ARTH5466: Contemporary Art

3 Credits

The art of today as it is practiced around the globe takes a bewildering variety of forms—from traditional painting and sculpture to AI, interactive digital media, film projections, bio art (involving human, plant, and animal blood, tissue and DNA), participatory and community engaged projects, and environmental interventions. It addresses urgent social and political themes including globalization, institutionalized racism, climate crisis, big data, and mechanized vision. Just as today’s citizens should inform themselves about contemporary politics and current events, so is it crucial that we understand the art of our own time. In this course students gain an understanding of art’s development since the late 20th century and key ideas that are central to interpreting the art of this period. The course begins with a review of important movements, significant artists, and influential theories and issues. It then takes up and studies specific themes through the reading and analysis of theoretical texts. Students are asked to read, participate in class discussions, complete guided or independent research papers, prepare an in-class presentation on one of the course themes, and complete a book review for a textbook on contemporary art history. Each of these assignments is designed to impart specific historical knowledge about the period of the contemporary, to provide students with opportunities to practice critical reading and synthetic writing, and to offer them a chance to inspect their own positions regarding key debates.

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All Instructors

A- Average (3.506)Most Common: A (45%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

29 students
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  • 4.06


  • 4.57


  • 4.37


  • 4.41



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