Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

HA4328 Post-Modern and Contemporary Art

Module Coordinator: Dr Yvonne Scott
Duration of the Module: Hilary term
Contact Hours: 2 lectures pw, and 1 seminar per fortnight
Weighting: 10 ECTS

This module examines the art of the last fifty years or so from the mid 1960s to the present day. Post-modernism simultaneously built on and challenged aspects of Modernism. Inspired by the challenges to the fundamental meaning and purpose of art by Marcel Duchamp, Post-Modernism found its initial impetus in the pivotal phases of Minimalism and Pop Art, leading in turn to new concepts, methods and styles as found for example in Conceptualism and Land Art, as well as to the adoption of ‘new’ materials involving time-based, performance, and lens-based media. We will examine the relationship between Conceptualism and traditional art forms like painting, as well as the emergence of alternative three-dimensional and installation formats.

While Modernism drew on the approaches of some artists from beyond the western hub and adopted a transnational perspective, this module will explore the extent to which Post-Modernism and contemporary art mark a decisive shift from an insular Western view to a more global approach embracing the art of other continents.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • recognize and identify the work of a range of significant artists during the period 1965-2015
  • explain the stylistic, philosophical, and/or theoretical bases of various art movements
  • critically analyse the political issues, thematic content and methods of representation of art over the period
  • understand the relevance of the wider cultural context for the production of art in the period
  • engage critically with a range of selected texts on the art history, visual culture, and critical theory relevant to art of the period
  • have an appreciation of the infrastructure for the exhibition of art


Last updated 30 August 2017 arthist@tcd.ie.