• All Levels
  • Interdisciplinary

Explore the evolution of art from 1965 to the present day with gallery tours,studio visits and selected readings. This dynamic course is designed to facilitate the understanding and interpretation of contemporary art by introducing students to some of the themes, issues and structures of current art practices. The emphasis is on experiencing art first-hand: visiting the galleries exhibiting the most challenging, relevant art.  However, well-selected readings responding to the work in the galleries will be sent to the class as optional reading. The stylistic and material diversity of  contemporary art is surveyed in this course: practices ranging from traditional media like painting and sculpture to new media like digital works and installations are considered and contextualized, while numerous artistic modes such as appropriation, conceptualism, pluralism, identity art, and relationalism are also examined. Lively discussions during and after gallery visits,  visiting artists in their studios and optional readings will all be a key component of this course.

Over the years the class has made studio visits to speak to artists like Evan Penny, Stephen Andrews, Heather Nicol, Diana Meredith, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Nayland Blake.


UPDATE, Spring term: Studio visit with artist Catherine Heard

Catherine Heard is a multimedia Toronto artist whose practice encompasses installation art, sculpture painting, drawing, fibre art and new media. She has an MFA from University of Toronto and currently teaches at U of T and OCAD University.

Her work interrogates the histories of the science, medicine and the museum, while delving into primal anxieties about the body. Using visually appealing materials while dealing with discomfiting subject matter, her art oscillates between attraction and repulsion. She often employs traditional craft and historical techniques as foils for abject themes. 

Catherine Heard has exhibited in France, Denmark, Mexico, Canada and the US. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Canada Council Art Bank, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Art Gallery of Kamloops and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

Tuition: $335 + Guest Artist Fee: $60 = Total: $395

Notes: No experience necessary. Any entrance fees or transportation costs are the responsibility of the student.

What you will learn

  • Identify modes, discussion and issues relevant in contemporary art.
  • Visiting artists in their studios, visiting relevant exhibitions on contemporary art.
  • Learning the differences between artist run centres, public galleries and commercial galleries.