Theories of Art Practice A (THAP1201)


Contemporary Art: Themes and Theories
This unit of study is designed to enthuse students about contemporary art. We want to show you the exciting work that artists and theorists produce and the breadth and scope of contemporary art on an international scale. While the term 'contemporary' can be interpreted in a variety of ways, this unit encompasses art and idea most pertinent to the last thirty years. This unit addresses ideas and practices that we consider fundamental knowledge for visual arts practitioners: the concept of the 'everyday', the relevance of disciplines such as philosophy to art criticism, the importance of identity in the practices of artists, the central place of the Body and theories of perception to the work that artists produce, and the many theoretical ideas that emanate from a close study of objects.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lecturer and directed contact over 12 weeks, plus self-directed study; total student effort of 80 hrs


500 word essay (30%); 1,500 word essay (70%)


Wallis B (ed). Art After Modernism: Rethinking Representation. New York, New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1984.
Collings, Matthew. This is Modern Art. London, Seven Dials, 2000.
Also refer to THAP Reading List.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


MSTD1111, MSTD1121, CADR1001, and THAP1211

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.