Welcome to today’s art world. Record-breaking sales of contemporary art are matched by the high status of global art world events, displayed through the spectacle of celebrities arriving at Art Basel-Miami Beach, the publicity surrounding the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, or the dramatic self-destruction of Banksy’s Girl with a Balloon just as the final hammer came down at Sotheby’s auction house in London in 2018. How to make sense of it all? Like Banksy’s work, the art of today can be both playful and challenging, infuriating and trite. Today’s art is endlessly reflective and referential, mirroring the role of the individual in society.
In this course, students will learn to identify the key artists, as well as the central themes – from technology to globalism – addressed in contemporary art. Students will learn to evaluate how market forces such as galleries, art fairs, auction houses, and museums determine which artists are considered important, as well as how this dynamic is being altered by the rise of online art markets. Students will come away from this course feeling confident in their knowledge of art world trends and having boosted skills of visual literacy and understanding.
This course includes exclusive video interviews with artists Shirin Neshat, the Guerrilla Girls, and Martine Gutierrez (among others).
Students will learn:
- To identify key artists in today’s global art world, as well as the central themes addressed in their work.
- To recognize works by influential artists, thereby enhancing skills of visual literacy.
- To evaluate how market forces such as galleries, art fairs, auction houses, and museums determine which artists are considered important – as well as how this dynamic is being altered by the rise of online art markets.