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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Eric Fredericksen
ART 361
Seattle Campus

Critical Issues in Contemporary Art

Surveys critical ideas in contemporary art practice. Includes lectures by nationally recognized artists to introduce a wide range of artistic positions and practices. Engages students with the major issues informing contemporary art and new modes of practice.

Class description

Topics for Winter 2012 will cover current discussions in the field. These include relational aesthetics, the artist as worker, the de-skilling of art, social practices, art practice outside of the production of artworks and the role of contemporary art education. The class will combine weekly lectures by nationally recognized visiting artists with readings, discussions and screenings to introduce and develop the issues informing contemporary art and new models of practice.

Student learning goals

An understanding of current debates in contemporary art.

Introductions to the work of prominent early and mid-career artists.

Knowledge of issues that artist grapple with in their practices.

Ability to take positions within current debates.

General method of instruction

Artist lectures, readings, instructor presentations and class discussions.

Recommended preparation

A working knowledge of modern and contemporary art will be useful. Students should be comfortable reading and discussing art theory, philosophy, and literature. A willingness to grapple with difficult ideas is crucial.

Class assignments and grading

Take home midterm (20%) and final (40%) in essay format. Participation in class and online discussion groups (30%). An exhibition review (10%).

Percentages listed above. Grades are given based not on mastery of the material, but the quality of intellectual engagement with the topics.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Class website
Last Update by Eric Fredericksen
Date: 11/07/2012