Introduction to Contemporary Art: 1945-Present
Focusing on the major movements and artists of the post-war period, this course allows students to learn methods, tools, and terminologies to critically analyze contemporary art in relation to social and historical context, critical debates, new media, and the changing role of the spectator/participant. What makes the art production postdating World War II engaging is that it not only raises the ontological question of what art is or can be, but also is concerned with endless possible ways in which the audiences can experience and engage with art. With these concerns in mind, contemporary art employs a range of new materials and technologies, questions the validity of intentionality and authorship, and addresses previously excluded audiences. It invades non-art spaces, blurs the boundaries between text and image, document and performance, asks questions about institutional frames (the museum, gallery, and art journal), and generates new forms of criticism. Much of the "canon" of what counts as important is still in flux, especially for the last twenty years. And the stage is no longer centered only on the United States and Europe, but is becoming increasingly global. There are no prerequisites. Requirements will include weekly readings in history of art, a visual analysis paper, a midterm and a final take-home exam, and active participation in class discussions.