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Art 210

Contemporary Art in Canada

Credits: 3

Length of Course: 14 weeks

Classroom Hours per Week: 4

Prerequisite: Fine Art 100 and 12 credits.

Corequisite: English 100

Text: The Visual Arts in Canada: The Twentieth Century. Latest Edition. Whitelaw, A., B. Foss, and S. Paikowsky

Course Description:

This course will provide an introduction to specific themes or issues in art produced from the mid-20th century until the present in the geographic region of Canada. Organized to focus upon specific themes or issues, it will illustrate and analyze regional and ethnic diversity, sociopolitical interests, and international influences upon contemporary art in Canada. Influences such as the artist-run centre movement, activism, First Nations work, new-media art, and the landscape tradition are discussed. A wide range of topics, from painting to new media, Canadiana to diversity, Realism to Conceptualism, will be critically examined.

Course Outline:

Week 1 Course Introduction
Week 2-3

Framing Canadian Visual Culture: The Role of Art Institutions in Defining Canadian Art

Week 4

Visualizing Diversity: Gender, Ethnicity, Class

Week 5

Inuit Art: Artmaking and the Northern Economy

Week 6-7

Photography: Documentation and Expression

Week 8

Sculpture and Installation: Interactions with Space

Week 9

Conceptual Art: Parameters and Agendas

Week 10-11

Contemporary First Nations Art: Individuality and Activism

Week 12

Video and Performance Art: Identity and Experimentation

Week 13

Recap: The Future of Art & its History in Canada

Week 14

Final Exam


Class Participation: 20%
Written Assignments 30%
Midterm Examination 20%
Final Examination 30%

Instructor: Kristina Thornton, M.A. (Queen’s)

Transferability: See