Seminar on Contemporary African Art

What exactly is Contemporary African art? Does work made by artists who were born in Lagos (or Nairobi, or Johannesburg) but who currently live in Berlin (or Paris, or London) still count as Contemporary “African” Art, or should it be assessed alongside its European counterparts? Does any art made on the continent in the past 30-40 years count as “Contemporary” African Art, or should that label be reserved for art that fits a narrower set of art-world criteria? This seminar will consider these questions while introducing students to key artists, themes and trends from the often-elusive Contemporary African Art field. Students will be introduced to work by living (and recently living) artists in a range of media from photography to painting and from performance to assemblage.

Special Notes
This is an online class hosted through Zoom. We recommend that you download the free Zoom application on your computer, phone, or tablet in advance of the first class. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the course via Zoom. The same link will be used each week.

What you will learn:

  • A brief history of the idea of Contemporary African Art as defined through major exhibitions on the subject

  • An overview of key artists whose work has been influential and celebrated within the field of Contemporary African Art

  • A snapshot of medium-specific trends within the field of Contemporary African Art

  • A selective introduction to the socio-cultural themes which impact the production and reception of Contemporary African Art