastics and found objects; and the incorporation of social and political themes into artworks. Other trends include the use of abstract and minimalist techniques, the revival of figurative painting, and the use of performance art to engage with audiences. One of the most exciting new areas of development in contemporary art is the use of AI.

David Shrigley x Maison Ruinart – acuteart.com

New technologies: Many contemporary artists are incorporating new technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, into their work. Virtual reality (VR) allows artists to create immersive, computer-generated environments that viewers can explore using VR headsets or other devices. Augmented reality (AR) involves the use of technology to superimpose digital information onto the real world, creating the illusion of a merged reality. Artists are using these technologies to create interactive, multimedia experiences for viewers and to explore new ways of representing the world.

Non-traditional materials: Many contemporary artists are using a wide range of materials in their work, including found objects, plastics, and other industrial materials. This trend reflects a desire to challenge traditional notions of what can be considered “artistic” materials and to explore the expressive possibilities of these materials. Some artists use these materials to comment on consumer culture and the impact of mass production, while others use them to create abstract or conceptual works that invite contemplation and reflection.

Social and political themes: Many contemporary artists are using their work to engage with social and political issues, such as race, gender, and the environment. This trend reflects a desire to use art as a platform for activism and to raise awareness about important issues. These themes can be expressed through a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, performance art, and video art.

Abstract and minimalist techniques: Some contemporary artists are using abstract and minimalist techniques, such as minimalism, to explore ideas about form, space, and perception. Minimalism is a style of art characterised by the use of simple, geometric forms and a limited colour palette. These techniques can be used to create visually striking works that invite contemplation and reflection.

Figurative painting: Figurative painting is a type of art that depicts the human form or other recognisable subjects. This can include portraits, landscapes, still life’s, and other types of subject matter. Figurative painting has a long history, dating back to ancient civilisation’s, and it has remained a popular form of artistic expression throughout the centuries.

In contemporary art, figurative painting has seen a resurgence in popularity, with many artists using it to explore themes of identity, the body, and the human experience. These artists may use traditional techniques, such as oil painting, or more experimental approaches, such as collage or mixed media.

Figurative painting can be highly realistic, with a strong emphasis on detail and accuracy, or it can be more expressive and abstract, with a focus on the emotional or psychological aspects of the subject. Some figurative painters use their work to comment on social or political issues, while others use it to explore more personal or introspective themes.

Overall, figurative painting is a diverse and multifaceted form of artistic expression that continues to evolve and change with the times.

Performance art: Performance art is a type of art in which the artist’s actions or presence, rather than a physical object, constitute the artwork. Many contemporary artists are using performance art to engage with audiences and to explore themes of identity, memory, and social issues. Performance art can take many forms, including live performances, installations, and video art. It often involves the use of the body or everyday objects in unconventional ways and can be interactive or participatory in nature.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in a variety of ways in the production of artwork. Some artists are using AI algorithms to generate artworks or to assist in the creation process. For example, an artist might use an AI program to analyse a dataset and generate a series of images or sculptures based on the patterns it detects. Other artists are using AI to create interactive installations that respond to the movements or behaviour of viewers.

AI can also be used to manipulate or transform existing artworks. For example, an artist might use an AI program to modify the colours or composition of a photograph or painting, or to generate a series of variations on a theme.

Some artists are also exploring the use of AI as a medium in and of itself. For example, they might use machine learning algorithms to train a computer to generate its own artworks based on a set of input data. In these cases, the AI system itself becomes the artist, and the artwork is a reflection of its learning and decision-making processes.

Overall, the use of AI in the production of artwork is a rapidly evolving field, and it is likely that we will see many new and innovative uses of this technology in the future.