Essay on art

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contemporary art, the art of the late 20th cent. and early 21st cent., both an outgrowth and a rejection of modern art. As the force and vigor of abstract expressionism diminished, new artistic movements and styles arose during the 1960s and 70s to challenge and displace modernism in painting, sculpture, and other media. Improvisational and Dada-like styles employed in the early 1960s and thereafter by Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns had widespread influence, as did the styles of many other artists. The most significant of the often loosely defined movements of early contemporary art included pop art, characterized by commonplace imagery placed in new aesthetic contexts, as in the work of such figures as Andy Warhol and Roy …show more content…
Among other contemporary “neo” styles are the cool “neo-geo” abstractions of Peter Halley and others, the stark structures of neoconceptualism, the slick neopop of such artists as Jeff Koons, and the landscape revival represented by Diane Burko and April Gornik, among others.
Many new artists have simultaneously invoked and challenged art history, rejecting the heroic stature of the singular work of art and the single (usually white male) artist and invoking the ubiquity of mechanically produced reproductions by employing sophisticated “quotations” or “appropriations” from prior works. This can be found, for example, in Cindy Sherman's photographic recreations of paintings, in the multiple quotations of historic images of David Salle's paintings, in the postmodern takes on Barnett Newman by Philip Taaffe and on Manet by Yasumasa Morimura, and in the nearly identical representations of famous images such as Picasso's icon of modernism Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Mike Bidlo.
Also widespread among contemporary artists has been a repudiation of the idea that underlies most works of pure abstraction—that the work of art is a self-sufficient entity. Rejecting the exclusively self-referential images of abstraction and the constricted commercialism of the art world (yet often embracing the wider

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