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 Paragraph

Terry Smith’s, “What is Contemporary Art?” begins with specifically addressing the term “Contemporary Art.” Smith then explicates what the term entails, in the form of what structures and formulates the initially vague and ambiguous appellation. It’s then furthered by the assessment that contemporary art is forever changing, as well as, something that will be forever present. Using the Vernissage, Artforum, and the Guggenheim as recognizable exhibitions, magazines, and museums to provide specificity of the commonality and presence it’s taken in our daily lives. This awareness of it in humanity’s collective conscious then goes on to help refine what contemporary art is. Smith states that contemporary art is what we make, it is what we define it as. This ties back to the earlier point in that its always morphing and branching out into newer forms, techniques, styles, etc. Advancing on that point, Smith then deals with the way contemporary art is and what it means is debated and not concrete. Some may see it as art lacking historical context, in that it’s present. While others see it in a very historical context, in that it deals with what is happening in the world in that specific point in time. Another point that’s brought up is that artists must advertise themselves and their work in order to get an audience, this then leads to the problematic solution that some turn to, which is that they get this “attention” through crass and scandalous ways. But there are those who take the different route by giving their work some symbolic and deeper thought to make a statement about the current issues of the world. Smith states this is more important now than ever, because of our increasingly visual and globalized world.

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