Postmodernism and the Visual Arts - HA554

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
(version 2)
View Timetable
6 30 (15) DR GF Pooke
(version 3)
View Timetable
6 30 (15)







This module explores a range of neo-avant-garde and post-war art practice from the 1960s through to the contemporary; from the Minimalism & Pop Art of the 1960s through to the YBAs and after. It will introduce and discuss some of the key artistic figures within the period, exploring their practice, critical contexts and legacy. Taking a thematic approach to one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse art historical periods, we will consider a range of genres – painting, sculpture, installation, performance and land art – exploring how artists have re-defined and developed their practice in the cultural period following Modernism. Artists exampled will typically include Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gilbert & George, Eva Hesse, Jenny Saville, Yinka Shonibare, Gerhard Richter and Rachel Whiteread.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture per week and one 2-hour seminar per week.
Total Study hours (including private study hours): 300.

Method of assessment

100% coursework: Gallery Evaluation (35%), Essay (45%), Seminar reading and synopses (20%).

Preliminary reading

- David Hopkins, After Modern Art 1945-2000 (OUP 2000)
- Grant Pooke, Contemporary British Art: An Introduction (Routledge 2010)
- Julian Stallabrass, High Art Lite: The Rise & Fall of Brit Art (Verso 2006)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate skills of critical and historical analysis of the moving image, together with generic intellectual skills of synthesis, summarisation, critical judgement and problem-solving, that will allow for the construction of original and persuasive arguments;
2. Demonstrate the skills of communication, improving performance, problem-solving, and working with others;
3. Communicate effectively, using appropriate vocabulary, ideas and arguments in both a written and oral form;
4. Read critically, analyse and use a range of primary and secondary texts;
5. Locate and use appropriately a range of learning and reference resources (including moving image resources) within the Templeman Library and elsewhere, including the internet;
6. Employ information technologies to research and present their work.
7. Demonstrate the acquisition of an independent learning style; for example in the preparation and presentation of course work, in carrying out independent research, in showing the ability to reflect on their own learning and by mediating complex arguments in both oral and written form;
8. Approach problem-solving creatively, and form critical and evaluative judgments about the appropriateness of these approaches to a level where a substantial degree of autonomy and self-reflexive awareness is achieved in these tasks.

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.