Close Request Information
Back to Online Course Catalog


As contemporary art continues to evolve and challenge, it finds new ways to engage the viewer. Introduction to Contemporary Art provides you with a roadmap for understanding contemporary art by examining critical works by artists including Donald Judd, Barbara Kruger, Tania Bruguera, Kara Walker, Julio Delgado, and Alfredo Jaar, among many others.

Through lectures and discussions, this course captures contemporary art’s complex trajectory, exploring the central themes, as well as the ideas behind some of the most important works of the past 60 years. By carefully studying the context of contemporary art, you will gain an appreciation of the impact that momentous social, political, and cultural events have had in inspiring dramatic innovation in the arts. At the end of the course, you will have acquired a comfort level with artworks that might have previously seemed challenging or inaccessible.

You will learn:

  • To identify and define the historical and societal factors which influenced the radical creative initiatives of the Twentieth Century.
  • To identify and evaluate important works that represent significant moments in the development of contemporary art.
  • To apply historical knowledge of contemporary art to the evaluation and critique of current artwork, art concepts, and artists.
The Details
  • Course Dates & Fees

    Course Dates & Fees

    Summer 2020 dates coming soon.
    Tuition includes six weeks of instructor guidance and an additional 90 days to review the course at your leisure.
    We offer this online course throughout the year with sessions starting approximately every four months. Contact us for more information.
  • Getting Started & How It Works

    Getting Started & How It Works

    SIA Online Community, our learning and networking space, opens two weeks before the course begins. This space provides an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the learning platform and introduce yourself to fellow students from around the world.
    Visit our How It Works page to learn more about the online learning experience.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    Week 1: Challenges to Painting: Minimalism and Conceptual Art

    • Introduction to Contemporary Art

    • Minimalism

    • Conceptual Art

    Week 2:  Expanding Media: Earthworks and Performance Art

    • Ideas and Meaning in Performance Art

    • Actions, Happenings, Events, and Situations

    • Time, Space, Bodies, and Audiences

    • Feminism, Bodies, and Performance Arts

    Week 3: Cultural Authority and Identity Politics - Strategies of Appropriation

    • Power, Identity and Appropriation

    • The Effect of Image Saturation on Society and Culture

    • The Collision of Media, Advertising, Mass Production, and Art

    Week 4: The Art of the Participatory Engagement

    • Social Practice (community engagement)

    • Other Kinds of Social Practice (political interference/social awareness)

    • Artivism and Art Seeking Social Change

    Week 5: Globalization and the Arts

    • Contemporary Art in Dialogue with Tradition

    • Keeping and Losing Identity in a Global World

    • Power Relations

    • Portraying Nationalism

    Week 6: Art and Technology

    • Data Manipulation

    • DNA, Biohacking and the Individual

    • Resistance to New Technologies

  • Faculty


    Georgia Krantz, Adjunct Faculty, Online
    Ph.D., ABD, Queen's University, Ontario; MA, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    Georgia Krantz is an independent art historian and arts educator with a focus on 20th-century art. She has taught art history at the New School and Pratt Institute and has worked as an educator and education consultant at numerous NYC institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Jewish Museum, the International Center of Photography, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Krantz has extensive university and museum education experience. She currently teaches graduate studies at the Interactive Telecommunications Program and the Interactive Digital Media program at NYU.
  • Certificate Of Completion

    Certificate Of Completion

    For each course successfully completed, you receive a verified Certificate of Completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
    Our digital certificates allow you to share new skills with various social media platforms, including LinkedIn. Successful completion is defined by each instructor in the course syllabus and consists, at the least, of regular, thoughtful participation in online activities and timely submission of assigned papers or projects.
  • Enrollment & Contact Information

    Enrollment & Contact Information

    Enroll Today

    Online courses are open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Registration takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.
    Terms and Conditions
    For further information or course advisement, please contact:
    Hayley Black, Admissions Advisor
    Tel: 212-897-6644 or Request Information

Have a Question?

Provide your contact information and we’ll send you more information about our courses.

Continue Exploring

Online Learning Home How It Works Student Stories Online Faculty FAQ Request Information Register