London is one of the world’s most vibrant centres of contemporary art. Full of enterprising galleries and artists’ spaces that have burgeoned across the capital, it has attracted artists of many different nationalities to live and work here.
This intensive course is aimed at students seeking to experience the art scene in London at close quarters and to learn about the wider historic and cultural implications of contemporary art in context, perhaps with a view to working in the field or to pursuing further study of the subject.
Students are introduced to the world of contemporary art in special talks given by artists, curators, academics and art critics. The market for contemporary art and the role of the contemporary art curator and the collector are also addressed, and visits are made to a wide range of commercial, public and studio spaces.
Through a variety of seminars and assignments, the course seeks to develop visual and critical abilities in relation to contemporary art practice, to foster reflectivity and independent research potential, and to assist students in the acquisition of knowledge and skills that are appropriate to the art world.
The course is introductory and requires no prior knowledge of the field. Sample Topics
- Art of the 1960s
- Conceptual art, 1970-80
- Appropriation to installation, 1980-90
- Contemporary art sales
- Art since relational aesthetics
- Art and photography
- The rise of the curator
- Art of the millennium
- Monumentality in contemporary art
- Alternative spaces in London
- Performance art
London is a major global centre for contemporary art. A wide variety of faculty-led visits to museums and galleries forms an integral part of the learning experience and enables students to gain a direct understanding of the artistic movements dealt with in the course. Sample London venues:
- Tate Modern
- Tate Britain
- Hayward Gallery
- The Curve
- White Cube Gallery
- Serpentine Gallery
- Saatchi Gallery
- Whitechapel Gallery
- Barbican Art Gallery
- East End and West End galleries
- Alternative/artist-run spaces
Students are assessed by a slide test and three written assignments (object analysis and comparison, exhibition review and contextual essay). These are intended not only to assist students in their understanding of the subject matter of the course but also in developing a range of transferable skills in the research, analysis and interpretation of objects.