Guest Author, Global Art and the Museum project, ZKM, Karlsruhe, December 2010

by Terry Smith

Featuring an extract from the Introduction to Contemporary Art: World Currents (London: Laurence King; Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2011).

The following is taken from the Global Art and the Museum.

Terry Smith is acknowledged world wide as the leading authority in the theory of contemporary art. We therefore are honoured and grateful to have his consent to prepublish parts of the general introduction of his forthcoming book Contemporary Art: World Currents (London: Laurence King; Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2011). The text explains the contents and aims of the book. We have selected those parts, which break down the general phenomenon of contemporary global art into three “world currents,” which are distinguished from each other, and thus develop a novel analysis of the present situation in the art world. Thus, our text selection serves to awaken the curiosity of our website users to read the full arguments in the book coming out in 2011. The originality of the author’s approach, in emphasizing contemporaneity as the credo of a new faith, also emerges from his attention to what has occurred in late modern art since the 1950s. His career began in the context of the debate about Australia’s place in modernity in the 1960s. Making the Modern, the title of his Ph.D. thesis and subsequent book, indicates his point of departure for his present project, which could be called “Making Contemporaneity.”