Terry Smith Paragraphs

Terry Smith’s “What is Contemporary Art?” centers around the question that many ask themselves, and that is: How can Contemporary Art be defined? Smith is confronted with the issue that Contemporary Art is everywhere and it is hard to differentiate between pieces that fall into its category. While other scholars discussed in the article, such as Timms and Stallabrass, put definitions to Contemporary Art, Smith is always drawn back to the point that such a broad topic cannot be defined in such a simple manner.

Smith does lay down some general guidelines the can be placed with Contemporary Art, such as it was born out of the 1960’s and is “periodless”. He is specific in saying that it is not a subject that can be traced to any one time period or specific genre. Time is a main underlying focus through the whole chapter and is related to the fact that there is so much of it covered in a single category. In the end, Contemporary Art is about creating a piece that gains attentions from an audience and creates a reaction. It creates a culture within its self that is analyzed by the media and trickles down to anyone that is able to share a view of the piece.

Contemporary Art is often placed into a gray area that many try to define into black and white terms. Personally, I am a fan of gray. Often in life there is no cut and dry right definition or answer to every topic in the world. That is the beauty of life. Different opinions create endless paths for thoughts to travel down to expand and analyze. With this class I expect to learn all about art. I am expecting most of this art to be contemporary and some may not, but that is all dependent on how I view it as well as my classmates. Each and every person can have a different opinion on what they consider to be ‘Contemporary’ and that is why art can be so universal. There is no one language used in art; in other words, art is the language of the world. I am really looking forward to this class and expanding my horizons of Contemporary Art.

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