Smith, “What is Contemporary Art?”

In Terry Smith’s article, “What is Contemporary Art?”, the author examines the various definitions of Contemporary Art. Smith explains how contemporary art is its own subculture and it is distinct from modern art. Contemporary art, Smith explains is the art of a complete historical period, but it remains in the present lives of people today. Smith believes that artists cannot get away from the fact that we live in a visual culture. Contemporary art is defined in many different sectors internationally, including and especially the economy.

Smith explains how Contemporary Art more and more engages in a move away from traditional standards. Smith argues that Contemporary Art tries to combine the multiple relationships between the past and what is happening in the present and reconciling those differences in an expressive manner. Contemporary art is made up of many histories within itself. Consumerism and capitalism has led to a smaller, more conservative art market and a less appreciative one. The globalizing element of contemporary art holds the place of art history in the world’s history. It expresses itself in response to global issues through a network of relationships between artists, media, and etc. The conflicting elements within contemporary art are unavoidable.

I am very interested in studying contemporary art because it is unlike anything else. Its conflicting nature is so fascinating to me. I expect that many pieces that we will study will be quite profound. It is connected with so much history and so much of the present that I think I will learn much information about the nature of our world and the relationships of human beings of the past and present, of different generations, and of different parts of the world.

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