Contemporary Art Theory 1


This module aims to provide a foundation for learners in analysing the texts of contemporary art. Through lectures exploring key theorists in the shift from modernism to postmodernism and the contemporary, the learners will understand the logic behind the moves from formalist approaches to the more recent emphases on relationships, dialogue and the social in contemporary aesthetics. These theoretical ideas will be augmented by examples of contemporary art through the presentation of a range of audio visual materials, with adjacent textual resources, links and activities posted on Moodle. The module aims to deepen the students’ understanding of contemporary art and their own development as artists.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the roots of Post-modernism in the mid- 20th C.

  2. Recognize and analyse key works of art in their theoretical contexts from the period of the late 1960s to the present.

  3. Be cognizant of how and why the very concept of art and its relationship with society is changing.

  4. Understand and be aware of developments in aesthetic theory in the past 20 years.

  5. Be cognizant of the relationship of new technologies and materials to contemporary art production and practice.

  6. Become familiar with important literature and learning resources of the lecture topics.

  7. Write critical reflections on these themes, employing academic methods of research and citation.

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