Art History and Contemporary Art the World Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Art History And Contemporary Art

The world is a complex place and the old, outmoded, Eurocentric way we look at politics, economics and culture (art) may not be the right way to conceive the new order. Globalism describes, in fact, the increasing unification of the world through economic means (reduction of trade barriers, support of international trade, and mitigation of export and import quotas). They goal for globalization is to increase material wealth and the distribution of goods and services through a more international division of labor and then, in turn, a process in which regional cultures integrate through communication, transportation and trade. The overall theory is that if countries are tied together cooperatively economically, they will not have needed to become political enemies. However, politics and economics do not exist in a vacuum, and art is part of culture and the historical paradigm of regions, countries and is part of . While this is primarily an economic determinant, nothing exists in a vacuum. Therefore, economics drive technological, social, cultural, political, and even biological factors. And, with this exchange of paradigms, there is transnational circulation of ideas, languages, popular culture, and communication through acculturation. Typically, we see the movement of globalization moving into the developing world as it struggles to become part of the developed world.

(Croucher 2004, 10).

When we discuss globalization in terms of art and culture, though, we must as ourselves some of the very basic questions about the nature of art. Art certainly evolves -- not just the medium of expression or the pervasive ties to culture, but the way we perceive and even define art. For example, many of the Ancient World's "art" was perceived in their time as merely functional (pots, illuminations, etc.). Art is easier to describe than to define, most particularly after the Renaissance when groupings of arts formed a nucleus of music, painting, sculpture, weaving, etc. As being something that creates a response to humans, which may be individual or shared. According to Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer and philosophers, art is not all about theory and aesthetics that tend to define art as something true, good, beautiful, or ugly -- but rather something that creates a specific emotional link between artist and participant.

If we think about art history, we are also thinking about history, and why it is important to think about the past. For example, what does studying the past tell us about ourselves or our future? One view says it is the self-questioning that looking at the past actually causes that makes the future possible, and that makes life worth living. Or, as Plato is said to have commented, the arts reflect the reality of society and therefore allow multiple generations the chance to experience that society.

In the same vein as mythology, art helps us form originality and archetypes -- a cultural sense of necessary cooperation that expresses emotions; whether that be in just the creative process of in our ability to move through time as we move through artistic experience. "The yoking of the myth of the artist… with the customary belief in places as ready reservoirs of unique identity" allows art to transcend time.

In fact, one interesting aspect of the human psyche is the way in which certain themes appear again…

Sources Used in Document:


Bittarello, M.B. (2008). "Re-Crafting the Past: The Complex Relationship

Between Myth and Ritual." Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 10(2): 214.

Croucher, Globalization and Belonging: The Politics of Identity in a Changing World. New York: Roman and Littlefield, 2004.

Fraser, A. "From the Critique of Institutions to an Institution of Critique." Artforum. 44 (1): September, 2005, Retrieved from:

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