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Lectures for Londoners: Who's Afraid of Contemporary Art?

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Stimulating lectures, quirky artists, and tours of the Tate
If you have ever visited the Tate Modern and found it hard to appreciate the avant garde and often bizarre forms that characterise contemporary art, then an upcoming series of lectures may be just for you.

Whimsical fountains outside the Museum of Modern Art (Pompidou Centre, Paris). Photo by Erin Connelly.

Hosted by The Course, this series of lectures and guided visits at the Tate Modern will explore the reasons and thought processes behind the development of contemporary art. The lectures will also highlight key artists and their works, examine how socio-political events are expressed in art, explain methods of interpretation, and ultimately will uncover the meaning behind some of the most enigmatic contemporary pieces.

Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. Photo by Sarah Charlesworth.

Although the terms contemporary art and modern art are often interchanged (and contemporary art is usually displayed in a modern art museum), they refer to slightly different time periods and socio-cultural attitudes. The Modern Period typically begins in the late nineteenth century with artists like Van Gogh and Toulouse Lautrec and ends around World War II, which is the start of the Contemporary or Postmodern Period with artists such as Pollock and Warhol. This series of lectures will only cover the Contemporary/Postmodern Period from about 1950 to present.

'Embankment' by Rachel Whiteread. The Tate Modern. Photo by Fin Fahey

The lecture series will run in three distinct terms every Wednesday from October 2012 to June 2013 for a total of 15 sessions. You can sign up for the whole series, for a single term, or for one lecture at a time. The lectures are held over the lunch hour from 10.45am to 12.45pm and refreshments and drinks are provided.

Turbine Hall, The Tate Modern.

The lecturer is Marie-Anne Mancio, who is a writer on contemporary art with a D. Phil in Art History. Apart from lecturing and writing in art history, her own work has been exhibited at the Museum of Non-Visible Art. See The Course website for a full description of each upcoming lecture.

Rockford Symbol, Illinois. Photo by Jason Ippolito.

Designed with all backgrounds and abilities in mind, this lecture series will leave you with a heightened appreciation, and possibly adoration, for an often misunderstood, but highly important, aspect of the art world.
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Why? Learn to appreciate contemporary art through talks and guided tours at the Tate Modern
When: 3 October 2012 to 5 June 2013
Phone: 020 7266 7815
Where: The University Women's Club, 2 Audley Square, London W1K 1DB
Cost: Full course (15 sessions): 555.00, One term (5 sessions): 185.00, Single lecture: 42.00
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