Art Term

Contemporary art

The term contemprary art is loosely used to refer to art of the present day and of the relatively recent past, of an innovatory or avant-garde nature

Tracey Emin, ‘Hate and Power Can be a Terrible Thing’ 2004
Tracey Emin
Hate and Power Can be a Terrible Thing 2004
Tate
© Tracey Emin

In relation to contemporary art museums, the date of origin for the term ‘contemporary art’ varies.

The Institute of Contemporary Art in London, founded in 1947, champions art from that year onwards. Whereas The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York chooses the later date of 1977. In the 1980s, Tate planned a Museum of Contemporary Art in which contemporary art was defined as art of the past ten years on a rolling basis.

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Selected artworks in the collection