Terry Smith

“What is Contemporary Art”, an article by Terry Smith attempts to create an actual historical analysis defining contemporary art as opposed to defining the  nature by, as he says, way of show and tell. Smith goes on to explain that contemporary art cannot, in fact, be defined by a single explanation. He addresses many different and often conflicting definitions by other historians and curators. Much of these definitions being relatively vague and interpretive. It seemed to be agreed however that contemporary artists are always forced to deal with the fact that the present culture is the most visual in history.

Time seemed to be one of the most reacurring themes when trying to come up with a sound answer to his question. He says at one point that contemporary art was largely considered to be in a state “beyond history” or “periodlessness”. It is said to be only the art on this end of the modernism, yet Smith uses examples from ancient Africa and the like. Smith also defines the image economy or “iconomy” as the modern day tools such as the internet, telivision, the media, etc… that make access to pictures and information only a click away. It makes sense that today’s artists would be greatly affected by that.

As someone completely naive to this subject, Smiths article was a lot to digest when trying to answer the question “what is contemporary art?” for my self. It is plain to see that there are many different interpretations and meanings. It seems to me, that instead of trying to conform to a certain style that may or may not be the trend at the time, contemporary artists go out of their way to do the exact opposite. Although, I fully expect my view to change as I hopefully gain a much better understanding.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: