This course offers a fast-paced survey of art theory and a variety of critical approaches to understanding how meaning is made in visual art. Through lectures, presentations, and group discussions, students will be introduced to a broad historical overview of how artists and thinkers have defined and interpreted art throughout the 20th century. We will cover such topics as the artist's intention and the role of the viewer in making meaning, art's relationship to pop culture and other forms of media (such as television and film), the nature of taste, and art's relationship to politics and activism. The course will cover these topics in terms of key historical categories (such as modernism and postmodernism), as well as key concepts (such as avant-garde, kitsch, irony, conceptualism and appropriation). The course will serve as a springboard for developing a critically oriented relationship to contemporary art, through which students will be able to discuss their own art practice.
209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 Tel: 212.592.2000 Fax: 212.725.3587