Katharina Fritsch, Hahn/Cock, 2013, fiberglass, as it appeared on Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth in London in 2013
understanding art today
Bower's Museum, Kershaw Auditorium
Lecturer: Thomas Folland, PhD
In this six-week session, lecturer Thomas Folland, PhD will ask the question: what is the key to understanding art today? Much of what has been made in the late 20th and early 21st century can be bewildering in its complexity and newness. Not only is it globally dispersed but it can be confounding as you find yourself asking: what exactly am I looking at? The gallery might appear to be empty or the museum might have a massive crack running along the floor. But it can also be exciting and thought-provoking when you learn to really see what you are looking at. Taking you through a range of topics, and representative artists, that comprise major themes of contemporary art, this series of lectures will explore the major themes of the 20th century that lead to the concerns and issues treated by contemporary artists. Also considered will be the redefinition of sculpture, as well as the challenges produced by Conceptual art and the introduction of new media such as video. Prof. Folland will explore the 1995 exhibition called Traffic and the rise of seemingly incomprehensible art exhibitions focused on the viewer-oriented experiential encounter. He will also discuss the new global art scene, and finally consider the most traditional of media, painting, and how it exists in the contemporary world.
Thomas Folland PhD is currently an Associate Professor of Art History at Mission College in Los Angeles. He holds a PhD in Modern and Contemporary Art from UCLA. Thomas Folland worked as an Independent Critic and Curator in Toronto Canada for ten years. As a scholar he has written on an array of topics from Duchamp and Primitivism, to Performance and Queer Theatricality, to Rauschenberg, to the Arts and Crafts divide.