Contemporary Art: 1945 to Present
Many people experience the art of our time as bewildering, shocking, too ordinary (my kid could do that), too intellectual (elitist), or simply not as art. Yet what makes this art engaging is that it raises the question of what art is or can be, employs a range of new materials and technologies, 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. The course will introduce students to the major movements and artists of the post-war period, with emphasis on social and historical context, critical debates, new media, and the changing role of the spectator/participant.