Bowers Programs

Art in Context (6-part Lecture Series): Topics in Contemporary Art - Understanding Art Today

Presented by Thomas Folland, PhD
Part 1, January 12: Introduction to Contemporary Art

What is contemporary art and when does it begin? What is the difference between Modern and Contemporary? Why is contemporary art often so provocative and controversial? This first class in this series will answer these questions while introducing some of the major preoccupations of art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will overview some of the major themes and controversies that defined art since 1900 through looking at a select pairing of a group of artists whose work sharply articulates either a divergence or a confluence of contemporary concerns: Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso, Kara Walker and Betye Saar, Robert Rauschenberg and Willem de Kooning, Santiago Sierra and Vanessa Beecroft.
Part 2, January 19: The Disappearing Object: Sculpture, Assemblage, Collage, and Installation
Part 3, January 26: “This is Not to Be Looked at”: Conceptual Art and New Media
*Part 3 begins at 11:15 AM
Part 4, February 2: “It’s Not Me, It’s You”: Relational Aesthetics
Part 5, February 9: Art without Borders: Global Vanguards
Part 6, February 16: Painting is Dead. Long Live Painting!

Location: Norma Kershaw Auditorium | Onsite Lecture

Series package: Member $50 | General $65 (purchase the series and save the equivalent of one lecture!) PURCHASE TICKETS

Individual lecture: Member or with paid museum admission $10 | General $13 PURCHASE TICKETS

Online series package: Member $25 | General $50 PURCHASE TICKETS

Online individual lectures: Member $5 | General $10 PURCHASE TICKETS

Recorded online screenings will be emailed to ticketholders one week after each onsite event. Please note that the online version is not live and will not be available for viewing on in-person event dates.

TICKETS: Online. Questions? E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 714.567.3677. Proceeds benefit Bowers Museum Education Programs. Tickets are non-refundable.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons; Yinka Shonibare - Nelson's Ship in a Bottle 2010

Event details

January 12, 2022 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


2002 North Main Street
Santa Ana, California 92706
TEL: 714.567.3600

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