Postmodernism and the Visual Arts - HA679

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Spring
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5 30 (15) DR GF Pooke
(version 2)
View Timetable
5 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 (total 20 hours).
One 2-hour seminar per week (total 20 hours).

Total Study hours (including private study hours): 300

Method of assessment

100% coursework; Gallery evaluation (35%), Essay (45%), Seminar reading 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. Evaluate concepts (and chronologies) of the Postmodern with particular reference to painting, installation, sculpture and performance art practice;
2. Identify, define and situate key terms within contemporary art theory and practice;
3. Describe influential and alternative approaches to ways of making and conceptualising art which have characterised the Postmodern period;
4. Explore the demise of Modernism, and consider the plurality of art which followed as a partial response to earlier visual and critical orthodoxies.

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