The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course investigates contemporary art practice from a critical perspective. Artists, curators, art-historians, critics and audiences have responded to radical change across visual arts disciplines since the 1970s, and students will gain an understanding of how postmodernism interrupted modernism and paved the way for contemporary art in the 21st century. Using diverse examples of visual art and related texts, the course engages students with recent and current conventions and issues in the visual arts. Students will gain introductory knowledge of the art world and its mechanisms to support visual arts industry careers including but not limited to studio production, arts management and education.

Availability2020 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Gain appropriate skills in research methodology in art theory and history;

2. Acquire a basic knowledge of theoretical concepts and changes in art history through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries;

3. Develop the ability to critically evaluate a given work of art, within its cultural context;

4. Develop the ability to express informed analysis in written and verbal form.


Topics may include:

  1. The expanded field of art practice
  2. Appropriation and originality
  3. Performance and the body
  4. Globalism
  5. Identity (gender, cultural, social and sexual)
  6. Art institutions, artistic agency and audiences

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written Project 50%

In Term Test: Image Analysis (Slide test) 25%

Presentation: Image Analysis Presentation 25%

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term