Katie Hitch Smith Paragraph

The article What is Contemporary Art by Terry Smith begins by explaining that contemporary art “is the institutionalized network through which the art of today presents itself to itself and to its interested audiences all over the world.” He then goes on to say that unlike historical art (which has more of an elitist crowd), contemporary art is much more available today then it was in the 1970’s. Contemporary art is blossoming in both new and old economies, which is supported by the availability of technology . A lot of this has to do with the fact that the audience is larger and more and more people are purchasing contemporary art. During the early 2000’s many projects to build contemporary art museums around the world went on hold, and didn’t really commence until quite recently. Some of the most important aspects that can be gained from reading Smith’s article is that contemporary art 1) must be filled with a detailed knowledge of art history, 2) is globalizing,  3) and a category of its own (distinct from Modern/postmodern art).

One aspect that I found interesting in the Smith article is Stallabrass’s label “high art lite,” which is “an art that looks like but is not quite art, that acts as a substitute for it.”  This term was probably coined by young artists who wanted to appeal to people who didn’t have any special knowledge on  art and they did this by incorporating  mass culture used to enrage the conservatives and exclude the art specialists. Page 251 discusses the rising popularity of contemporary art and how there is more contemporary art now, then  ever before. It is also much more diverse than ever before. Since pop, minimalism, and conceptual art, there seem to be no more defining periods in the art world. Also, today art is much more readily available and is being exhibited more quickly than ever before. This largely has to do with the aspect of art fairs taking over galleries, museums, and auctions, as the main places to see/purchase art.

I think Contemporary art is a changing and growing field that will transform with the emergence of new technologies and styles. I hope that Contemporary art will continue to expand to all human beings, not just those who study art. Ideally, it will be fully immersed in our culture as something not just art historians/students care about, but the world. It tells us so much about our current culture as well as our past. I think that art will continue to expand to other fields as well, such as the sciences. The merging of science and art will result in a more universal knowledge of science, which is important for our society to grow. I hope that the snobbish/pretentious aspects that revolve around art historians/art students will deminiss. This will happen more and more with art being placed outside of the white cube (such as art fairs, media, etc), so it is more available to citizens outside of the art world.

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