tmstrong / Smith Post

Simply complex; there are no boundaries that define what Contemporary Art is and Terry Smith explains and substantiates this in, “What is Contemporary Art.”  Unlimited and periodless may, perhaps, be the only way to explain Contemporary Art.  Transcending beyond one medium we can, quite literally, view an array of things as art; painting, photography, installations, architecture, film, sculpture and on, and on goes the list of what can be constituted as Contemporary Art.  Just as there is no one form of art there is no dominant style, which Smith calls to our attention, and makes the point that due to the freedom of contemporary artists and their work we may never see another dominant period of art.

The complexity of Contemporary Art lies not, so much, in analyzing the art but in the broad scope of all that “is” Contemporary Art.  This idea of periodlessness seems so hard to grasp because human nature, in general, desires to define and understand.  Smith speaks out to the explosion of artists and work being produced under the broad realm of Contemporary Art and the fact that one person’s view of what qualifies as art may differ completely from another’s.  One cannot help but resonate with the point he makes about a certain “haughty air” that is found among elitists of the Contemporary Art “scene;” the ability for an artist to be, ultimately, free from social criticism as well as to have the ability to use whatever venue they choose to communicate their work can give a sense of personal empowerment.  These characteristics make discussing Contemporary Art interesting yet very complex; just as there is no set time there are no rights and wrongs.

Art, more often than not, can be a difficult subject to analyze; history, religion, politics, geography and a million other factors can all contribute to art and artistic movements and how we perceive them.  Personally, contemporary art is something that tends to elude me because, inherently, I want to define things.  As someone who is passionate about both art and history both separate and collectively my hope, rather than expectation, is that I may be able to let go of preconceived notions I have had of Contemporary Art.  Critical thinking, as was discussed throughout the first lecture for the Contemporary Arts course, is crutial.  However, I firmly believe that knowledge is vital and if we are not constantly expanding our knowledge we are hindering the critical thinking process.

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