Art in the Twenty First Century:
A Global Perspective
• Contemporary art has gone global.
• The venue, the subject and even that
economics of the art market.
• Art historians and critics have had to
find new ways of analyzing and
organizing material on the subject of
multicultural and cross-culturalism in
• Hybridity - the mixing of traditions of different
cultures to crate new blends and new concepts.
For Example, The Artist:
• Takashi Murakami
– Dubbed Japan’s Andy Warhol.
– Uses lots of self promotion
– Shows work both at museums and creates products for sale
in the mass media! Makes no distinction between art and
– Work aims to reconcile “high art” and “low culture”.
Fig. 22-2 P. 534 TAKASHI MURAKAMI. Tan Tan Bo (2001). Acrylic on canvas mounted on board.
Appropriation-was borrowing elements
form other artists work. Today
appropriation means referring another
artist’s work as a basis for one’s own.
High Art and Low
• These 2 concepts used to be considered opposites.
High art and high culture
• Referred to classical antiquity
• Was perpetuated through the artistic traditions of the
• These classics are associated with elitism.
Low Art or low culture
• Was a derogatory term used to describe popular or mass
• Generally includes popular music, tattoo art and kitsch.
For Example the Artist:
Jeff Koons - questions high art and low culture with manipulation
of ordinary familiar objects.
• A reaction in art to the
retreat of the European
empires, in the former
colonies have complex
relationships with past
For Example the Artist:
• Hew Locke
THE CARIBBEAN AND
Art produced by the people of and from
the Caribbean and Latin America tends
to reflect these themes:
– The residue of colonialism
– Political conflict
– And what life means day to day.
Fig. 22-6 p. 558 ALEXANDRE ARRECHEA. Architectural Elements II (2004). Chromogenic print. 43 1/4” x 31
Fig. 22-7 p. 558 JEAN URRICK DESERT. The Burqa Project: On the Borders of My Dreams I
Encountered My Double’s Ghosts (2001). Flag-textiles, dye, lace. 63” x 118”.
Fig. 22-8 p. 559 MIGUEL LUCIANO. Plántano Pride (2006). Chromogenic
print (platinum plantain). 40” x 30”.
Fig. 22-9 p. 560 ENRIQUE CHAGOYA. Illegal Alien’s Guide to Critical
Theory (2007). Color lithograph. 24” x 40”.
• The United Kingdom -
• Damien Hirst - establish his
reputation as one of the “yBa”
generations (young British
• He makes conceptual and
installation art that aimed to
aesthetics, ethics, morality,
and to some plain good taste.
• His diamond-encrusted skull
fits with the artist’s liking for
anatomy and sensation.
Fig. 22-15 p. 563 ANSELM KIEFER. Sonnenschiff (2007). Concrete, earth, iron, lead, sunflowers.
Fig. 22-16 p. 563 RINEKE DIJKSTRA. Stephanie, Saint Joseph Ballet School, Santa
Ana, CA, USA (2003, March 22). C-print 128cm x 107 cm framed.
Fig. 22-17 p. 564 PIPILOTTI RIST. Frame from Related Legs (Yokohama
Fig 22-18 p. 564 SANTIAGO CALATRAVA. Chicago Spire, Chicago.
THE MIDDLE EAST: Iran
Fig. 22-19 p. 565 SHIRIN NESHAT. Still from Passage (2001). Color video installation with
Fig. 22-20 EMILY JACIR. Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages Destroyed, Depopulated and Occupied by Israel
in 1948 (2001). Refugee tent, embroidery thread, daily log of names of people.
Fig. 22-21. P566 ADI NES. Abraham and Isaac (2005). Chromogenic print. 100 cm x 100 cm.
Fig. 22-22 p. 567 ZAHA HADID. Performing Arts Centre, Abu Dhabi.
Fig. 22-25 PRAJAKTA PALAV AHER. Ganpati Series (2007). Acrylic on
canvas. 96” x 72”.
Fig. 22-26 p. 569 ZHANG XIAOGANG. Big Family (2003). Lithograph in
an edition of 199. 27.5” x 32.5”.
Fig. 22-31.p. 572 SHANGHAI KOHN PEDERSEN FOX ARCHITECTS.
Shanghai World Financial Center (2008).
Fig. 22-32 AKIRA YAMAGUCHI. Votive Tablet of a Horse (2001). Oil,
varnish on plywood, 182.5 cm x 183cm.
UNITED STATES AND
• Contemporary artists continue to
challenge the use of tradition medium.
Figure 22.36: MATTHEW BARNEY. Cremaster 2 (1999), from the Cremaster film series (1994–2002).
Silkscreened digital videodisc, tooled saddle leather, sterling silver, beeswax, polycarbonate honeycomb, acrylic,
and nylon vitrine, with 35 mm print; digital video transferred to film with audio, 1:19:00, vitrine: 38 3⁄8” x 40” x
46 5⁄8”. Edition 8/10.
•Race, color, and stereotype is another big topic in contemporary art.
Figure 22.41: LORNA SIMPSON. Still from Easy to Remember (2001). 16 mm film transferred to DVD, sound; 2
• Why were there so many artistic movements
in the most current centuries?
• Do these movements reflect the historical
periods of wars current events and economic
times? Give 5 examples
• What were these artists and movements
trying to convey?
• Why do artists feel the need to create art?