Art for the Sake of Museum

I found the discussions involving museums to be particularly interesting. Museums really did not begin until the mid 19th century, or at least not the term “museum” itself. Museums seem to define art, rather than art defining the museum. But what do we acknowledge as art in a museum? An artist can quite literally put a urinal in a museum and have it considered art (Fountain of Duchamp). In my opinion, the museum seems to be the inspiration for many different styles of contemporary art. Minimalism seems only to exist because of museums. Since minimalism is all about the viewer and their relationship to an object or series of objects, we could quite easily have a minimal experience outside of a museum while observing a wall or a box. What makes the minimalist movement interesting to us the fact that it does exist in a museum. Furthermore, we almost seem to be making art for the sake of art. This generation is stuck between modernism and postmodernism, but with the contemporary art movement we have seen a distinct movement for art that conceptually questions art. It seems we are going down a slippery slope of concept, creating a purebred art form. The alternative “hybrid” art from would be focused in multiple subjects for artistic inspiration such as science, religion and the like. After Abstract-Expressionism, it seems that Postmodernist artists made art specifically for the museum context to challenge viewers to ask, what is art? Is this art because it is within this context?

We put so much importance in modern art, often acknowledging art with utility as “artifact.” We put a heavy importance in conceptualism, rather than aesthetic. I think these things are because of the existence of the museum, but whether that is a good or bad thing is debatable. I have found that in our generation is embracing aesthetic as much as conceptualism. For example, Ofili’s Afrodizzia that we discussed in class today is equally based in aesthetic and concept, and not only that, but is also created to evoke a lighter feeling in the viewer, a humorous feeling even.We are going to find significantly less lava lamps and toilet seats in our museums over the next couple of decades.

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