HIST07018 2019 History / Theory of Art 1 (Exhibition Catalogue Essay)

General Details

Full Title
History / Theory of Art 1 (Exhibition Catalogue Essay)
Transcript Title
History / Theory of Art 1 (Exh
80 %
Subject Area
HIST - History / Theory of Art
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Angela Mehegan, Louis McManus, Emmet O'Doherty
Programme Membership
SG_AARTT_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art SG_AARTT_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Fine Art

The main focus of the History/Theory of Art 1 module is on current exhibitions in Ireland and interactions with relevant stakeholders. This is achieved through the evaluation and use of historical and contemporary theoretical elements to inform approaches to generating primary research material. This use of these specific research strategies is to facilitate the production of a substantial catalogue essay that incorporates student-initiated primary research material.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate academic proficiency in identifying suitable research methodologies and linking them to own critical writing and formation of theoretical frameworks.


Identify and adapt relevant theoretical views and critical discourses to self-directed analytical written assignments and reports.


Be aware of dominant themes and issues that underpin the production and reception of contemporary art and nature of contemporary art practices today.


Evaluate the key social, cultural and aesthetic contexts that underpin artistic production, consumption and reception when appraising a body of work presented through exhibition.


Contextualise an awareness and understanding of the development and impact of different modes and practices in the production of a body of work for exhibition.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Series of Illustrated  thematic lectures available on VLE portal.  Subject-specific seminars and small group discussions. 1-1 tutorials on written assignments and primary research activities. 

Module Assessment Strategies

The assessment strategy focuses on methods to gauge the student's developed understanding of the subject of History/Theory of Art  in context and evaluates how the student applies visual research methodologies, generates primary research material and discover ways in which developed information literacy skills are applied in the field of History/Theory of Art:

  • Interpretative/historical research
  • Visual analyses and academic writing
  • Questionnaire / Stakeholder Interview
  • Discipline-specific primary research output

When an essay/written assignment is submitted the student receives feedback on a piece of related ‘formative’ work first with a chance to make revisions and improvements before handing in a ‘summative’ essay for assessment. 

Repeat Assessments

Repeat projects based on failed CA components from assignments issued during course of semester.

Indicative Syllabus

The indicative syllabus explores  contexts and strategies necessary to produce a substantial catalogue essay incorporating primary research material based on interactions with various stakeholders associated with exhibitions in Ireland.

  • Research Methodologies: Historical/Interpretive Research, Art-Driven Research, 
  • Visual Research Methodologies: Visualising Research, Analysis of a body of work
  • Themes and Discourses: Understanding Process: Artwork, Materials, Art Objects, Consumption and the Everyday, The Body & Politics of Identity
  • Exhibition Culture/spaces in Ireland: Art centres, Structured visits and field trips, Curators, Documentation, Display strategies
  • Themes & Issues: Contemporary Irish Art, Irish Art, VAI, Context of Visual Arts Sector in Ireland  (Artist-Led Organisations, Medium-based studios) 
  • Practitioners: Constructions of art practice, Studio Practitioner.  Artistic knowledge and conceptual enquiry.
  • Primary Research Strategies.Theory & Practice. Artists in Ireland, Profiles, Questionnaires, Interview techniques

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Primary Research Continuous Assessment Assignment 50 % Week 7 3,4
2 Exhibition / Catalogue Essay Continuous Assessment Assignment 50 % Week 13 1,2,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Exhibition Culture in Ireland 1 Weekly 1.00
Tutorial Lecture Theatre One-to-one / Group seminars 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2008 All of a Sudden Sternberg
ISBN 1933128399 ISBN-13 9781933128399
Required Reading
2011-08-09 The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods SAGE
ISBN 9781847875563 ISBN-13 1847875564

This 42 chapter volume represents the state of the art in visual research. It provides an introduction to the field for a variety of visual researchers: scholars and graduate students in art, sociology, anthropology, communication, education, cultural studies, women's studies, ethnic studies, global studies and related social science and humanities disciplines. The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods encompasses the breadth and depth of the field, and points the way to future research possibilities. It illustrates "cutting edge" as well as long-standing and recognized practices. This text is not only "about" research, it is also an example of the way that the visual can be incorporated in data collection and the presentation of research findings. Contributors to the book are from diverse backgrounds and include both established names in the field and rising stars. Chapters describe a methodology or analytical framework, its strengths and limitations, possible fields of application and practical guidelines on how to apply the method or technique. The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods is organized into seven main sections: I) Framing the Field of Visual Research II) Producing Visual Data and Insight III) Participatory and Subject-Centered Approaches IV) Analytical Frameworks and Approaches V) Vizualization Technologies and Practices VI) Moving Beyond the Visual VII) Options and Issues for Using and Presenting Visual Research

Required Reading
2013 Viewpoints
ISBN 1859184960 ISBN-13 9781859184967

Over the last twenty years, Ireland has undergone significant transformation and, as a consequence, notions of Irish identity and nationality have been in constant flux. For this reason, it is a timely moment to consider visual representations, both past and present, of Irish cultural life, and contribute to conversations about questions such as: What kind of iconic currencies does Ireland have? How should we see them? Are there specific ideological frameworks operating when we imagine Ireland? Can we imagine Irishness differently? Viewpoints explores the ways in which visual texts engage with questions of Irish culture, and the manner in which those texts are received, circulated, and consumed. By way of recourse to a range of theoretical positions that include feminism, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, philosophy, and queer theory, the collection presents multiple and variegated perspectives on Irish texts, culture, society, and life. With essays on theories of visualization and early Irish photography, adaptation and memory in the diasporic image, identities in Irish photographic art, the advertising of therapeutic wellness sites, as well as essays which read and focus on Irish film and television differently, this book brings new critical readings to how we see Irish culture.

