Difference between contemporary art and traditional art

Main difference

The main difference between contemporary art and traditional art is that contemporary art points to current art while traditional art shows the culture and standards of the past.

Contemporary art versus traditional art

Contemporary art shows new feelings and ideas about the nature of materials and the functions of art. Traditional art is the relevance of past events. Contemporary art uses various themes. Something we did like 100 years ago would be traditional art. Contemporary art is the art of today. Traditional art uses various cultures and materials to show its own culture and tradition.

Contemporary art is the sample of an enchanted work. Traditional art is the artwork of a particular community or group. Contemporary art does not focus on a specific group, as it encompasses a wide variety of themes. Traditional art focuses on bringing changes in society. Traditional art focuses on showing the ways of life of people from the past to present generations.

Comparison chart

Contemporary art traditional art
Art that has been created during our lifetime is known as contemporary art. Traditional art is about religion, culture and past events.
It was
1970 to present 1970-1980
Much emphasis on modern lifestyles of society through the use of new technologies. They mainly focus on religion, verse construction, old people, lifestyle of living and non-living beings.
Picasso, Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy. Sherry Gould, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol

What is the contemporary art?

We see contemporary art more social when we compare it to any other past era. Many contemporary artists mainly exhibit and express their comments on the existing society. It uses new technologies to create a new role in society. Contemporary art uses abstract ideas to represent art. This art has a wide variety of styles like Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Dada, Realism, and Pop art etc.

All of these movements have a massive effect on modernism, African art, Asian art, and many others. Contemporary Artists uses video and the latest technologies to highlight social factors. They also use previous images to highlight the new artwork. This art was introduced in 1960 and flows until now. It is the recreation of an object created through a work of art.

Contemporary art posed the question to its viewers, ‘is the work good?’ and ‘Is the work tasteful or delicious?’ In this art, we can get extreme delight from previously completed work. This art is useful for the feminism, multiculturalism, globalization, bioengineering and AIDS movements. Jeff Jones, Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami are famous contemporary artists.

Tablets, laptops, live elements of computers, performances, and three-dimensional technologies are some prominent types of contemporary art.


Pen, Markers, Brush, Clay wheel, Plasters, Potters, Spatula

What is traditional art?

Traditional art is the artistic movement that is passed from one generation to another by family and community. Traditional art techniques are traditional methods of painting and drawing. Paintings are very prominent forms of traditional art. Traditional art also uses different material, but not multimedia material, to represent any art.

Various artists use different materials for this type of art. In examples of traditional art, there are drawings of architectural buildings, such as churches that show religious faith. The use of woodblock prints from the past by Japanese artists introduces their ancient methods of art.


Paintings, Sculptures, Engraving, Drawings, Music, Dance, Crafts, Weaving, Embroidery, Jewelry

Key differences

  1. Contemporary art comes to represent reality or realism, while traditional art comes to represent the traditions of the past.
  2. Contemporary Art Show to experiment with a new and different way of seeing and with fresh thoughts; on the other hand, Traditional Art shows reality through narrative.
  3. Contemporary artworks come in the 1970s, conversely, traditional artworks come in between the 1980s and 1970s.
  4. Contemporary art is used to highlight particular issues of any relative issue of the present time, on the other hand, traditional art highlights the lifestyle, ideas, and beliefs of the past generation.
  5. Contemporary art has grown through society, institutions and galleries; on the other hand, traditional art does not use materialistic thoughts.
  6. Contemporary art focuses on one person, while traditional art focuses on the information of a group.
  7. Contemporary art is the display of all societies, while traditional art is the display of a special culture and norms.

Final Thought

Traditional and contemporary art are two precisely different eras of art. Contemporary and traditional art, both are an important part of our society. Both have great value to represent our past and our today.

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