Contemporary Art really just means ‘art that has been and continues to be created during our lifetimes’ but there is a certain amount of overlapping between Modern Art (Art from the Impressionists-around 1880s till the 1960s or 70s) and Contemporary Art (from the 1960s or 70s until this very minute).
As any student of art history will tell us, 1970 is a cut-off point for because it was possibly around 1970 that the terms “Postmodern” and “Postmodernism” were coined, meaning, we must assume, that the world of art has had its fill of modern art, with the era of Contemporary Art beginning just after. Though definitions may be debated, Contemporary Art as collective is accepted to be much more socially conscious than any other previous era of art form or style—a lot of art since the 1970s has been connected with one issue or another: feminism, multiculturalism, globalization and is really a mirror of our times.
Contemporary Art as we see it today is been about people and places. India, which gained independence from British rule in 1947, is perhaps second only to China in terms of its body of classical and modern art. While India’s traditional art and art forms are steeped in classical Hindu and Buddhist culture, tradition and music and are quite well-known in museums and art fairs across the world, the importance of art from a post-colonial India is just finding its place in the Sun.
Contemporary Art in India represents a radical break from the past because artists in the Subcontinent are no longer held hostage by patrons or trained solely as apprentices of artists in other established styles or of the colonial powers. In this coming of age of Indian Contemporary Art, Maestros have played their masterstrokes, making Contemporary Indian Art as much a mainstream global art form as any other dominant style or form.