Smith Article

Contemporary art poses many questions and concerns. It is difficult to understand and to label because we are currently in the midst of it. We probably won’t be able to fully understand the art of our time until we have enough distance from it that we can put it into perspective with regards to other art movements. Art, historically, has always been categorized into specific niches or “-isms.” Contemporary Art is constantly changing, and art critics and viewers are constantly changing their perspectives according to their environment. This means that our view of “Contemporary Art” now is unclear and cannot be categorized until a recognizable change in the art world has been made.

Contemporary Art does not yet fit into a category of its own; it is probably a continuation of modern art, but is distinct in our eyes. Smith presents a number of different approaches to Contemporary Art. It may be accepted as a self-defining movement that is ever-changing throughout history. It may be viewed as a growing movement that is the result of the globalization of art and the interconnectedness of different artistic regions. It may be considered a fluke, and may not be real art at all. All art throughout history has been concerned with contemporaneity, and has been difficult to categorize until new issues arise that put it into a historical context. What is important to take into consideration when attempting to understand Contemporary Art is the experimentation taking place in art right now, the widespread creation of art of all kinds, and both the continuations and the distinctions between current and past art.

Personally, I appreciate the freedom and experimentation of Contemporary Art. I do think that a lot of art today lacks focus or a point-of-view, but I think that everyone should be able to make art and not all art has to have a specific focus. I think that what we call “Contemporary Art” now will be much clearer down the line; current issues will rise to the surface, allowing a category or movement to be noticeable. I think that the artists who will be recognized as important in the Contemporary Art scene will be those who address important issues of our time and relay a message to the viewers that is meaningful and interesting, but also somewhat readable and aesthetically appealing or provocative. There are many different types of Contemporary Art and these may be noticed in the future as important subcategories of the overarching movement. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Contemporary Art of our time will be viewed in the future.

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