Postmodernism is described as the phase of twentieth century Western culture that has been often defined as the visual culture produced in the period after modernism, though there has been much recent debate since the early 1980’s as to what the definition of Postmodernism could be. Postmodern art has always been difficult to define for various reasons which include what styles of art should be included in the movement, what is the exact artistic style of Postmodern art and the insufficiency to specify what exactly postmodernism is. One of the most basic definitions of the term postmodernism is that it is post-modern or after the modernist period, this not only gives us a better understanding but a clearer starting point in the search for the true definition of Postmodernism that everyone can come to an agreement on.
To come up with a concise meaning that would clearly describe Postmodernism, we must first make a understandable distinction of the difference between contemporary and postmodern art. This distinction of difference needs to be made because some people disagree with the fact that we are in a period after Modernism and the art created in this period are not conflicting to Modern art but rather an extension of the style. Although many movements are classified under the Modern art banner including Impressionism, Surrealism, Cubism, Pop art and Abstract art, it is because of this a lot of people think that postmodern art is not its own distinct art form.
When looking at the idea of Postmodern art we must keep in mind what are the unique characteristics of this movement that make its so genuinely different from the other art movements, and different from Modernism in particular. Which is why the majority of people classify Postmodernism as a movement that both comes from and simultaneously reacts against its predecessor. With Postmodernism there are no longer any rules or categories to judge the experimentally unfamiliar, they are working without rules in order to find out the rules of what you have done.
In the search for the true definition of Postmodernism, French philosopher and literary theorist, Jean-Francois Lyotard discovered and identified alternative strands to Postmodernism. These strands also called “false Postmodernisms” are anti-modernist, demand for an end to experimentation and are what many people have associated with as the definition of Postmodernism and this is what has sparked much debate over the years.
During the 1960’s, the reign of Modernism was weakening, especially in the field of painting. Non-representational forms, most often found in Abstract Expressionism, gave way to stark contrasts found in Pop art. New artistic styles such as photo-realism, pattern and decorative art, feminist and performance art and high tech art began to flourish and from this people saw that Postmodernism took painting away from the critical edge and alienated mood of Modernism. They found these new artistic styles...