While they may sound like the same thing, modern art and contemporary art are very different genres. For those who are unsure of the specific differences between the two, here is a simple definition of each one.
Modern art generally begins in the 19th century and ends around the 1960s or 70s. Those who like the artwork of the Impressionists, Cubists and Surrealists, hanging paintings of this style in their homes so that they can look at them while they play partypoker or eat dinner, are fans of the modern art era. It also includes Pop Art, Futurism, Bauhaus and Op Art. The reason that this genre of art is known as “modern” is that it does not follow on from the past styles. Artists of this movement rejected previous ideas and created their own innovative ways of painting. They rejected the school of thought that saw “imitation of life” as a good way of going about creating art and went their own way.
This movement can therefore be clearly separated from previous eras of artwork, as the traditional styles and ideas are not followed. There are many museums and galleries throughout the world that display specifically modern art. It is a very distinctive medium, although there are also many different styles within this heading.
While modern art runs up until around the 1960s or 70s, contemporary art is used to refer to that created from this time up until the present day. Anything that is created now or has been produced recently, is referred to as contemporary art and there are many different styles of creation under this heading. There are many contemporary art galleries that feature the work of current artists, who are still creating pieces now and contemporary art is still evolving.