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Contemporary Art History Short Course

Course description

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.
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.

Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain things in easy to understand, accessible English. If they need to use any special terminology they will make sure they explain what they mean.
  • New methods will be shown to students through live demonstrations, in a way thats crystal clear and easy to understand.
  • Experience life on campus
  • Network and share ideas with students from across the globe
  • Access the technology and materials relevant to your discipline
  • Shop in our college shops for any materials you might need
  • Ask questions of your tutor in real time
  • Receive feedback and critique on your assignments
  • Experience the many sights of London on your down time

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • We always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are great to compliment your cv.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


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


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.

Meet the Tutor:

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. Although all levels are welcome, this course is a continuation to Modern Art History.

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