7th March 2016

Contemporary art………….Modern art………….what do they mean? Are they the same thing or two very different styles of artistic expression? 

For the majority of us, modern and contemporary art are the same thing however there is a difference and the general rule to follow when impressing people in passing conversation is this-

• Modern Art- Art from the Impressionists up until 1970 (1890-1970)
• Contemporary Art- Art from the 1970’s up until this very minute

Modern Art-

The best way to define modern art is to describe what it is not. Modern art is a style of art that does not conform to traditional and classical styles of painting and sculpting. Artists from this period rejected previous ideas and notions of artistic expression and embraced new original ways of thinking separating their artwork from previous eras.  Artists experimented with new techniques and mediums using non-traditional materials and the expressive use of colour. Rather than painting a picture to depict reality and tell a story, modern art became about personal expression and interpretation.

Contemporary Art-

Following on from the era of modern art, contemporary art means art that has been and continues to be created during our lifetime. Anything that is created now or has been produced after the 1970’s is referred to as contemporary art with many different styles of creation coming under this heading. People often get confused as we use the word modern to describe something as new or exciting however in the art world, contemporary, is the term used to describe art that is being created now and after 1970.

One city that is able to simultaneously embrace old and new, modern and contemporary, is the uber trendy capital of Germany-Berlin.  Berlin possesses a thriving, dynamic art scene that manifests itself in many different forms throughout city. From expressive street art to established world renowned art galleries, art is the fabric that makes up Berlin narrating its fascinating and intriguing story with every turn. With so much on offer, here are top tips for modern and contemporary art galleries is Berlin-

Berlinische Gallery (Modern + Contemporary)-

Housed in a renovated former glass warehouse with cleverly designed criss-crossing staircases, Berlinische Gallery is one of Berlins youngest and most exciting galleries. Featuring art created in Berlin from 1870 to the present day, one of the highlights is art from a divided and unified Berlin. With special exhibitions ranging from classic modern up to contemporary art, the gallery is rivalled as one of the most important centres of the current art scene. 

Museum Berggruen (Modern)-

Considered one of the most significant private collections in the world, the Berggruen Museum showcases masterpieces from the classical modernist period. Featuring works from Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Alberto Giacometti, the museum is an excellent spot for showing students the new techniques and styles that were developed during the modernist period with an emphasis on cubism and symbolism.

M E Collectors Room (Modern + Contemporary)

With works from the 16th Century to present day, Thomas Olbricht, doctor and passionate art collector, has built a whole house entirely devoted to his considerable and extensive private collection. The collection is supremely diverse exploring a range of modern and contemporary art themes featuring works of art from the Renaissance up to the present day. The Collectors Room is quite unlike any public museum or traditional art gallery you have ever visited.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Contemeporary)

Housed in a former margarine factory, the KW Institute does not feature a permanent collection and views itself as a “laboratory for communicating and advancing contemporary cultural developments in Germany.” Famed for holding the first Berlin Biennale in 1998, the KW Institute was instrumental in gaining recognition for Berlin as a contemporary art capital. Celebrated as a centre for developing young artists, the KW Institute prides itself at being at the forefront of artistic innovation and creativity.

If it’s modern or contemporary, Berlin is the city that celebrates all art! Contact Adaptable Travel today to organise your Art and Design school trip to Berlin!

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