Clyfford Still Paper- James Stahl

My Clyfford Still paper: The Clyfford Still Museum: The Mythology of Abstract Expressionism and the Fantasy of American Exceptionalism.

clyffordstillOne

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.   Continue reading

Terry Smith “what is contemporary art?”

Contemporary art is from about 1980’s to the present and is hard to categorize. Contemporary art is constantly changing with no apparent focus unlike the postmodern era or for that matter, other eras. Continue reading

Smith Paragraph

Reading Smith’s article really forced me to address my own ideas on what Contemporary art is and what defines a movement?  Smith points out the issue of time, audience, collective thought and continuity between the pieces and artists.  It seems that without eyes and ears in the future there is no way to define Contemporary art.  It encompasses so many mediums and styles that creating a uniform definition would be near to impossible.  Smith points out that Contemporary art struggles with pleasing all of the audiences who have their eyes on the work.  There are the students, the curators, the critics and even political figures who all want to see the art that floats towards their agenda.

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Smith Paragraphs

As displayed in Terry Smith’s “What is Contemporary Art?” the new style, beginning roughly in the 1950s, is almost un-definable, which allows it to be considered contemporary. Unlike former styles of art that are historical accounts of a period, contemporary art does not necessarily reflect any one decade or society from the last 60 years. Alternative mediums, styles, and content make this type of art harder to interpret but more appealing to a mass audience. This wide attraction does not discount the art or its powerful influence of the visual culture we live in, but parallels globalization’s consumer obsessed society.

Cultures and societies internationally are producing distinct art allowing for a massive movement that is inclusive rather than narrow. Broader ideas are accepted and celebrated within contemporary art, as there are no definitive style or locale.

After reading this article, it is exceptionally clear that contemporary art is what each individual makes of it. As a cross-cultural movement, I am looking forward to studying art from countries around the world and developing a further understanding of the diversity art can be.

Smith Reading

In his book, Terry Smith is attempting to define Contemporary Art.  Although he breaks the chapter down into many subsection he always comes back to this idea of what Contemporary Art is.  On page 241 Smith defines Contemporary Art as “the institutionalized network through which the art of today presents itself to itself and to its interested audiences around the world.  Smith uses that definition as a launch pad into other aspect of Contemporary Art including the definition that stuck out the most for me.  I agree with Smith’s notion that perhaps Contemporary Art cannot be defined and until we can look back at this time and interpret it in the context of another era I do not think that a solid definition can be attained.

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Thoughts on Smith’s Article

The problem with the term Contemporary Art is in the need to categorize time periods. The paraphrase of Fredric Jameson on page 245 of the article says it well. Can there be post-contemporary art? What comes after that? From my perspective, contemporary art is the art being created in the present, which quickly becomes past, which will be labeled something (usually unclever) as a period of “thought” in the future. I understand that there needs to be a system of labeling in order to speak about broader ideas with others. It is necessary to hear whether someone is talking about Romantic Art, Abstract Expressionism, or that thing Jeff Koons is trying to do. Let the art historians in the years to come deal with the labeling. We will make art.

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Terry Smith Paragraphs

Terry Smith’s “What is Contemporary Art?” centers around the question that many ask themselves, and that is: How can Contemporary Art be defined? Smith is confronted with the issue that Contemporary Art is everywhere and it is hard to differentiate between pieces that fall into its category. While other scholars discussed in the article, such as Timms and Stallabrass, put definitions to Contemporary Art, Smith is always drawn back to the point that such a broad topic cannot be defined in such a simple manner.

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Smith article (Jackson Ellis)

In an attempt to define contemporary art’s unifying style, Terry Smith discusses the the distinction between modern and contemporary art, bringing to light the ideological differences that make contemporary art such a unique phenomena in the history of world art. Terry Smith asserts in her article that art is international, and contemporary art is a result of the social and historical forces that were important at the time of making the work. Despite the wide spread of international artists, all share the common influence of modern day society in a globalized world. Modern and contemporary art is not a unified movement of aesthetics, but rather a conglomerate of shock tactics and new mediums. After the rise and fall of movements such as minimalism and conceptualism, the modern movement would be the first to bring about an era of periodlessness, where no defining “house style” would be prevalent. Smith attributes this shift to the changing face of society that has come to usher in an era of an abundance of visual stimulation, an era that emphasizes grandiose spectacles and celebrities, resulting in an art movement that is disorganized and obsessed with the idea of advancing ones own name through mainstream popularity.