Required Reading
2010 Dictionary of Living Irish Artists Plurabelle Publishing (Acc)
ISBN 095630110X ISBN-13 9780956301109

The Dictionary of Living Irish Artists features high-quality, full-colour images of work by 200 Irish artists alongside biographical details and information on exhibitions and awards. The artists included in the book are living and working today, mai

Required Reading
2003 Looking to Write Heinemann Educational Books
ISBN 0325004633 ISBN-13 9780325004631

The author describes ways to employ the visual arts in the writing workshop with reasons to do it, guides for trying it, images, and worksheets.

Required Reading
2002 Image to Word Scarecrow Press
ISBN 0810843072 ISBN-13 9780810843073

From painting to decorative arts and sculpture, art is a wonderful avenue for students to explore the basic skills of writing - point of view, stream of consciousness, description, monologue, and more. Using pieces from different historical periods (which can be substituted by similar pieces in any museum), Walsh-Piper shows how to get students to draw upon art, imagination, sensations, and even dreams to develop their writing.

Required Reading
2017-04-24 Co-Art Phaidon Press
ISBN 0714872881 ISBN-13 9780714872889

Twenty-five leading artist duos and collectives give insight into how and why to work collaboratively Art history is traditionally presented as the individual's struggle for self-expression, yet over the past fifty years, the number of artists working collaboratively has grown exponentially. Co-Art: Artists on Creative Collaboration explores this phenomenon through conversations with twenty-five leading art-world pairs and groups, who offer insight that is relevant beyond the art world, making this book vital for all who seek to work creatively and effectively with others. Artists featured: Allora & Calzadilla, Assemble, Auguste Orts, ayr, Biggs & Collings, Broomberg & Chanarin, ChimPom, Claire Fontaine, DAS INSTITUT, DIS, Elmgreen & Dragset, Eva & Franco Mattes, GCC, Gelitin, Guerrilla Girls, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Jane and Louise Wilson, John Wood and Paul Harrison, LaBeouf, Rnkk & Turner, Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin, Los Carpinteros, Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Raqs Media Collective, SUPERFLEX

Required Reading
2004-10-01 Art Beyond Representation I.B.Tauris
ISBN 1850434107 ISBN-13 9781850434108

Refuting the assumption that art is a representational practice, Bolt's striking argument engages with the work of Heidegger, Deleuze and Guattari, C.S.Peirce and Judith Butler to argue for a performative relationship between art and artist. Drawing on themes as diverse as the work of Czanne and of Francis Bacon, the transubstantiation of the Catholic sacrament and Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, she challenges the metaphor of light as enlightenment, reconceiving this revealing light as the blinding glare of the Australian sun, and suggests that too much light may in fact reveal nothing. Finally she asks: how does an embodied practice fare within the culture of conceptual art?

Required Reading
2009 Understanding Art Objects Lund Humphries Pub Limited
ISBN UCSD:31822036428241

Essays written by teachers and consultants at Sotheby's Institute.

Required Reading
2014-09-01 How to Write about Contemporary Art
ISBN 0500291578 ISBN-13 9780500291573

Presents concise and definitive instructions for writing about contemporary art, discussing key style, structural, and content elements with guidance for writing in specific forms, including academic, press releases, and essays.

Required Reading
2015-08-07 Materiality Mit Press
ISBN 0262528096 ISBN-13 9780262528092

Materiality has reappeared as a highly contested topic in recent art. Modernist criticism tended to privilege form over matter -- considering material as the essentialized basis of medium specificity -- and technically based approaches in art history reinforced connoisseurship through the science of artistic materials. But in order to engage critically with the meaning, for example, of hair in David Hammons's installations, milk in the work of Dieter Roth, or latex in the sculptures of Eva Hesse, we need a very different set of methodological tools. This anthology focuses on the moments when materials become willful actors and agents within artistic processes, entangling their audience in a web of connections. It investigates the role of materiality in art that attempts to expand notions of time, space, process, or participation. And it looks at the ways in which materials obstruct, disrupt, or interfere with social norms, emerging as impure formations and messy, unstable substances. It reexamines the notion of "dematerialization"; addresses materialist critiques of artistic production; surveys relationships between matter and bodies, from the hierarchies of gender to the abject and phobic; explores the vitality of substances; and addresses the concepts of intermateriality and transmateriality emerging in the hybrid zones of digital experimentation. Artists surveyed include Georges Adagbo, Carl Andre, Janine Antoni, Amy Balkin, Artur Barrio, Helen Chadwick, Mel Chin, Mark Dion, Jimmie Durham, Tessa Farmer, Chohreh Feyzdjou, Romuald Hazoum, Pierre Huyghe, Ilya Kabakov, Mike Kelley, Anthony McCall, Teresa Margolles, Robert Morris, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Tino Sehgal, Shozo Shimamoto, Santiago Sierra, Robert Smithson, Simon Starling, Paul Thek, Paul Vanouse, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Kara Walker Writers include Joseph D. Amato, Karen Barad, Judith Butler, Elizabeth Grosz, Georges Didi-Huberman, Natasha Eaton, Jens Hauser, Dieter Hoffmann-Axthelm, Tim Ingold, Wolfgang Kemp, Julia Kristeva, Esther Leslie, Jean-Franois Lyotard, Dietmar Rbel, Monika Wagner, Gillian Whiteley

