Contemporary paintings can be defined variously as oil paintings produced at this present point in time or paintings produced since World War II. The definition of the word contemporary paintings would support the first view, but museums of contemporary paintings commonly define their collections as consisting of art produced since World War II.
Contemporary paintings are exhibited by commercial contemporary art galleries, private collectors, corporations, publicly funded arts organizations, contemporary paintings museums or by artists themselves in artist-run spaces. Contemporary artists are supported by grants, awards and prizes as well as by direct sales of their paintings works.
There are close relationships between publicly funded contemporary paintings organisations and the commercial sectors. For example, in Britain a handful of dealers represent the painting artists featured in leading publicly funded contemporary art museums.
Individual contemporary painting collectors can wield considerable influence. Charles Saatchi dominated the contemporary paintings market in Britain during the 1980s and the 1990s; the subtitle of the 1999 book Young British Artists. The Saatchi Decade uses of the name of the private contemporary paintings collector to define an entire decade of contemporary painting creation.
Corporations have attempted to integrate themselves into the contemporary painting world: exhibiting contemporary paintings within their premises, organising and sponsoring contemporary art awards and building up extensive collections of corporate art.
The institutions of art have been criticised for regulating what is designated as contemporary paintings. Outsider art, for instance, is literally contemporary art, in that it is produced in the present day. However, it is not considered so because the artists are self-taught and are assumed to be working outside of an art historical context.
At any one time a particular place or group of artists can have a strong influence on globally produced contemporary paintings; for example New York painting artists in the 1980s.
Contemporary paintings can sometimes seem at odds with a public that does not feel that art and its institutions share its values. In Britain in the 1990s contemporary painting became a part of popular culture, with painting artists becoming stars, but this did not lead to a hoped-for "cultural utopia". Some critics like Julian Spalding and Donald Kuspit have suggested that skepticism, even rejection, is a legitimate and reasonable response to much contemporary paintings.
Refer to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_art
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