Contemporary Vs Modern Art: What’s the Key Difference

Contemporary Vs Modern Art: What’s the Key Difference

Are you planning to decorate your home with Wall Arts? 

If Yes, then surely you come across two most popular types of wall art i.e., contemporary and modern art that includes popular arts like Joker wall painting.

Many people don’t know the difference between these two arts but each art refers to its own period of history. Modern is typically used to describe recent time or trend ideas and Contemporary is used to describe the art which is created by living working artists. 

It’s important to understand both the characteristics and context of modern and contemporary art to decide which one is suitable for your home decor.

In this article, we will explore the key differences between modern and contemporary art, their characteristics and which type of wall art is best for your home. Let’s dive in!

Contemporary Art

Contemporary art is made by artists who are living today. This contemporary art emerged from the mid-20th century to the present day. These arts reflect the world we’re living in today, but it’s quite challenging to understand and clarify as it’s not specifically styled or designed like modern art. These contemporary arts are known for their diversity, innovations, and styles to reflect the changing world. These arts mainly focus on social, monetary, and political issues such as racism, globalization, terrorism, poverty, etc., and use assorted materials to create these fine arts and you might want to face Fine Art Shipping cost while ordering them.

Modern Art

Most people consider modern art as something new, trendy, and fashionable. However, it’s the opposite – Modern arts are primarily drawing or painting created during the 1890-1960 era. The main purpose of modern art is to see the past world with a new approach. Modern arts also focused on social, economic, and political matters and used new materials to produce such art. These artists create modern art with unique perceptions, creativity, and imagination.

Contemporary Art Vs Modern Art: Key Differences

Contemporary and Modern Arts show the two different periods with unique perspectives. Here are some key differences between them:

1. Context

Contemporary Arts are designed by artists who are living today. These arts reflect the complexities of today’s modern era, including technology advancement, globalization, cultural diversity, current social and political issues, etc.

Modern Arts reflect the traditional challenges of industrialization, urbanization, social changes, etc. The artist is trying to showcase their reactions to previous industrialization and world war events.

2. Approach

Contemporary Arts tries to showcase today’s modern reality in conceptual arts. Viewers connect with the ideas and perceptions when they see these contemporary arts. Some of the best examples of contemporary art are today’s technology and how it affects the world.

Modern Arts are trying to showcase traditional movements like Cubism and Surrealism but with new shapes, colors, and techniques. In modern arts, Artists can create new styles and perceptions of the traditional era using paint and clay.

3. Time Period

Contemporary art was created from the mid-20th century to the present day, where these contemporary arts reflect today’s modern world in different perceptions.

Modern Art was created during the 1890 to 1960s era, where modern art reflects the past world with a new perspective.

4. Concepts and Themes

Contemporary Arts created modern arts related to politics, technology, globalization, and industrialization, where artists try to showcase the complexities of today’s modern world and invite audiences to engage with them on a deeper level.

Modern Arts are created based on traditional events such as industrialization, world wars, social changes, etc. An artist trying to add its unique perspective, emotions, and materials to shape the era and impact of historical events.

5. Mediums and Techniques

To create contemporary art, artists used various tools, from traditional methods to newer ones, including – painting, sculpture, video, digital media, performance art, etc. Nowadays, artists are experimenting with new mediums and techniques to increase the boundaries of contemporary art.

Traditional tools like paints and brushes mostly create Modern Art. However, Artists try to use these tools to give a new look and style to show traditional events more appealingly with a new perspective.

6. Interaction with the Audiences

Contemporary Arts are more engaging arts because these arts show today’s modern world reality and engage viewers to think or experience on a personal level. It creates an interlink between artists and their audiences to see with the same perspective.

Modern Arts are more like watching a scene or event about history with the Artist’s perspective. The audiences can only understand what an artist is trying to showcase through the art. It’s a one-way connection between artists and their audiences.

These are the six important factors that show the clear differences between modern arts and contemporary arts.


Q.1 What is the one common difference between modern vs contemporary art?

The one big difference between Contemporary and modern art is that modern art came before contemporary art around 1860 to 1960s.

Q.2 What is an example of Modern arts?

Some popular modern art examples are well-known modern artworks, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, Star Wars lightsaber art, etc.

Q.3 What is an example of Contemporary art?

Some of the most popular examples of contemporary art are – Ai Weiwei’s “Sunflower Seeds.” Numerous Contemporary art forms exist: architecture, film, literature, music, painting, and theater. 

Q.4 Are there any specific artists associated with contemporary and modern art?

The most popular modern and contemporary artists are Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Cindy Sherman, Louise Bourgeois, and Thomas Ruff.

Q.5  Which is better contemporary art or modern art?

Contemporary arts are more experimental and give freedom as compared to modern arts.

Wrapping Up!

This is all about Modern and Contemporary arts. Both arts have their unique features and characteristics. One shows today’s modern reality, and the other presents past events. We hope this article helps you understand the difference between modern and contemporary art. Now you can choose which type of wall art is more appealing, whether Joker wall painting or anything else on your walls and enhance your home’s value.