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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