Contemporary Art Spring 2019
VA 3550 – Topics in Contemporary Art
T/TR: 1:00 – 2:30
As part of the course requirements, you will have to submit 3 exhibition reviews during the semester.
Review #1: due at the end of February
Review #2: due at the end of March
Review #3: due at the end of April
Each review is 2-3 pages long and must be typewritten.
Refer to the list of Museums in the syllabus and to the gallery list to find an exhibition. It must be an exhibition of contemporary art.
You can use one of the exhibitions at the Wallace Gallery on campus for one of the review.
First it is a good idea to get acquainted with exhibition reviews by reading magazines such as: Art in America, Art News or Art Forum. Each of these magazines has a substantial review section at the end and they all are available in the library. The Friday Art section of the New York Times also contains weekly reviews of current exhibitions in New York.
When writing a review, keep in mind that you are trying to inform the reader about an exhibition that you saw, and that she or he hasn’t. You need to include pertinent information: location, dates, artists, and to describe some of the works, so that you communicate to the reader a precise idea of what the exhibition is about. Then discuss what you found interesting, or not and why you liked or disliked it.
In most galleries and museums there are brochures or press releases and various materials that are available and free. Ask for them at the desk in galleries and at information desks in museums. These materials will help you to write a review with information regarding the artists or the show.
Your review should include:
1- The location (gallery, museum), title, name(s) of the artist(s), dates of the exhibition.
2- Describe the content of the exhibition from a general point of view: is there one or several themes, what are the mediums used, and most importantly, what are the issues/questions raised by the exhibition. Describe and discuss each of these aspects. If there is no specific theme, try to explain what the exhibition is about (a survey of an artist work, a selection of works from a certain period…)
3- Select a few objects (two are sufficient in most cases) that you find particularly relevant and interesting and analyze them more specifically. Analyze in details the visual and conceptual contents, the meaning, specific aspects involved.
4- You should do some additional research about the artist(s) and add the info to your review. Try to relate the particular exhibition or the works described to the career of the artist (is there a definite style, are they changes from previous works or previous exhibition, does the artist holds a place in a movement or a group of artists?)
5- Give your opinion about the exhibition. Support your opinion with specific examples/ideas.
USE FOOTNOTES WHEN NEEDED (when you reference a gallery or museum brochure, a press release or any other source of information, such as websites).
VA 3550 – Topics in Contemporary Art: Art Since 1980
Professor C. Bernard
T/R: 1:00 – 2:30
5-7 pages, typewritten, illustrations, bibliography
Due: first draft: March 26 Final draft: April 9
During class lectures this semester we discussed several themes and art forms in contemporary arts: we studied particularly identity, the body, and also included the theme of art and politics in various forms and media.
In this paper you will discuss one (possibly address several as they sometime overlap) of these themes.
The first draft includes: the presentation of the subject (1 page discussing the theme), the breakdown of the different parts (main body paragraphs), illustrations, bibliography (2-3 sources)..
Develop from first draft. 5-7 pages minimum, plus illustrations, endnotes, bibliography with 5-7 sources (books, articles, web).
Your final draft should include the following:
Select one of these aspects for your research paper and explain the reasons of your choice (why does this them appeal to you?)
Body of your paper:
1- A definition highlighting the different aspects of the theme selected and the meanings implied. For example If you choose to discuss identity, make sure you write about personal, communal identity, maybe virtual identity and links to technology. Talk about identity politics: feminism, gender, sexuality, race, ethnic and historical aspects of identity.
Do a similar analysis for Body, or Art and Politics if you choose these.
2- A selection of several works, at least five by different artists whose work reflect the theme that you selected. Include illustrations with captions for each.
3- A discussion of the works in relation to the different aspects of the theme highlighted in your definition. Analyze them (visually and conceptually) and explain how they relate to the theme you selected.
-Do not forget a conclusion
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