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Ocula ReportThe Lowdown: shows to see during Gallery Weekend Beijing16 Mar 2018 : Li Bowen for Ocula{{document.location.href}}
To coincide with the second edition of Gallery Weekend Beijing, taking place between 23 and 30 March 2018, various institutions have brought out the big guns, including a list of international artists from Sarah Morris to Paul McCarthy. Galleries are also gearing up for the weekend, from Liu Wei showing at Long March Space, to Richard Deacon at...
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Ocula ConversationHe XiangyuArtist, China{{document.location.href}}
He Xiangyu's second solo exhibition, Evidence, at White Cube gallery's Bermondsey space in London (7 February–8 April 2018) is somewhat different from the artist's first exhibition with the gallery in 2014 (He Xiangyu: Inside the White Cube, 22 January–13 April 2014). Gone is the crystallised residue of 127 tonnes of Coca-Cola that the artist...
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Ocula ReportSnowed Under: Armory Week 201816 Mar 2018 : Kat Herriman for Ocula{{document.location.href}}
At the opening of the seventh edition of the Spring/Break Art Show (6–12 March 2018), people were already talking about the blizzard. The neon lights glaring through the windows at number 4 Times Square gave the former floors of Condé Nast an atmosphere of urgency. The exhibition platform, which hosts curator-led projects, seemed as guerilla as its...
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Defining contemporary art is both complex and controversial, but the decision to include an artwork within the category usually rests on one temporal requirement: namely, that the artwork was created in the current century. Beyond this simplistic definition, however, it can difficult to pin down any universal principles that bind the pieces produced by twenty-first-century artists - though perhaps diversity itself might be understood as a general theme. Developing in parallel with the prevalent theory of postmodernism, contemporary art shares a commitment to pluralism and variety (rather than, that is, to stability and straightforward truth).

Some commentators speak of "modern contemporary art", with this term's conflation of the modern and the contemporary art models pointing to the murky boundary that separates the early-twentieth-century modernist movement from the sprawling latter movement that has ruled the art scene in recent decades. The two are indeed connected - with the contemporary fine arts essentially an outgrowth of the modern movement - but what definitively separates them is the clear set of principles that all modernist artworks share, as opposed to the relatively absent criteria surrounding contemporary artworks.

For all its experimentalism, though, contemporary art is not entirely anti-traditional, as semblances of prior artistic conditions - be that modernism, impressionism, or realism - can be found hidden within many works. Long-established ideas like the anti-establishment role of art and the artist in society continue to prevail in the contemporary art scene, with visionary creatives across the globe often using their talents to make political statements through art.

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