Sarah Tye Terry Smith

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Terry Smith begins his essay with a critique of the institution of art. He argues that museums and auction houses have adjusting what they exhibit to the likes of the demographic. Really, they are reshaping what it is to be valuable art based increasingly on what people want to see, and often times the museum design outshines the art itself. The standards for art are constantly being altered, and that is an important component in the reception of contemporary art. These changing standards of art are in a way in a decline, as there is not as much value placed on the history or knowledge of the history of art. Nevertheless, art continues to be a prominent world relevant to many other aspects of society.

He sees postmodernism as a transition between modern art and contemporary art, and thereby excludes art prior to 1980 from being classified as contemporary art. He then goes on to say contemporary art seems to be experiencing a period unlike any other of the past. The art world is no longer focused on founding new movements or creating new –isms. We have entered a period where instead is devoted to a range of styles and trends that are fed to the public through an increasing number of sources.

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