Friday, October 9, 2009

The pendulum continues to swing

Two recent stories have got me thinking about the state of contemporary art in this time we live in. The first is the recent announcement of the winner of the ArtPrize contest - the competition in Grand Rapids in which the winner of the $250,000 top prize was determined by public vote. The second is about the Biennial of the America's to be held in Denver next summer. Though (I hope) well intentioned, this contemporary art biennial is shaping up to be about everything but contemporary art.

It's caused me to wonder if this is actually a shift in the way the contemporary art world will run or just a pendulum that continues to swing in one direction during these times of American Idol. My guess and hope is that it is the latter and that as the novelty of new technologies like text-voting fades the focus will return to the art itself.

As an aside, I didn't hate the piece that won ArtPrize and was surprised to find out it was the only traditional painting in the top ten. I also imagine there were some very interesting conversations about art around dinner tables all across Grand Rapids, and that's not a bad thing.

1 comment:

  1. Money draws attention. Unfortunately, it didn't draw very much interesting art to this contest. I didn't hate the winning painting either, but out of the top ten it was the only silently impressive work (maybe the kinetic sculpture, but they needed to post a video!). The rest were, frankly, weak.

    I think this might be a blip on the radar of art after postmodernism, only because of the size of the prize.