Access to Western modern and postmodern art requires the mastery of specific cultural codes. If the context is not shared, art becomes inaccessible. Today?s cultural shift makes it difficult to master this context, not only because of our social diversity and fragmentation, but also because of the distance between our tradition and contemporary experience. Studies and readings often do not help, because what we learn at school, which may allow us to appreciate artistic expressions of past centuries, may be completely inadequate for contemporary art. This gap often entails the rejection of what appears alien to us. But to experience as alien what is indeed familiar is undoubtedly a failure. The present Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art Theory aims to foster a familiarity with modern and contemporary culture basic traits that enable a proper appreciation and criticism.