Contemporary art in London

Course Dates: 23/01/20 - 26/03/20
Time: 14:00 - 16:10
Location: OS - Off Site

Examine and discuss art on show in London. Each week we’ll visit a commercial gallery or public institution and examine specific exhibitions or paintings, works on paper, photography and sculpture.


What is the course about?

This is a gallery-based course which aims to explore London’s contemporary art scene through visits to a range of galleries, from public to commercial and artist-led spaces. Sessions focus on how to read and understand contemporary art exhibitions in a range of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, video art and installation.

A full list of meeting places will be emailed to you at the start of the course.

What will we cover?

We will explore: the artist’s process and techniques; the input of the curator and whether the display is effective; how the venue affects the work; and any themes which emerge from the exhibition.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Examine the works of a broad range of artists in a variety of London gallery settings
- Differentiate between media used by artists in the work observed
- Identify the processes/techniques used by a range of artists
- Participate in discussions around successful and unsuccessful outcomes in the work observed with increased sophistication.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, handouts and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course is visit-based. There will be introductions to the artist by the tutor and/or gallery staff with the opportunity for group discussion throughout. There will also be some pair/small group activities. There will be suggestions for background reading, but this is not essential.
Please note we are unable to guarantee stools in the galleries that we visit so you might have to stand and to walk between objects.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There will be travel costs to the galleries.
You might wish to bring a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class. You might want to invest in a portable gallery stool.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might also be interested in:
VB156 / VB157 - Contemporary art in London
VB154 - Introduction to Tate Modern.


Customer Reviews 3 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Excellent opportunity to explore a range of different galleries and upcoming as well as established artists
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 13/12/2019)
Great course, learning how to decipher contemporary art
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 02/07/2019)
This is a very good way to explore the contemporary art scene in London, visiting galleries you may never have heard of, let alone visited. By the end of the course your view of contemporary art will certainly have expanded, and you will almost certainly have a better understanding and appreciation of contemporary work.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 06/12/2018)
Tutor Biographies
Christopher Collier

Christopher Collier trained as an artist, before gaining an MA in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths and a PhD in Art History and Theory from the University of Essex. He has taught at institutions including the University of Essex and Winchester School of Art, as well as presenting internationally at a range of workshops and conferences, including at the ICA, London and CCA, Glasgow. His broad range of interests includes the intersections of art and political economy, art and science, urbanism and cultural theory. He is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: VB156

Please choose a course date 

Thu, day, 23 Jan - 26 Mar '20

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Full fee: £249.00
Senior fee: £199.00
Concession: £152.00

Note: Course starts today, check start time

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or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.