Required Reading
2013 Art in Ireland Since 1910
ISBN 1780230362 ISBN-13 9781780230368

Art in Ireland since 1910is the first book to examine Irish art from the early twentieth century to the present day. In this highly illustrated volume Fionna Barber looks at the work of a wide range of artists from Yeats and le Brocquy to Cross and Doherty, many of whom are unfamiliar to audiences outside Ireland. She also casts new light on Francis Bacon and other figures central to British art, assessing the significance of their Irishness to an understanding of their work. From the rugged peasantry of the Gaelic Revival to an increasing diversification of art practice towards the end of the century, Art in Ireland since 1910tracks the forces that emerged and developed within a context of a range of very different social and political forces: not just the conflict in the North, but the emergence of feminism and migration as two of the factors that contributed to the unravelling of entrenched concepts of Irish identity. Barber looks at the theme of diaspora in the work of Irish artists working in Britain during and after the 1950s, suggesting parallels with similar issues facing artists from other former British colonies, from India to the Caribbean. She chronicles a period that culminated with art practice and the sense of Ireland as a nation that would have been unrecognizable to its people a hundred years before. Richly illustrated, Art in Ireland since 1910is essential reading for anyone interested in modern art, Irish Studies and the history of Ireland in general.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

IMMA The What Is_? Programme What is https://imma.ie/what-is-art/overview/  An introduction to some of the key concepts and themes in modern and contemporary art for all audiences.

Irish Arts Review www.irishartsreview.com

Journal of Visual Culture www.sagepub.com/journals

Printed Project www.visualartists.ie

Third Text www.tandf.co.uk/journals/ titles/09528822.asp

The Visual Artists News Sheet www.visualartists.ie

Journal Resources

Art Forum Magazine www.artforum.com

Art Monthly www.artmonthly.co.uk

Art Newspaper www.theartnewspaper.com 

Aesthetica combines editorials with critical debate on contemporary visual culture.

Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry: In depth analysis of contemporary art related to society, politics and philosophy.

Artforum / Artforum International Contemporary art magazine containing essays and reviews by noted critics and artists.

Art Bulletin and Art Journal  Peer reviewed articles on the visual arts. Published by the College Art Association (CAA).

Critical Inquiry www.criticalinquiry.

E-flux www.e-flux.com/journal

Flash Art www.flashartonline.com

Frieze Art Journal www.frieze.com

The International Journal of Cultural Policy www.tandf.co.uk/journals/ titles/10286632.asp

Parkett International contemporary art explored by writers and critics.

URL Resources

Visual Thinking Strategies http://www.vtshome.org/

Read Write Think; an initiative of the International Reading Association  http://www.readwritethink.org/

Project Zero: Artful Thinking   http://www.pzartfulthinking.org/index.php

Association of Art Editors Style Guide https://www.artedit.org/style-guide.php

Journal for Artistic Research https://www.jar-online.net/


DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) https://doaj.org/



Art 21: https://art21.org/

ARTSTOR: https://www.artstor.org/

Other Resources

NIVAL NCAD Library www.nival.ie

Archive of Circa Art Magazine www.recirca.com

Butler Gallery, Kilkenny www.butlergallery.com Catalyst Arts Gallery, Belfast www.catalystarts.org.uk Context Gallery, Derry www.contextgallery.co.uk Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork www.crawfordartgallery. com  Dock Arts Centre, Carrick on Shannon www.thedock.ie Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin www.douglashydegallery. com Draiocht, Dublin www.draiocht.ie Dublin City Gallery , The Hugh Lane www.hughlane.ie  Gallery of Photography, Dublin www.galleryofphotography. ie Galway Arts Centre www.galwayartscentre.ie Green On Red Gallery, Dublin www.greenonredgallery. com IMMA Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin www.imma.ie Kerlin Gallery, Dublin www.kerlin.ie Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin www.kevinkavanaghgallery. ie Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork www.glucksman.org  Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo www.modelart.ie Pallas Contemporary Projects, Dublin www.pallasprojects.org Project Arts Centre, Dublin www.projectartscentre.ie RHA The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin www. royalhibernianacademy.com  Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin www.templebargallery.com 126, Galway www.126.ie

VLE Moodle.

Additional Information