Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2014


Mass media and art, Arts and society, Art movements -- Social aspects, Arts and popular culture -- 20th century, Arts and popular culture -- 21st century


We surround ourselves with visual art, from decorative mirrors and billboard ads to bedroom posters and hotel prints. These various genres of everyday art fall across a wide range, but many relate to or are inspired by institutionalized art. Those who already tend to visit or are inclined towards art museums are usually the ones who gain exposure to museum art, which often caters to their taste, but are still receptive to changes in the art that reflect our world and time period. One of the more major, recent movements in formal art is postmodernism, which developed from resisting societal bounds and corruption soon after World War II. A closely related movement is Dadaism, which immediately preceded postmodernism and was a direct reaction to the horrors of World War II and the American social structure of the time. Though both popular and institutional art have, especially recently, been directly involved with social affairs, museum art generally goes somewhat unnoticed by the public while art in the popular eye seems to follow a trend often unexamined by the art community. As the art community becomes more and more separated from general society, popular art and museum art need to both be considered significant, especially since there are still some universal trends in the purely visual pieces of current visual art. But although there seem to be some common traits in visual art from all genres that appeal to most observers, the popularity of certain artwork in the US and UK among all types of consumers has generally been determined by the immediate relevance and appeal of its social impact.

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