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Definire l’arte contemporanea e la modern art

Definizione di contemporaneo dal vocabolario Treccani: (dal latino contemporaneus)

. Che accade o vive nello stesso momento, che appartiene alla medesima età.
. Che appartiene all’età presente, alla vita attuale.
. Nella periodizzazione storica, soprattutto a livello scolastico, successivo all’età della storia

Definizione di moderno dal vocabolario Treccani: (dal latino modernus)

. Che appartiene o si riferisce al nostro tempo o ad un tempo molto vicino a noi.
. Che è peculiare del nostro tempo, soprattutto in riferimento al progresso e all’evoluzione.
. Che costituisce un’espressione di una sensibilità e di un gusto tipico del nostro tempo.
Piu precisamente, in architettura, indica un indirizzo di progettazione e di design, dopo la
prima guerra mondiale, volto a promuovere un’architettura ed una produzione industriale
legate al progresso sociale.

Definizione di modern nel MoMa Glossary:

It means something related to current times, but it also can indicate a relationship to a
particular set of ideas that, at the time of their development, were new or even

Articoli presenti sul sito del MoMa che si connettono alla definizione di Modern :

Dada: Dada emerged during WWI, which was a central theme for dadaist, because for them
the war was a confirmation of the degradation and the violence of the social structure.
Dada ideas emerged from a little group of artists and poets in Zurich. From 1916 to mid 20s
dada artist in NY, Zurich, Cologne, Hanover and Paris declared their movement as an assault
against conventional definitions of art and the rational thought itself.
The aesthetic side of Dada works was considered secondary to the ideas that they conveyed.
Dadaist both embraced and critiqued modernity, referencing new types of technology in
their works.
They used unorthodox materials , working mostly with the collage technique, and opening to
the movement of ready made, with artists as Duchamp.

Design: Design plays a role in our everyday life.

It makes ideas tangible, translating them into physical form, is a sort of solution to a problem
being considered my the designer, like Paola Antonelli (curator at MoMa of Architecture and
Design) said “everything is designed, one way or another”.
Prior the 20th century design was considered mainly in the context of decorative arts but,
over time it changed, with the advent of industrial revolution and the emergence of mass
production, so that in this period design is closer to science and enginering.
The term design does not only refer to thing and spaces, but also to the process of plan,
evaluate ad implement solution to a problem.
From this perspective, the creative path is composed like this:
1. Brainstorming
2. Sketches or photographs that articulate the ideas
3. Creation of a prototype
4. Test of the prototype to ensure the design is functional and at the same time has an
aesthetic part
As consumers of everyday objects we play an important role in the design progress, in fact,
during this period it has changed also the consumers for whom this products were available,
not anymore for only the elite, but for everyone.

Experimentation in film/The Avantgarde: By 1920 fillm production became viral all over the
world, in the States, Australia, Europe...
And the industry behind this production became one of the most redditial business,
particularly in the States, so that there was also an increase in the budget.
Despite having this good reputation, films were considered merely as a form of
entertainment, not yet an art of its own, so that began a debate about the consideration of
film as a different way of expression of modern art.
While debating this, indipendent film makers and visual artists, outside the big productions,
began to make art.
In the 1920’s parisienne, artists like Man Ray and Duchamp brought films in to the fold of
avantguarde, focusing on its form and making semi abstract assemblations with images and
snippets of texts.
At the same time, in Germany and the Soviet Union, film makers were experimenting with
the collage technique for the montage of the scenes.
But, as time passed by, during this decade, Hollywood created a standard for how movies
had to be made.

Expanded coreography: There’s always been a strong relationship between visual arts and
the work of dancers as well as coreographers, with the creation of stage, props and
Better known creative partnership is for example the one between the founder and director
of Ballets Russes and figures like Picasso, Matisse or De Chirico; or the one between the
modern coreographer Martha Graham and the sculptor and designer Isamu Noguchi.
By 1960 the border lines between dancers and visual artists began to blur, with te creation
of interdisciplinary piéces.

Surrealism: Artistic, poetical, and philosophical movement, led by the french poet Andre
Breton, from 1924 to the Second World War.
Surrealism aim was to overthrow modern society and its logical backbone, based on rational
It was characterized by an emphasis on automatism, an experimental use of language and
found objects; all within the framework of Sigmud Freud’s interpretation of dreams and the
In the 1924 Surrealism manifesto, Breton wrote that surrealism was automatism in its pure
state, by which the artist could express the thoughts without the control exercitated by
reason or moral compass, and aesthetic forms.
Many surrealistic productions were connected to the erotic side and use of the body, driven
not only by freudian thesis but also by primitive eastern art, aiming to shock the pubblic and
break taboos. In particular there was the image of mutilated bodies, which had a massive
effect on pubblic, given the cricumstances that followed WWI and preceeded the Second.

Landscape in modern art: the genre of landscape painting remained central within the
movements of modern art, driven by the dissatisfaction with the urban cities and a need to
return to the origins, but at the same time breaking its traditional patterns.
It was also easier to paint outside, thanks to the new ways of transportation and the
introduction of paint in tubes, which allowed the colors to remain wet and easy

Definizione di modernism nel Tate Glossary:

The term modern is used in reference to a global movement of the early 20 th century, based
on the values of modern industrial life, using also new materials and techniques.
Temporarly speaking it indicates the time frame between Gustave Coubert realism and the
abstract art of the 60s.
Altought modernism is compassed by different styles, there are certain underlying features
such as the rejection of history and conservative values, form’s innovation and
experimentation and an emphasis on materials and techniques.
Usually modernism was followed also by an ideological and political agenda, used as a tool in
those fields, linked to idealistics and utopian views.

Definizione di contemporary nel Tate Glossary:

The term contemporary art is used referring to art of the present day and near past, of an
innovatory and avant garde nature.
Based on the relationship with the contemporary art museums, the origin date for the term

Contributi critici

Arthur Danto e il dibattito anni ‘80 (vedi Dopo la fine dell’arte)

What is contemporary art?

Di Terry Smith


di Stefano Chiodi in Enciclopedia Treccani

E’ avvenuta un’ibridazione tra gli ambiti di produzione teorica e formale, con l’inserimento di
nuovi modi di fare arte, nuove forme, legate soprattutto ai nuovi media.
Questo ha portato a numerosi mutamenti, come la formazione degli artisti basata su
insegnamenti teorici e tecnici, lontani dai lavori in atelier, un’attività creativa maggiormente
volta alla collaborazione, dove l’artista assume quasi il ruolo della regia, ma anche
cambiamenti negli approcci critici e nella promozione commerciale.
In parallelo, aumentano le istituzioni specializzate e si rafforza il ruolo del curatore.
Con il termine postmediale si indica una condizione dell’arte caratterizzata da una grande
varietà di forme e modi, dall’abbandono dei caratteri specifici di ogni media a favore di
pratiche fondate sulla nozione di arte-in-generale.
Il medium si è così evoluto da tecnica di esecuzione e supporto dell’opera, ad una matrice,
uno spazio di possibilità creative all’interno del quale l’artista opera.
L’arbitrarietà dei nuovi media pone la problematica della pertinenza e della rilevanza di ogni
scelta artistica, fuori dalla protezione di linguaggi condivisi.
La condzione postmediale non ha però eliminato l’utilizzo di tecniche e linguaggi considerati
tradizionali, come la pittura, al contrario li ha sottoosti ad un continuo processo di revisione
e rivisitazione.

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