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Terry Smith (Alysa Sharp)

Throughout the Terry Smith reading she tries to answer the
question of “what is Contemporary Art?” She takes the audience
back to how Contemporary Art branched out or came to be but
figuring out where its beginnings came from is difficult to
know. As she points out the “beginning” can mean any time
before the current decade but she says that the 1950s and
1960s is where the shift to Contemporary Art occurred. Smith
writes how Contemporary Art is a “culture that matters”
meaning that it influences and is influenced by the
subcultures, local cultures, and the international cultures
that surround it; it “mobilizes nationalities” in specific and
complex ways.

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Smith Article

In simple terms, Terry Smith addresses the debate of defining contemporary art. He asserts that it is so difficult to define because it is current. Past periods of artistic production have been categorized by titles, themes, -isms; for example, Classical art, Renaissance art, Expressionism, or Modernism. Smith states “that the present cannot be grasped until it becomes, in some sense, a past” (page 253) and describes the difficulties of categorizing the wealth of contemporary art while we are still within this period. To my understanding, the most unifying idea amongst contemporary art is the idea of being in the present, our relationship with time, and how fleeting that is. Contemporary art is feared to be “periodlessness” and perhaps not categorizable like art movements of the past, but I agree with the notion that is seems premature and overwhelmingly difficult to look historically at something that isn’t history: the present.

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Smith Paragraphs

What is contemporary art?

In Smith’s book, he points out that there are many different ways to talk about defining contemporary art. Generally all these definitions can be used to explain how art historians are trying to define art that has no canon and no historical hindsight. For this reason some scholars believe that Contemporary Art is a kind of art that lives outside of a historical context. Certainly because of mass media and greater distribution, art is no longer stuck in a particular geographical place ie; the great wall of China can now be viewed by anyone using pictures or any simple google search. So it is possible to say as Smith does that this art is no longer stuck in a particular time period for it’s understanding.

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Smith Paragraph

Smith’s article, “What is Contemporary Art?”, breaks down the different interpretations of what “contemporary” actually means. Contemporary Art is categorized in a variety of manners. It has been defined as an intense proliferating global structure with its own values and discourse and is often understood as being very distinct from “modern art”. This distinction arrises from how we create art in the present, because in order to create contemporary art, we must make ourselves familiar with art history and how the artwork reflected the time in which it was created.

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Smith Reading

Terry Smith’s paper on contemporary art is an attempt to create an understandable definition of an art genre that has come “after the end of history” to a population turned consumer audience. Words that Smith uses in close association to contemporary art are institutionalized, network, “iconomy”, media, politics, periodlessness ect… Smith discusses worldly currents that that have had a powerful impact on all the images we absorb daily. Contemporary art has emerged via immense globalization, interactive access between societies, and values such as diversity and identity. Contemporary art is difficult to define as much of the work produced does not “look” contemporary or uniform. Another challenge in defining art as contemporary, is that you subsequently have to define the end of modern.

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Smith Paragraph

Contemporary Art has several different meanings and interpretations.  It takes place in areas such as fashion and design, politics, and education, while having a constant expansion in the art world.  It has been a continual question on what “Contemporary Art” would transform into.  Some questioned if it would ever become “periodlessness”.  It has transformed into a permanent “unfolding of the visual arts”.

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Smith Article

Smith’s article “What is Contemporary Art?” discussed the many definitions and possibilities of what contemporary art may be. Smith touches on the shift in ideals about art and exposure of it. Art moved from an exclusive, elitist sort of privilege to something that can be accessed and experienced by everyone throughout the world, making it contemporary art. Smith also talks about the influence of popular culture, media and economy on so called “contemporary art”.

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Smith Paragraph

In Terry Smith’s, “What is Contemporary Art?” he defines contemporary art right away.  Smith explains it as the institution through which today’s art presents itself to itself and to many spectators all around the world.  Contemporary art can have many different definitions and can take on many different forms.  Terry Smith says that it is its own subculture with its own values and discourses.  Smith shows just how much contemporary art changes.

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