Terry Smith


From Multiple Modernisms to global contemporaneity: Where, when, how, why and in whose interest?

The ways in which artistic modernism and social modernity are being remembered and historicized have been profoundly impacted by the advent of contemporary art, and, more generally, our passage into global contemporaneity. How do we now see the history of mainstream modernism? Does the “multiple modernities/polycentric modernisms” picture of art evolving differentially at various art-producing sites around the world during the twentieth century adequately ground the most viable historical perspectives on the various currents within contemporary art? Why are so many artists, curators and historians drawn to revisit the Postwar period as the primal scene of the present?

Terry Smith is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and Professor in the Division of Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought at the European Graduate School. Recent books include What is Contemporary Art?
 (2009), Contemporary Art: World Currents (2011), Thinking Contemporary Curating (2012), Talking Contemporary Curating (2015), The Contemporary Composition (2016) and One and Five Ideas: On Conceptual Art and Conceptualism (2017).

From the conference Multiple Modernisms. A Symposium on Globalism in Postwar Art.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art 2017