Smith Reading

I am not with it and thought I actually published this earlier…

Smith “What is Contemporary Art?”

Smith asks the question, “what are the implications of subjecting contemporary art to historical analysis?”  It is just within the last decade that art historians have begun to even consider Contemporary Art for canonical works.  Many art historians even considered Contemporary Art to be “post-historical.”  Smith theorizes that it is hard to interpret Contemporary Art because artists are younger and exhibiting work much quicker than in the past.  Also, much of Contemporary Art relies on being a “spectacle” and so taking it out of “the scene” can take away meaning.

According to Smith, there are three currents in Contemporary Art today:

1. “Retrosensationalism”: this dates back to the idea of shock art.  Many artists today use Warhol-esque ideas to create popular art that gets a reaction out of people.  Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons are mentioned.

2. Decolonization: the focus is moving away from Western/European ideals of beauty.  Newer artists are focusing on how local culture affects their perception, and their work.

3. Immediacy: Because of technology and the growing community of artists, Contemporary artists are more networked and so are able to spread their ideas more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

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