Contemporary Art: World Currents argues that, in recent decades, a worldwide shift from modern to contemporary art has occurred. This has not, however, been a uniform change from one phase or styles in the history of art to another. Rather artists everywhere have embraced the contemporary world's teeming multiplicity, its proliferating differences and its challenging complexities.
Alongside more that 370 key works, Terry Smith shows how contemporary art achieved definitive force in the markets and museums of the major art centres during the 1980s and then became a global phenomenon as artworlds everywhere began to connect more closely. New communicative technologies and expanding social media are now shaping the future of art.
This book breaks new ground in tracing how modern, traditional and indigenous art became contemporary in each cultural region of the world. Diversity - the contemporaneity of difference - not a convergence towards sameness, Smith argues, is what makes today's art contemporary.