ARTH215-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

International Contemporary Art

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


This course provides an introduction to international contemporary art, focusing on developments in Europe, the USA and New Zealand since 1945. After looking at mid-twentieth-century tendencies such as Minimalism, Conceptual Art and Land Art, the course turns to consider some of the broader trajectories of contemporary art practice and criticism in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

This course provides an introduction to key concepts and tendencies in international and New Zealand art practices since 1945.  Artists considered include Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Robert Morris, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter and Roni Horn. The course explores issues and ideas that have been critical to shifts taking place in art and visual culture since 1945, including:

• debates regarding modernism/postmodernism;
• the breakdown of traditional categories and the emergence of new modes of engagement, and new media in the visual arts;
•  the political and ethical concerns of contemporary art;
•  and interactions between art, popular culture and everyday life.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course, students will have developed:
  • Knowledge of key critical debates that have shaped the study of contemporary art history.
  • Ability to locate contemporary art practices within their social, historical and theoretical contexts.
  • An awareness of the development of contemporary art in New Zealand and how this relates to international trends
  • The ability to critically evaluate evidence and present well-reasoned arguments.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 15 points at 100 level from ARTH, or
60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


ARTT102, ARTH109

Course Coordinator

Barbara Garrie


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Quizzes 20% Reading quizzes
Assignment 20% Tutorial Assignment
Essay 30% Research Essay
Exam 30% Final exam

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

There is no set text for this course; however Brandon Taylor’s 'Art Today', London, Laurence King Publishing, 2005, is recommended and provides an overview of some of the key ideas addressed in the course.

This book is on 3 hour loan in the Central Library.

(Image: Ash Keating, "Concrete Propositions", 2012. Presented by Gap Filler and Christchurch Art Gallery.)

Course links

Library portal

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts .

All ARTH215 Occurrences

  • ARTH215-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021