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Contemporary Art History

Contemporary Art History

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Irene Montero Sabín


This course will provide you with an overview of some of the most important themes and debates around contemporary art since 1980 to the present. The course is organised thematically and although all levels are welcome it is conceived as a continuation to the Modern Art History short course.

Each week the class will be exploring a different theme through some selected relevant texts, information delivered by the teacher—providing a context, chronology and examples—and, most importantly, through the direct interaction with the art on display at different galleries and museums in London, including visits to temporary exhibitions.

Topics covered:
This course will look at art from the 1980s to the present day – specific examples will vary as the course will change depending on what is being shown in the galleries at the time of your course but expect to cover the following themes:
•    Art and the spectacle of the market
•    New possibilities of the traditional media (painting, sculpture, photography)
•    Artists who challenge the establishment
•    Participatory and Performance Art
•    Gobalisation
•    Exhibitions, biennials and their histories


The course will provide you with critical tools and a wider knowledge of the complexities of contemporary art, to enable you to continue discovering and exploring at a deeper level the art that interests you.

Who should take this course:
This course is suitable for beginners to the topic, it is also an excellent follow up to Modern Art History.  


All levels

Entry requirements:


Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Irene Montero Sabín is a PhD candidate at University College London’s History of Art department with a thesis on contemporary art exhibitions and the 9/11 wars. She holds an MA in History of Contemporary Art (Manchester University) and an MFA (Universidade de Vigo). She previously worked in contemporary art publishing, as managing editor of the Spanish independent project Brumaria. 


Please bring a notebook and pen to the sessions.
The course will visit a number of ticketed exhibitions, although some tickets may be purchased by the college, please allow £50 to cover additional entry fees.

Available dates