Perspectives in Recent Art
What is the nature and role of visual art in the contemporary world? In exploring this question, we shall be examining how artists pictured and commented on the world we live in and experimented with artistic devices and new media that connected their art with larger social, social, political and cultural concerns - with issues such as class, social justice, race and human interaction with the physical world. The course is based on detailed discussion of individual artists' work, their interviews and statements as well as videos by and about them. It begins with figures who played a key innovative role in the radical 1960s and 1970s, such as Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys, and ends in the present day with the work of artists such as Kara Walker and Hito Steierl. This course will familiarize you with larger changes that have taken place in the art world of the past forty years or so, including the move from modernist to postmodern conceptions of art, the effects of globalization and the close and deeply conflicted relationship between visual art and the operations of modern capitalism.
Estimated cost of materials: $0-$50.
HISTART Concentration Distributions: 4. Modern and Contemporary, D. Europe and the U.S.
Textbooks/Other Materials: Gil Perry and Paul Wood, Themes in Contemporary Art (2004; recommended). Set readings will be posted on the course website
Course Requirements: Attendance and participation and completion of ungraded assignments (20%), mid-term test (20%), end of term test (30%), essay (5-6 pages; 30%)
Intended Audience: Undergraduates with some background in modern art and/or modern culture
Class format: Two one and a half hour lectures