Contemporary art refers to work made by living artists. By this definition, all art has been contemporary at the moment of its creation. However, the art world often narrowly limits the use of this term to artwork made after 1970 as a successor to modern art. Distinguished by a lack of medium specificity and ideological “-isms,” contemporary art reflects the diversity of our current culture and society. Today’s artists are responding to complex concepts such as identity politics, institutional critique, and globalization, often through artwork with challenging aesthetics. Defying the status quo, contemporaries like Tania Bruguera, Kara Walker, and Ai Weiwei are forging paths for emerging talents and future provocateurs.

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