Why Contemporary Art Is So Important

Many people don’t think contemporary art has much importance in Palm Beach, FL, whether out of personal preference or a misguided notion that it’s not as meaningful as traditional art. Perhaps it’s because they don’t understand it, but that doesn’t detract from its importance to the art community and the world at large. Contemporary art reflects the world we live in, and has been doing so for about a century now—even if the average person doesn’t understand why it’s so great.

Pop art

Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein are two examples of pop art that you’re probably already familiar with. Pop art reflects popular culture, and is often characterized by bold primary colors, graphic prints and subversive messaging. You’ve surely seen Warhol’s famous Elizabeth Taylor four-color print, or his Campbell’s soup can portrait—these are examples of how artists take pop culture icons and tell a story with their art.

Abstract expressionism

If you’ve ever heard someone look at a Jackson Pollock painting and say, “How is that art? I could do that,” then you’ve just witnessed someone who doesn’t understand abstract expressionism in Palm Beach, FL. This school of art came along in the 1950s and ‘60s, and Pollock was at its forefront. The idea was to spontaneously depict human emotions, which Pollock achieved through splashes of paint splattered onto a canvas. While not to everyone’s personal taste, this type of art—particularly Pollock’s—has permeated the art scene and pop culture.


Postmodernism is the school of thought that logic is in and of itself illogical, and to impose a structure like that on the world is irrational. Postmodern art seeks to destroy conventional art and thought and rebuild it in a stranger way. Cindy Sherman, who dresses up as characters and photographs herself, and Joseph Havel, famous for creating “Moon, June, Spoon,” among other works, are great examples of the contribution that contemporary postmodern art has made to the world.

Contemporary art might not be what the average American thinks of when they think of art, but with a little education, it’s easy to see the appeal behind this exciting, diverse school. As with all art, it seeks to examine and reflect the world around us, in attention-grabbing ways that force the viewer to ponder its meaning and intent.

If you have a reluctant art appreciator in your life, one of the best ways to get them into contemporary art is to take them along with you next time you visit a gallery—and remember, there’s no wrong way to interpret or experience art.

See abstract expressionism and contemporary art in Palm Beach, FL

If you’re ready to make some contemporary purchases for your collection, visit Gallerie Y in Palm Beach. Our private, appointment-only gallery offers art from around the world, focusing on up-and-coming artists. When you make an appointment, our gallery staff will show you our most exciting new pieces, offering you information about the artist, their intent and the background behind the piece. Call us today to book your viewing.

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