What Is Contemporary Art? (Melissa Nunes)

Terry Smith first starts off the article giving his definition of contemporary art.  He says that it is the institutionalized network through which the art of today presents itself to itself and to its interested audiences all over the world.  He goes on to say that contemporary art is made up of distinctive structures of status and change.  It is closely connected with high cultural industries like fashion, design, tourism, and specific sectors of reform.  Some people think that it means “beyond history” or “after the end of history”.

There were some people who believed that contemporary art would live on forever and there might not be another style that comes after it.  There are also some people who think that contemporary art is the most baffling of arts and even crazy.  Smith takes an excerpt said by Peter Timms from his What’s Wrong With Contemporary Art?  He addresses many questions concerning contemporary art.  It shows the anger that Peter has from the arrogance, that he believes, attends the “general reluctance of contemporary art professionals to engage in such fundamental questions”. He also talks about how contemporary art comes form all over the world.  He also makes a point to say that to be a contemporary piece it has to be different than the elements of modernity.  Overall it seems as if there still is no straight answer to this complex question but Smith demonstrates many different interpretations from different people.

Not being an art history major this article was a little confusing to me.  What I understood from this article was that the question on what contemporary art is, is much more complex then just a straight answer.  I believe it to be a type of art that was made during a certain time but portrays something in history that has happened before the time the piece was made.  I still don’t think I have fully grasped what contemporary art means, but I also believe after reading the article that there are many different interpretations of contemporary art and many people think about it in different ways.

2 Responses

  1. Class time is not an appropriate time for you to update the class blog.

  2. I also wrote about how smith discussed how contemporary art would go on for a long time and there may not be a different style after that. Another thing I added though was the discussion of how it is known to be a form of art that is present, not looking in the past or in the future

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