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Art: Contemporary Art

A guide for finding art information in ACC libraries.

Contemporary Art - Austin

Contemporary Art Museums

There are many contemporary art museums in the U.S. and the world.  Listed here are a few in Texas and a few around the U.S. and Europe.

Contemporary Artists

You might begin your exploration of contemporary art by looking up some of these artists. 

Especially look at their images on Google.   Begin asking yourself questions about the art:  How is it made?  Am I supposed to interact with this art?  Look up videos and newspaper and journal reviews of the artists who interest you.  See how art critics approach their work and learn more about their work and lives.

Better yet:  look at contemporary  art here in Austin!  You will find it every day  at the Contemporary Austin Museum as well as the Blanton Museum and a number of small galleries around town.  Find some of those galleries in this guide.

Ai Weiwei

Charles Long

Christo (and Jeanne-Claude)

El Anatsui

Felix Gonzales-Torres

Jenny Holzer

Kara Walker

Louise Bourgeois

Robert Gober

Sophie Calle

Thomas Shutte

Yinka Shonibare


Types of Contemporary Art

What is contemporary art?

"Art21 defines contemporary art as the work of artists who are living in the twenty-first century....

Contemporary art mirrors contemporary culture and society...

Diverse and eclectic, contemporary art is distinguished by the very lack of a uniform organizing principle, ideology, or -ism....

Contemporary art reflects a wide range of materials, media, and technologies, as well as opportunities to consider what art is and how it is defined...

It can be

  • process-based (performative, collaborative, spontaneous),
  • experiential, or
  • interactive (video, Web-based, multimedia, socially engaged), or
  • It can exist outside of traditional exhibition forums—including public spaces, site-specific locations, non-art sites—and is often presented in innovative ways—as an installation, an event, a performance, online, or as documentation of an impermanent work."

See this website for more info:

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