It may be social media and other media driving this view but the contemporary art world seems to be increasingly driven as a commoditised marketplace. There seems to be little room for anything that isn’t ephemeral or shallow.
Most contemporary art I see seems to exhibit little understanding of history other than the odd slogan that relates to a culture or happening, lacks intellectual depth and it’s often quite obviously designed to go on walls or equivalent not to move the heart, while making a loud noise but with no echoes. Its all about the moment not the afterlife. It’s high carbs no nutritional value. There’s little that explores the language of deep explorations of humanity. There’s little in contemporary art that can make you cry deeply.
It is of course totally of its time. Art is, by its nature, an emergent property of its time and the power structures in which it sits. Once you start viewing society through the lens of Complexity you start to see these emergences as natural properties of society as a whole. Some artists claim to exhibit depth by referencing their culture or some such trick, but end up only providing a narrow veneer of depth on the surface of the experience.
The disappointment is that the twentieth century provided and explosion of new forms in western art; it enabled thousands of new ways of doing things and opened up many new ways of expressing things. The contemporary art world feels like it only saw the surface effects but not the engine from which they sprang. It enjoys the effects of the carbs but not the substance of the ingredients.
There are loads of examples I wanted to link to to but I’m the end I decided that it wasn’t fair to name individual artists as most are well meaning.