Introduction to Contemporary Art - HART3150

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2023 to 2024.


This module examines a wide range of contemporary forms of art and artistic practice, and articulates some key distinctions useful for addressing the question of the place of art in culture. These include a discussion of ideas of the avant-garde, of modernity, and postmodernism. It pursues general themes and case studies of particularly controversial art objects, and investigates the different means by which our notions of art and of the artist are 'framed' today.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 48
Private study hours: 252 (102 hours for 15 credit version)
Total study hours: 300 (150 hours for 15 credit version)

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay 1 (1000 words) (20%)
Essay 2 (2000 words) (40%)
Seminar Preparation (20%)
Seminar Presentation (20%).

Reassessment methods

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Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Perry, G. and Wood, P. eds.(2004) Themes in Contemporary Art. Yale University Press
Heartney, E. (2001) Postmodernism, Tate Publishing.
Pooke, G. (2003) Teach Yourself Art History, Hodder & Stoughton.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate an understanding of a broad range of contemporary artists and their work in a variety of different mediums.
2 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the cultural, political and historical contexts in which key works of art have been produced.
3 Demonstrate an understanding, through a focused study of contemporary art, of a number of key theoretical and critical concerns relevant to the History and Philosophy of
Art programme as a whole.
4 Acquire, through a focused study of the contemporary art, a broad understanding of the range and diversity of approaches to the study of art within the multidisciplinary
History and Philosophy of Art programme.
5 Acquire a broad critical understanding of the different types of writing which shape the discussion of contemporary art.
6 Acquire a basic training in visual analysis of works of art, including how to 'read' and understand works of contemporary art.
7 Acquire a broad understanding of the various sites of production and display for contemporary art, the traditions associated with them, and the affect they have upon the
form and content of such work.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate developed skills of critical reading and analysis of a range of primary and secondary texts, including visual materials.
2 Demonstrate developed key skills of written communication, problem solving, and some degree responsibility for their learning.
3 Use relevant Information Technologies to research and present their work.
4 Demonstrate developed key skills of oral communication and working with others in a group, as well as gaining confidence in participating in critical discussion and debate
while remaining open to the viewpoints of others.
5 Locate a range of relevant learning and reference resources (including visual resources) within the Library, museums, galleries and the internet, and use them to support
their arguments and analyses.
6. Demonstrate improved ability to write coherent, informed and logical arguments in a well-organised and well-presented essay.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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