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Winter Course Online 2021


Art and Identity: 1970 to Today

Instructor: Peter Murphy

Monday, January 11–Thursday, January 28, 2021

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Course Overview

This course will introduce students to artists working in the United States whose work engages with questions of identity. Although the subject of identity has been taken up by artists throughout history, it took on a new role for artists working in the wake of social and cultural revolutions during the latter half of twentieth century. Following landmark historical moments in the US such as the civil rights movement, Roe vs. Wade, and the Stonewall riots, the topics of race, gender, and sexuality were addressed with a newfound intensity by artists such as David Hammons, Barbara Kruger, and Félix González-Torres. These artists not only meditated upon these transformational events, but also challenged the status quo through their innovative practices. In this course, we will trace a loose timeline of these ongoing histories by focusing on work made by women artists, queer/LGBTQ artists, and artists of color. Questions this course will address include: How does identity manifest in a work of art? Does an artist’s identity determine an artwork’s meaning? How is artmaking a form of activism? Students will be graded upon their attendance and participation in the course, as well as short writing assignments due each week.

See the winter courses page for more information or to register.