It is an illusion that contemporary art is more difficult than classical art as much as it is an illusion majority of the audience understands classical art better.
In reality who does fully understand symbolic painting? Perhaps, a narrow group of scholars who through research acquired particular knowledge which is always specific to the period.
Contemporary art created a situation in which the surface can be removed. It rejects the surface, i.e. the decorative. It doesn’t mean, however what lies deeply is uncovered, it is as covered as previously. This development is called refinement. And is the achievement of a civilisation.