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Rory O’Dea is an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art and Design & Associate Dean, Parsons School of Design. He received his PhD in modern and contemporary art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, and his scholarship explores the connections between visual art, film, literature, and popular culture. 

&His current book project focuses on the American artist Robert Smithson and his enduring legacy among contemporary artists. Rory has previously taught at the Yale University School of Art’s MFA program and New York University, and has served as a researcher and curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Morgan Library & Museum, and the Grey Art Gallery at New York University. (Photo: Rod Goodman)


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The Medium is the Message:
The Languages of Contemporary Art

This seminar explores the fascinating world of contemporary art through the lens of artistic media & mediums. The history of modern art is marked by a tension between the pursuit of pure form and the radical expansion beyond recognizable aesthetic categories. We will trace the contours of this history in the 21st century. By learning the languages of contemporary art, we will discover the ways that a diverse range of contemporary artists from around the globe seek continuity with the traditions of the past and challenge these traditions in order to create bold new formal languages, expressive possibilities, and forms of experience.