Magazines to Read to Keep Up with the Contemporary Art Scene

Written By Alla Levin
May 17, 2016
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Magazines to Read to Keep Up with the Contemporary Art Scene

If you like to keep up to date with what is happening in the contemporary art scene, there are a number of publications worth reading, especially if you want to enter the art world yourself.

Art magazines offer access to what is going on in the art world right now, giving readers exposure to trends, and discussions with artists about their work. Arts magazines also serve as bulletin boards for the arts scene, with listings and advertisements, often invaluable to those seeking entry into the scene.

Elvis Presley © Alfred Wertheimer

When it comes to choosing a contemporary art magazine, one of the first questions you should be asking yourself is whether you want a general interest publication or one aimed specifically at a particular sector within the arts.

A general publication may well suit those starting out, but for those already involved in the arts, seeing what is out there across different sectors is a great way of keeping up to date with trends. You never know where inspiration might come from.

For the uninitiated, the contemporary art scene is about more than just painting and sculpture.

Contemporary art cover areas such as photography, computer art, graphic design, architecture, and video/film. The wide range of publications covering the art world reflects this, with titles as diverse as Sculpture Review and Modern Painters, and the architecture and design title Blueprint.

Other publications cover the arts with an emphasis on particular themes and how the concerns they raise are reflected in the work of individual artists.

Publications in this vein that you may be interested in would include Afterimage, with its emphasis on art as social dialogue and the artist as a cultural critic, and Third Text, a bimonthly journal seeking to challenge what it perceives as the focus on the so-called Western Academy with a more global orientation.

Marilyn Monroe reading in the woods
Marilyn Monroe

You should keep in mind the international spread of the arts. There is not a corner of the globe where the arts scene is not present, and keeping up to date with trends from other cultures gives you as broad a view as possible as to what is happening in the arts.

Leap, a magazine covering contemporary art in China, is a bilingual publication, making it readily accessible to Western readers.

To give another example, ArtAsiaPacfic gives you a flavor of what is happening in the arts scene in the broader Pacific region. Louise Blouin is someone who knows all about covering the contemporary art scene.

Her Louise Blouin Media, which is based in New York, is an art magazine and book publishing company, offering broad coverage of the contemporary art world through such titles as Art+Auction, the aforementioned Modern Painters, and Gallery Guide.

Keep Up with the Contemporary Art Scene

Artwork by Dan Quintana

Keeping up to date with what is happening in the art world is as easy as picking up a selection of magazines. For those individuals who do not have easy access to galleries or are based far from the major arts centers, art magazines are a great way of keeping abreast of developments and trends.

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