ART-229: Survey of Contemporary Art

Liberal Arts
Fine & Performing Arts
Art (Art History)
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Survey of Contemporary Art
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Eligible to take ENG courses at HFC
Catalog Course Description

A global survey of major trends in visual art since the end of the Modern era. Examines the evolution of visual exploration and expression since the middle of the twentieth century and the impact it has manifested on contemporary society worldwide. Students will be encouraged to comprehend the context of contemporary trends and consider the artists' roles as image-makers in today's globally connected world. A field trip to a major museum, or other appropriate art site, is required.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement
  • An exploration and analysis towards learning and comprehending the fundamentals of various styles, methods and presentations of contemporary art in Post-Modern culture.
  • To encourage students to develop personal visual approaches in creating contemporary artwork within the 21st century society.
Core Course Topics
  1. What is Contemporary Art

    Demonstrate an understanding, awareness and appreciation to the history and development of contemporary art since the middle of the twentieth century

  2. Pluralities in Contemporary Art

    Demonstrate an academic knowledge of the development of the various trends within Contemporary art through understanding the chronology, political, religious and social development globally.

  3. Cross cultural influencs on Contemporary Art

    Understand the historic artistic interaction of contemporary art trends with major cultural developments throughout the world during the contemporary era.

  4. Discovering the Contemporary
    • Describe the history and development of Contemporary art.
    • Recognize different trends and styles.
    • Describe the different styles: Minimalism, Process Art, Environmental art, Institutional Critique, African American Critique, Feminist Statement.
  5. Appropriation and its Consequences: Power on Display, Space and Action
    • Explain appropriation theory.
    • Include the dates when it became a major strategy for contemporary artists, and explain why it did from a historical perspective.
    • Identify artworks in this area and explain how they deploy appropriation.

  6. Back to the Easel: Neo-Expressionism and the Return of Painting
    • Analyze the new approach in painting in the United States, Italy, Germany, and other countries.
    • Examine and understand the essence of “Art in the Community” and the “Mass Media”.
    • Understand the concept of “Commodities and Consumerism” worldwide.
  7. Memory and History
    • Describe the trend of memorializing wars, African American History, and visual documentation of civil wars.
    • Analyze major monuments worldwide.
  8. Culture, Body and the Self
    • Understand the artist utilization of the self and body as form and content, the body as social medium, and personal life and artistic practice.
  9. Global Contemporary Art
    • Describe the spread of contemporary art abroad to places such as Russia, China, Cuba, Iran, Japan, and the Middle East.
    • Understand the New Metaphors and New Narratives in painting, sculpture.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
  • Class discussions
  • Class participation
  • At least one museum visit
  • Assessment of Academic Achievement will be identified and implemented by the class instructor. Methods may include written tests and essay examinations, out-of-class papers, Internet assignments, library/museum projects, etc. These criteria will be thoroughly outlined and described in the course syllabus.

Determined by the instructor. Present suggested text is: Kalb, Peter R., ART SINCE 1980 Charting the Contemporary, Brandeis University


General Education Categories
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
MTA Categories
  • Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2022
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Fall 2022