Even though experts typically consider Post-war and Contemporary works to belong to two essentially separate trends, they are sometimes grouped together when museums select exhibitions or auction houses organize sales. Their closeness stems from their shared influences as well as the fact that they both arose after WWII.
The early days of post-war prints
We must go back in time to the beginning of the Modern Art movement to grasp the contrasts and parallels between the two. At the Salon des Refusés in Paris in 1863, Édouard Manet presented Le déjeuner sur l’herbe. It was affected by others who came before it, as are all artworks. Most people believe it was the first to incorporate the main characteristics of a contemporary work of art. It was nonconformist, as shown by the fact that it was rejected by the official Paris Salon jury. It depicts an average, daily incident rather than the opulence of the elite or the divinity of the past as the topic. In order to represent the actual world, it went toward abstraction rather than reality.
Between Manet’s painting and World War II, several art styles arose, including Impressionism, Post-impressionism, Symbolism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Abstract art, Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, and Social Realism. The war’s incalculable influence on the globe’s socioeconomic fabric would inevitably touch the realm of art.
Once again, there is little agreement on what defines Postwar art. Post-war art, on the other hand, is often seen as including all art movements that emerged after World War II and before the development of Contemporary art. To say the least, this categorization is overly simple. The world after WWII was divided into two camps: the capitalist West, headed by the United States, and the socialist East, led by the Soviet Union. The art scene mirrored this bipolarity as well.
Significant contributors to the post-war prints
Artists, academics, dealers, and collectors of art flocked to New York in the years leading up to and during WWII. European capitals, notably Paris, the historic epicenter of art, were in ruins by the time the war ended. Meanwhile, in unaffected New York, the blending of American and European aesthetics and money propelled Abstract Expressionism to prominence. It was the first major worldwide art trend to come from the United States. Artists that worked, resided, or showed in New York City, such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Mark Rothko, among many others, were the vanguards of the movement.
Art in the Soviet Union was directed overtly by the Fine Arts Department, which has an official preference for Communist Realism, a type of idealized realistic art that glorifies socialist principles. Ironically, this style is connected to the American Social Realism movement, and both have their roots in the European Realism movement.
Post-war prints becoming mainstream
In some respects, the Contemporary movement is more difficult to describe than any that came before it. The most basic description is that it is today’s art. Today’s art, on the other hand, has been around since the 1950s. It’s worldwide, with an almost infinite variety of ideas, materials, processes, thoughts, and themes. It stands out due to the absence of a manifesto – a guiding framework or ideology.
Pop Art, who began in the 1950s as a reaction to dominant Post-War art forms and was pioneered by artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, is widely regarded as one of the most important alternative movements, if not the most important, that led to the birth of Contemporary art. It depicted topics from popular culture such as advertising, comic novels, and ordinary mass-produced goods, as the name indicates.
Photorealism, which was popularized by artists such as John Baeder and Chuck Close Richter, was a parallel trend to Pop Art that concentrated on making hyper realistic drawings and paintings, frequently utilizing pictures. Robert Rauschenberg and Isidore Isou pioneered conceptualism, which Jenny Holzer and Ai WeiWei have continued. The concept and creative process of an artwork are the focus here.
Installation Art, as well as its variations Earth Art is both site-specific and large-scale, with the goal of creating an immersive experience. Stree Art, or graffiti as it is sometimes referred as, made its mark in the 1980s with pioneers like as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, and has since been carried on by artists such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey. Like no other type of art, street art has questioned art orthodoxy and, in doing so, has embodied the nonconformist attitude of the Contemporary movement.
Relationship with modern art
The Modern Art movement arose in response to the establishment’s interpretation of art. Following WWII, the founding movements’ heirs formed the establishment. To oppose the new establishment, the Contemporary movement arose. It has done so for more than 70 years. Some of the most recent Contemporary artists have broadened their medium of expression to encompass needlework, origami, tattoos, and even AI-driven visual art. According to this data, contemporary art continues to defy categorization and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
With an economy on the rise and an artist community inspired by the European avant-garde, many of whom had moved to the United States, America emerged largely unharmed from World War II. New York developed as a center of artistic activity, challenging Paris as the international art world’s center, while Europe began the process of dealing with enormous trauma.
In the 1950s, Abstract Expressionism rose to prominence, followed by Neo-Dada, Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art, among other trends, during the next decade. Post-war American Work is more of a historical period than a style or collection of ideas and is most commonly used by auction houses to refer to art made between 1945 and 1970. While keeping these facts in mind, you can go ahead and start exploring more about post-war prints. If you are a person who collects art, you may think about getting them to your collection as well.