Six Contemporary Artists You Need to Know: A Six Part Course with Dr. Alison Bracker
Led by Dr. Alison Bracker, an expert on contemporary art, this course will give participants a deeper understanding and appreciation of some of today's most compelling artists, their most influential artworks, and their cultural legacy.
Anselm Kiefer fights his country's attempts to silence collective memory as part of its post-WWII process of normalization. He provocatively spotlights Germany's fascist past by appropriating its imagery and symbols and using natural elements from his homeland. In this lecture, we will learn how and why Kiefer uses these materials and German mythology, literature, theology, philosophy, and technology as artistic and analytical tools.
Lecture 2: Cindy Sherman
Cindy Sherman produces and stars in photographs that challenge cultural constructions of identity and image-making. For decades, she has used theatrical props and disguises to reveal the artifice behind the female identities that film, media, and advertising have long manufactured.
Lecture 3: Cornelia Parker
Our third lecture celebrates British artist Cornelia Parker, who famously exploded a garden shed and created an installation from the fragments to re-animate them. Parker often uses destructive or transformative methods, storytelling, household items, and found objects to reimagine and reinvigorate her materials.
Lecture 4: Ai Weiwei
This session reveals why Ai Weiwei is one of the world's most fearless and significant artists. He employs carefully-chosen materials to probe relationships between power, human rights, freedom of expression, and China's cultural history, proclaiming, "An artist must be an activist."
Lecture 5: Banksy
The elusive British artist who calls himself Banksy takes art to the streets, fascinating locals and international art lovers alike. His
street art merges incisive social observation, unmistakable and potent imagery, and, often, site-specificity to spark cultural dialogue and promote peaceful dissent.
Lecture 6: Simone Leigh
Our final lecture spotlights Simone Leigh, whose work exposes Black women's histories, narratives, and subjectivities, most recently in her remarkable USA Pavilion for the 2022 Venice Biennale. During 2023-2024, a comprehensive survey of her career will tour Boston, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.
Dr. Alison Bracker is an independent art historian specializing in modern and contemporary art. She is an expert in the conservation of unusual materials in contemporary art and co-editor of Conservation: Principles, Dilemmas, and Uncomfortable Truths (Elsevier, 2009), praised as "one of the most significant books in the field of heritage conservation." Alison held a six-year post-Doctoral fellowship at the Royal College of Art and Victoria & Albert Museum before taking over the Royal Academy of Arts' Events and Lectures Program, which she ran for eight years. She continues to lecture and publish on modern and contemporary art and artists, including Hugo Wilson, Lenz Geerk, Ai Weiwei, Anselm Kiefer, Édouard Manet, and David Hockney. After a childhood in Los Angeles and 25 years in England, Alison moved to Nice, France, where she now lives and works.
Yes. All registered participants will be sent a recording within 48 hours of each session's conclusion. The recordings are available to re-watch at leisure until 30 days after the course's conclusion.
Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.