Introduction to recurring themes and practices in the visual arts. Moves beyond medium-based categories, surveying a diverse range of issues that motivate artists and create content in contemporary art. Examines the importance and influence of the visual arts in the larger context of contemporary culture and society.
During lectures and discussion sessions we will examine the importance and implications of the visual arts in the larger context of visual culture. We will consider how cultural, social, economical and technological changes have impacted the field of contemporary arts and how artists have responded to these changes. The emphasis of the course is on providing students with tools to engage contemporary art on discursive, critical and intellectual levels.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Readings and research assignments provide a direct, focused engagement with ideas, as well as creating s atrting point for discussion of these ideas in class. Weekly thematic lectures provide an overview of significant art movements, ideas, and artists related to the selected topics within the theme. The lectures create a contextual framework for the information and assignments presented. In addition, guest artists and other art professionals are invited to speak about their own work and art making process. These guest lectures provide students with an understanding of the diverse roles visual arts and artists play in contemporary society, with a growing awareness of issues of diversity, interdisciplinary approaches, and the effect of new technologies on both art and everyday culture.
No preparation is required. Students will be expected to visit downtown art galleries and museums throughout the quarter.
Class assignments and grading
Short weekly reading and writing assignments. Extensive midterm and final writing projects.
The goal of the course is to develop an ability think critically and actively about contemporary visual arts with their importance in the larger context of contemporary culture and society and with their implications for the art of the future.
Grading will be based on: Quality of weekly assignments; Quality of midterm and final assignments; Participation in lectures and discussions; Professional manner.