Contemporary Art and the Post- 1989 Art World

Author: Tijen Tunali (University of New Mexico)

  • Contemporary Art and the Post-  1989 Art World


    Contemporary Art and the Post- 1989 Art World



Since the expansion period of the neoliberal capitalist economy in the late 1980s, contemporary art production and circulation have experienced unprecedented changes as contradictory as the contemporary socio-economic system. Since 1989 –date that officially marked the end of the cold war when the Berlin wall that separated the communist and capitalist worlds came down–the art world has a growing commitment to presenting a narrative of contemporary art that emphasizes its character intrinsically tied to transnational capital. This article points to these developments and argues that the institutional art world is not homogenous–neither globally nor nationally. Contemporary art practices are as uneven and internally incoherent within the art world system as much as outside of it. For example, we cannot put the Istanbul Biennial, Venice Biennale, Havana Biennial, and the Tirana Biennial on the same scale because their extent, audience, and ideological concerns are not the same. Each biennial has a different dialogical relationship with its local art community that affects the level of its integration to international currents. Drawing on the experience of researching the artworks and the art biennials for a decade, this paper evaluates some significant shifts that are taking place, in and as a result of the globalization of contemporary art.

How to Cite:

Tunali, T., (2017) “Contemporary Art and the Post- 1989 Art World”, Dandelion: Postgraduate Arts Journal and Research Network 8(1). doi:

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Published on
22 Jun 2017
Peer Reviewed