New LAC Course – Understanding 20th and 21st Century Art

New LAC Course – Understanding 20th and 21st Century Art

I just completed writing a new LAC course for art history (and other students?) looking at modern and contemporary art – art from the 20th and 21st. century.

Compared to writing a general art history course that deals with over 5,000 years of art production you would think that something covering a mere 112 years would be easy. In fact I found it much more difficult and had several false starts before I arrived at something that I was happy with and felt that students would enjoy.

There is a diverse range of work to consider with a huge expansion in media and themes and I know from experience that LAC students are from all over the world, so I have tried not to be too parochial in my choices of work to focus upon. I have selected work that is sufficiently well known to be accessible via both books and the internet, without concentrating on that which is perhaps only well known for its media attention. I have also tried to redress the male dominance that is evident in pre-20th century art history.

I know that many students find contemporary ‘artspeak’ difficult and frustrating and whilst they don’t want to be patronised they do wish to be credited with some intelligence. To many the world of contemporary art is a case of ‘the Emperors new clothes’ whilst at the same time, art galleries and exhibitions that feature contemporary work continue to attract huge audiences. I have therefore tried to assemble a course that will both explain and challenge. Previous students on the art history course have been most gracious in their endorsement of my approach and I now have many new friends all over the world. I hope that the new course will delight both old and new students and not be a barrier to my travels in the future!

Watch this space for details of the new course.

Stewart Roberts


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