The "What is Contemporary Art?" Assignment:

Select and PRINT out 3 images and your corresponding typed text for each image and bring to next class. 
(Printing on the least expensive printer paper from home is fine)

Assignment Details and Requirements:

Printed Image 1: an example of something cliché
Print a typed description of 50 to 100 words of the cliché image pertaining to why the selected image is cliché.

Printed Image 2: an example of a work of art (historical or contemporary) which has a substantial amount of a narrative and or metaphorical/symbolic content.
Print a typed description of 50 to 100 words for image 2 discussing the narrative and or metaphorical/symbolic characteristics.

Printed Image 3: an example of a work of art, which has contemporary ideas and will hopefully also present a substantial amount of metaphorical/symbolic content and/or demonstrates contemporary and innovative use of materials.
Print a typed description of 50 to 100 words for image 3 discussing the contemporary ideas and or innovations  the work offers as a contemporary work of art.

This assignment is weighted for one class and you will be allowed to revise this assignment before the documentation and evaluation of work occurs at the end of the first half of course.

Despite the potential for revisions it is still compulsory to have the 3 images along with the corresponding text for the 3 images all printed and ready in studio to pin up so the entire class can view and discuss everyone’s selections.

Please immediately email information of each image in terms of artist and title of work so I can post this information on the course website to avoid any duplication. Please check this course website at: to ensure you are not duplicating anyone else’s selections. 

Well before the deadline if you only have some of your selections completed email that information for the instructor to post and once you have all 3 selections finalized then send the information again will all the selections in one email. Additionally to this requested information for posting on the course website if you have any links and or jpeg images to correspond with the requested info that would be greatly appreciated. (this request for links and or jpeg images correlating with your 3 selections is not compulsory)

For Clarification here are some Suggested Readings, Ideas and Topics Regarding Contemporary Art:

Sample of Contemporary Ideas and Terms used in current art practices:





Sexuality (marginalization of people of an alternative sexual orientation or a cultural repression or misrepresentation of sexuality)

Globalism (21st C)


Post-Medium Art (Rosalind Krauss)


Semiotics (signifier and signified)


Environmental Issues





Irony or satire (re-contextualizing something that is cliché, conventional or kitsch)

Books at Fine Arts Architecture Library such as:

Brandon Taylor, Contemporary Art since 1970

Michael Archer, Art Since 1960

Edward Lucie-Smith, Art Tomorrow

Artspeak, (dictionary) Robert Atkins

Survey Art History Books at Fine Arts Architecture Library such as:
Marilyn Stokstad, Art: A Brief History 3rd ed. 2007 pages 582-598

Hugh Honour & John Fleming 7th ed. 2005 Chapter 22

Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting”, Barry Schwabsky

“Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing”, Emma Dexter

Journals at Fine Arts Architecture Library such as:

Art in America

Border Crossings

Art News


Art Forum

Art and Paper

Canadian Art

October (art theory and criticism)

Flash Art


Modern Painters

Art Journal

Yishu  (Journal of contemporary Chinese art )               


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