Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will:

  1. analyse issues that have faced contemporary art in the late 20th/early 21st century and in terms of historical, social, political and cultural contexts
  2. research and analyse the critical and theoretical underpinnings of various contemporary art movements and how they have influenced each other
  3. present research using appropriate technology.
    • Art theory and context
    • Practices of seeing
    • Art, politics and ideology
    • Commodity, culture and desire
    • Identity and the body
    • The persistence of abstraction
    • Conceptual art
    • Landscape art and the environment
    • Modernism and postmodernism
    • Art science and technology
  • Study resources

    • Online materials

      • Printable format materials
      • Resources and Links


You must have a high level of proficiency in the English language and competent essay writing skills.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject provides an introduction to the major theoretical issues of contemporary art with a strong emphasis given to contemporary practice. Theories of seeing and of cultural production are examined and illustrated through examples of contemporary art practices.

Please Note: If it’s your first time studying a Curtin University subject you’ll need to complete their compulsory ‘Academic Integrity Program’. It only takes two hours to complete online, and provides you with vital information about studying with Curtin University. The Academic Integrity Program is compulsory, so if it’s not completed your subject grades will be withheld.

Find out more about the Academic Integrity module.

  • Online test (20%)
  • Essay 1 (40%)
  • Essay 2 (40%)

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Textbook information is pending.

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