Week 1:          Introduction: What’s the topic?
Jan. 17/19

Reading: Terry Smith, What is Contemporary Art? (pages 241-271)

Assignment due Jan. 19 before class: publish a post with two paragraphs paraphrasing the Terry Smith and an additional paragraph with your own thoughts on what you expect from Contemporary Art.

Assignment due Jan. 23 before class: Post your intellectual profile


Week 2:          Abstract Expressionism
Jan. 24/26       Clyfford Still

Reading: Erika Doss, “Abstract Expressionism,” in Twentieth Century American Art, 2002, 119-137

Power Point Presentation on Abstract Expressionism

Please view the phenomenal resource of videos on MoMA’s website on Abstract Expressionism

Readings on Clyfford Still also available on the Resources blog.

Paper on Clyfford Still due Jan. 31, 6 am, 2 comments on other papers due Jan. 31 before class.


Week 3:                The 1960s
Jan. 31/Feb. 2       Minimal Art, Land Art

Required Reading: Anna Dezeuze, “1960s – A decade Out-of-Bounds,” in A Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945, edited by Amelia Jones, 2006, 38-59


Week 4:          The 1970s
Feb. 7/9           Conceptual Art, Performance, Video

Required Reading: Sam Gathercole, “’I am sort of sliding around in place … ummm…’. Art in the 1970s’” in A Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945, edited by Amelia Jones, 2006, 60-82


Week 5:          Modernism and Postmodernism
Feb. 14/16

2 required readings:
Eleanor Heartney, “Introduction to Postmodernism,” Movements in Modern Art, 2001, 6-12
Irving Sandler, “Postmodernist Art Theory,” in Art of the Postmodern Era: from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, 1996, 332-374

Extra-credit opportunity: answer Postmodernist Art Theory Questions, submit as hardcopy!

Feb. 23, 5 pm:
Lecture by Fredric Jameson
(an additional opportunity to review a scholar lecture)


Week 6:          Painting
Feb. 21/23      Gerhard Richter: Photo Paintings, Abstract Paintings and History Painting

optional reading:
Jason Gaiger, “Post-conceptual painting: Gerhard Richter’s extended leave-taking,” in Themes in Contemporary Art, edited by Gill Perry and Paul Wood, 2004, 89-133


Week 7:          The Pictures Generation / Appropriation Art
Feb. 28               Cindy Sherman / Jeff Koons / Richard Prince / Candice Breitz
March 1

no required reading for Tuesday

optional reading available:

Jean Baudrillard, “The Precession of Simulacra,” (1983)


Week 8:          The Role of Museums
March 6/8         Fred Wilson, Mining the Museum

Required Reading for Tuesday: Nicholas Serota, Experience and Interpretation

Required Readings for Thursday:

1. Brian O’Doherty, Inside the White Cube, Part 1, 1976

2. Andrea Fraser, “From the Critique of Institutions to an Institution of Critique,”
Artforum International, September 2005, 278-283


Week 9:          Public Art and Memorial Culture
Mar 13/15

From drop and plop sculptures to site-specific interventions
and community building engagement

no readings to give you enough time to prepare for the upcoming mid-term exam


Week 10:          Globalization and Post-Colonialism
Mar 20/22          Diaspora and Identity

Mid-term Exam on Tuesday, March 20

on the three readings assigned for this week


Spring Break


Week 11:        Art in Africa and on Africa
Apr 3/5             El Anatsui, Yinka Shonibare, Chris Ofili, Wangechi Mutu


Week 12:          The Asian Art Boom
Apr 10/12

Required Readings for Tuesday


Week 13:          Art from the Middle East
Apr 17/19

Required Readings


Week 14:          Latin American and Latino Art
Apr 24/26

April 30: Paper 2 on an exhibition and 2 artist lecture reviews are due.

Required Readings


Week 15:          Native American Art
May 1/3


Final exam: Monday, May 7, 4.30 – 7 pm, VAC I B 20

multiple choice questions on power point presentations and readings; open notes (can be typed), but the power point presentations or the readings themselves not allowed to bring

The readings posted earlier in the semester are protected by password: cuboulder

ultimate deadline for papers, comments and extra credits


2 Responses

  1. Not sure where else I should post this but one of the required readings for this week (Ramirez Highly Critical Utopia) is a practically unreadable scan.

  2. I wrote this on the blog last weekend but it was never fixed so I’m hoping this reading won’t be on the final. It wouldn’t be right for her to..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: