Smith Paragraphs

Smith started by posing many questions to the reader, and attempting to pry and pick at some answers. Contemporary art can be looked at starting from the 1980′s but the real period starts in the 1990′s. Smith also argues that one could look at art from earlier and say that it is contemporary. In the 1990′s there were many museums dedicated to contemporary art, 90 or so. Contemporary art has become its own subculture. It is very trend setting, and a lot of the artists think of them selves as above pop culture, or other norms. Smith talks about the transition from modern to postmodern and then to contemporary. Postmodern was the balancing point between the two periods. Contemporary art is the first real period to come after postmodern. A lot of the art made int the 70′s or 80′s does not fit into a period. Smith talks about how Contemporary Art is “beyond history” or “after the end of history.” It is a surrendering of art to the present times.

Art history is not really considered in Contemporary Art. This is not to say that it is forgotten, but there is a new wave of artists that have little classical training. On the contrary, British art from the 1990′s had Worhol and Koons as inspiration. To touch on the artists themselves again, they might come across as a little snobbish. And people with higher knowledge can’t really understand the art. Donald Kuspit argues that it might be more of a challenge to interpret Contemporary Art, because art history is trying to control “contemporaneity.” This period of art is not limited to the western world. It is being made all over the world, and is not limited to any specific culture. This is because of technology. The technologic world is making Contemporary Art what it is. It is feeding it and it is becoming great. Kurt Varnedoe said, “…on going extension and revision of those founding innovations and debates.” (p260). This sum up Contemporary Art. It is constantly revising its self, and changing when the debate changes. There are cultural and political goals in this art, like many periods that came before.

What I agreed with mostly from this article was the profile of the snobbish artist. The subculture that has come from this art wave. But I could argue that many periods before this one had their “above all” attitudes. This article was quiet confusing, and drawn out, but I do feel that I have a better understanding about how Contemporary Art came to be. Because we are living in the period, I feel like all I have to do is look around me, look at the artists and the issues in order to understand Contemporary Art. I love that Smith pointed out that it is being made all over the world, because I think this is what is going to make us stand out from every other art period in history.

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