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History of Contemporary Art


Bezzola T.

Course director

Gargaglia E.



Historical avant-garde art movements such as Dadaism, Futurism, Constructivism, Surrealism etc. already saw themselves not merely as communities of artists with shared aesthetic interests but sought to overcome isolated artistic subjectivity in collective works and collaborative production. These tendencies were intensified in the Neo-Avantgarde movements of the post-war decades (1950-1980) where new art forms (Media Art, Happening and Performance Art, Environmental and Installation Art) further redefined the relationship between the individual artist and the artwork. In contemporary artistic practice a widespread methodological concept of a “promiscuity of collaborations”, goes even beyond the postwar idea of the “artist's collective” integrating numerous individual artists. Art Collectives today frequently invite, include and integrate non-artistic actors, such as scientists, socially engaged activist groups, ecological initiatives etc. into the process of artistic creation.


Introduction to the phenomenology, the historical background and the historical context of contemporary art practices and theories, which question, contradict or deny the traditional western aesthetic doctrine, which from the Renaissance on understands the work of art exclusively as the product and expression of one singular, individual human genius.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

50% Lectures
50% Seminars

Examination information

Oral during examination