Robby Gomez on Smith’s Article

After having read Smith’s article on contemporary art, I have a new understanding of what modern art is, and where it could possibly be going in the future.  Smith defines contemporary art as “a network through which the art of today presents itself to itself and to its interested audiences all over the world.”  Contemporary art is not just a visual presence, but an emerging and evolving subculture that has been growing since the 50’s.  It is a force that is in the very fabric of society hitting all aspects of life and not just in the galleries.  An important aspect to note about contemporary art is that it is not dominated by one type of style.  Smith later in her writings says that contemporary art will not be dominated by just one style.  Any styles that do last for some time will be anachronisms.

One key point that Smith makes is that even though the word contemporary did not come into discourse until the 90’s, artists some 40 years before had already started to experiment with the contemporaneity of their styles.  The descriptions of what kind of art matters today was a really interesting section of the read.  German critic Diedrich Diedericthehson says “A reexamination of the basic ideas of modernism in the light of the very contemporary cognizance that every detail of presentation and production is already contaminated by specific histories.”  What I got out of that quote is that contemporary art today has to have two types of moods; one mood which can accurately reflect the past styles that will be recognizable, and the other mood which will have to capture the essence of  the now without looking for the past.

What do I expect from contemporary art?  That is a most enticing question.  I expect a lot of pieces that I will be looking at in the near future to be difficult for me to comprehend, but the beauty of art is every viewer has their own interpretation.  I do not know how the art critics feel about computer imaging, but I think if used correctly, that focus could have an impact in the contemporary art world, but to say it is an expectation would be a strong statement.  I expect some artists will ascertain a simplistic style while other artists will be more vivid and complex.  Ultimately, I expect contemporary art to keep evolving new ways and ideas to convey messages through a multitude of mediums that will speak to its audiences.

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