From the 1960s onwards, art ceased to be defined exclusively in terms of painting or sculpture, even if these media continue to play an important role in the present-day art world. It is now common for artists to work across a range of different practices, from photography and film and text based work to performance and interventions in the environment. We shall be discussing the commitments and concerns that motivated artists to experiment with these different kinds of art making. We shall also be looking at the new forms of realism that emerged as a result. How artists respond to and visualize the political, social and cultural realities of the world in which they live is a central theme of the course.
Discussion is based on selected case studies, drawing on artists' interviews and statements, as well as on videos. We begin with artists such as Andy Warhol working in the 1960s and 1970s who continue to set the agenda for present-day practice, and then move on through figures who first came to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s, such Rachel Whiteread and Kara Walker, to the present day. The themes we explore include: the move from painting and sculpture to conceptual, photographic, environmental and performance based work, the interplay between the real and the imaginary in art of the period, postmodernism as a tendency in the visual arts, activism, and the impact of consumerism, identity politics, and globalization.
Estimated cost of materials: less than $50. D.4