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Trends in Art: A look at 2020 and beyond

Just like in any other creative field, the art world experiences a fair amount of trends. Trends could be loosely translated into art vocabulary as periods, styles or movements. Historically, we see that there are many factors that can influence art periods or the styles that are prominent during various periods. The introduction of new materials, social and world events and technology are often responsible for influencing artistic periods and movements.

But how do we forecast future trends or movements in the creative fields? To forecast future styles, we often have to look back in history. We can study historical patterns and societal reactions to major political and social events. We can use these patterns to help predict societal reactions to current events. When predicting trends, we also have to incorporate the influence of new materials and the availability and prominence of traditional materials.

Here is a list of what you can expect in the world of art and style in 2020 and beyond.

Line Art

Not only is line art currently popular, but it is also forecast to dominate art styles in the foreseeable future. Line art at its purest form is simply a line on a canvas, but this seemingly simple design concept can be interpreted in many different media and styles.

As fashion and style trends continue to embrace the power of minimalism, you are likely to see a resurgence of art in the style reminiscent of Matisse's simple, yet powerful line drawings. The absence of shadowing and complex backgrounds allows the viewer to appreciate the beauty of negative space.

Simplified Illustrations

In keeping with the minimalist craze, you will be seeing an increase in simplified illustrations. Simplified illustrations feature blocks of colors and shapes, but eliminate details, helping the viewer to focus more on the shapes and colors of the overall piece, rather than the finer points.

Of course, this trend will be seen mostly in paint and print, but you will also see its influence on sculpture. In three-dimensional art, you will also see an absence of detail and a focus on shape.

Statement & Socially Engaged Pieces 

In the coming decade, expect to see politically and socially charged art pieces. Politically charged pieces are meant to engage and potentially influence the viewer. It is likely we will see many portraits, especially of the female figure in the coming years. Portraits will be made of prominent political and social figures, but will also turn ordinary women into political figures or social change icons.

As women continue to grow in societal power and prominence, artists will continue to highlight their progress. These portraits are not likely to simply display the subject's physical beauty, but will likely include a lot of symbolism and incorporate powerful social messages.

Some statement pieces will not include a human figure but might display images of symbolism and themes that reflect current political climates and current events.


Just as our past is blending with our future here at the dawn of a new decade, so will art mediums collide and collaborate. Look for collage and assemblages to take a prominent place in the future art scene.

Collages will incorporate some traditional materials but also expect these traditional materials to be coupled with unexpected mediums. The collages are likely to also reflect the artists' political and social views and are expected to be less detailed than more traditional collages.

Creative Photography

For over 150 years, people have recording events and exploring their creative sides through photography. In our modern world, photography has become easily accessible for most people through the convenience of the smartphone and digital camera. Despite, or maybe because of, the accessibility of cameras, creative photography is forecast to be on-trend in the next decade.

While photography will still be judged on the technical skills of the photographer, it is likely that creative photography of the future will emphasize the creativity of the artist. Through the power of modern technology, even novice photographers can achieve impressive results. So to stand-out in the creative art world, photographers and artists will likely find unique subjects and innovative ways to use their photographs.

Earth Colors and Botanical

The popularity of certain colors or palettes change as often as the seasons, but generally speaking, you should expect to see a resurgence of earth tones in 2020. With the upsurge of interest in environmental preservation, it's likely that artists will draw from nature for their color inspiration. Also expect to see botanical references in all areas of art.


Just as many of us use the dawn of a new year to reflect on the past, many artists will use the start of the two-thousand twenties to draw inspiration from the 1920s. This is when avant-garde art was all the rage. Expect to see modern artists draw inspiration from avant-garde icons such as Salvador Dali. In the next decade, you will also see modern artists borrowing ideas from the avant-garde movement without directly mimicking the style. For example, avant-garde artists were experimental and innovative. Today's artists will look for ways to push the boundaries of cultural norms just like their predecessors did during the 1920s.


Large graphic prints and decorative fonts are expected to rule the fine art world, just as they have dominated the more graphic commercial world in the last decade. Canvases with large words printed on them have been around for a few years and are expected to make the transition from strictly mass-produced decorative pieces to serious fine art.

This type of piece might include personalized canvases that feature a favorite poem or song lyric or might feature something that would appeal to a larger audience. Some pieces might even attempt to provoke feelings, thoughts or change in the viewer. This type of artistic expression will often be seen in politically charged pieces.

The coming decade will be filled with diverse trends that embrace minimalist styles and politically charged statement pieces. You are likely to see these trends in everything from commercial pieces to gallery shows.

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