Despite rumors to the contrary, New York remains the center of the contemporary art world, the place where a staggering quantity of art is produced, exhibited, purchased, interpreted, and evaluated. One way to make sense of the city’s complexity and energy is to trace the dynamic pathways through which art travels: the connections between artists, dealers, institutions, and critical voices. During two intensely busy weeks in June, this seminar will investigate the full range of contemporary art production in the city, making full use of all available resources in the city and its extended area. The class will visit a vast number of artists' studios, non-profit spaces, artist collectives and think-tanks, commercial galleries, and notable museums.  Team-taught by sculptor Lan Tuazon and critic/art historian Daniel Quiles, both of whom have lived and worked in New York, the class will benefit from numerous “behind-the-scenes” opportunities with artists, collectors, curators, and dealers. Students will be expected to create a new work that is informed by the experience and influence of being in New York or complete a significant writing and research project that explores the city’s contemporary art scene in direct relationship to their own interests. Our main questions will include: how do these different nodes in the contemporary art world function independently—what are their objectives, and how are they being met—and how, in the end, are they all connected?


Course Requirements & ASSIGNMENTS

All readings for the entire two weeks of the trip must be completed before you leave for New York, with reading notes assignments completed and uploaded to Canvas prior to 8:00 pm, Sunday, May 20. Your reading notes need not be written in essay form, but they should demonstrate that you have carefully read each text and signaled page numbers that may be of interest for you in the future.


All students will collect, connect, and analyze exhibition and display methods, venues, artistic references, subject matter, methods of production and artistic strategies as a characterization of contemporary art in New York City. Students are expected to take visual and textual documentation during the trip, produce firsthand accounts of lectures and studio visits, and link study with complex perspectives from social, historical and cultural contexts.


Students receiving Studio credit will complete an art project based on influences from their field study that positions their work as an interpretation, critique and/or proposition for practice.  Students will deliver NYC influences and a series of 3 studies (drawing, collage, plans) and one-page description of future work in pdf format by email on 9:00 am Friday,  June 8th.  Students will be scheduled for one on one advising Monday June 11th. 


Students receiving Art History credit will write a research-based term paper (10 pp. undergrads, 20 pp. graduate students) based on their experiences throughout the trip, due at the end of the summer.


Students receiving both Studio and Art History credit will complete both sets of assignments.


The class will reconvene in the final week of August for shared presentations and group critiques



  • This course will introduce students to New York City as an interconnected contemporary art context. Optional / required readings and discussion, final reviews of different visits, and a group publication will evaluate students’ grasp of the historical and critical issues relevant to this aim.

  • This seminar will encourage students’ critical engagement with course content. Our final class meeting and group critique of the publication will demonstrate their ability to apply the class’s theoretical models and methods to research topics and artistic projects.

  •  This course will develop students’ writing skills, for those who receive Art History credit. The final assignment will require critical reflection on prior hands-on experiences on the ground in New York.





9:00 am Meet at CUNY Graduate Center for attendance (365 5th Avenue).

10:00 am: MOMA Curator Talk #1 with Giampaolo Bianconi, Dept. of Media and Performance Art, and Tessa Ferreyros, Curatorial Assistant, Dept. of Drawings and Prints

11:00-1:00 pm: Tour of Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016

1:00-2:00 pm: GROUP LUNCH 1: MOMA Café or Ramen

2:00-3:00 pm: Tour of Being: New Photography 2018

3:00-4:00 pm: Wrap-up discussion, Central Park or hotel in case of rain

Reading Assignment 1 on Museums:

  • Arthur Danto, “Rebirth of the Modern,” The Nation, January 31, 2005, 32-35.

  • John P. Bowles, “Adrian Piper as African American Artist,” American Art, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Fall 2006): 108-117.


9:00 am: Meet at CUNY Graduate Center for attendance.

11:00-12:00 pm Bushwick Galleries (open 11am-6pm)

  • Luhring Augustine, 25 Knickerbocker Ave, TEL: 718.386.2746.

  • CLEARING, 396 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn 396 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, solo by Harold Ancart, painting (11am-6pm)

  • Microscope Gallery, with Kevin Reuning, 1329 Willoughby Avenue, #2B (1-6pm)

  • Signal Gallery 260 Johnson Avenue.

  • NurtureArt, Robert Henry Contemporary (Sculpture with Noah Loesberg & Melissa Vandenberg), THEODORE:ART (Dennis Morris, photography),56 Bogart

12:00-1:00 GROUP LUNCH 2:  Forrest Point Restaurant, 970 Flushing

2:00-2:30 pm: We Buy Gold Gallery, 387A Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 1121.6

2:30-3:30 Studio Visit #3 with Heather Hart, Bedford Stuyvesant, 5 MacDonough Street, Brooklyn.

4:00-5:00 pm: Studio Visit #4 with Gordon Hall, Bedford Stuyvesant, A Train Utica Stop


Reading Assignment 2 on Artistic and Economic Strategies

  • Joshua A. Shannon, “Claes Oldenburg’s ‘The Street’ and Urban Renewal in Greenwich Village, 1960,” Art Bulletin, Vol. 86, No. 1 (Mar. 2004): 136-161.

  • Moskowitz, Peter, “An Elegy,” How to Kill a City (New York: Nation Books, 2017), 163-180.



9:00 am: Meet at CUNY Graduate Center for attendance.

10:30 am-12:30 pm Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street

Zoe Leonard: Survey, Juan Antonio Olivares: Moléculas, Between the Waters (group show on ideological impacts on life), Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney Collection 

12:30-1:30 pm LUNCH on the Highline / Chelsea Market

1:30-3:00 pm  White Columns, 91 Horatio, near Washington Street & David Hammons, Days End Installation, Pier 52

3:00-6:00 pm Group performance with Papo Colo.

Reading Assignment 3 on Market, Commodity and Fetish

CLASS 4: downtown

9:00 am: Meet at CUNY Graduate Center for attendance & Talk # 7 & 8 with Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme.

11:00 am-1:00 pm: 2018 New Museum Triennial: Songs for Sabotage

1:00-2:30 pm: LUNCH at Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli, 369 Broome Street.

3:00-4:00 pm: Talk #9 with Damon Rich (CONFIRMED, Location: 8th Floor Rubin Foundation TBC)

Reading Assignment 4 on Visibility & Access:

  • Boris Groys, “Europe and Its Others.” Art Power. MIT Press Cambridge Massachusetts, 2008. 173

  • Stallybrass, Peter, “Marx’s Coat,” in Border Fetishisms: Material Objects in Unstable Spaces, ed. Patricia Spyer (New York: Routledge, 1998): 183–207. 

CLASS 5: Queens

9:00 Meet at hotel for attendance.

10:00 am: Sculpture Center Talk #101713 8th Ave with Exhibitions Manager, Kyle Dancewicz on 74 million million million tons. 44-19 Purves Street, LIC, NYC  

11:00 am -12:00 pm GROUP LUNCH 3: Five Star Indian, 1315 43rd Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101

1:00pm-2:00 pm Socrates Sculpture Park, Virginia Overton solo show Built; tour # 11 with curator, Jess Wilcox. 

2:00-3:00 pm Mark Di Suvero’s SPACETIME Tour # 12 with Ivana Mestrovic

4:00-6:00 pm MOMA PS 1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Julia Philips


Reading Assignment 5 on Profession & Work:

  • Julia Bryan-Wilson, “Cashing In,” Art in the Making: Artists and their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2016), 134-154.


CLASS 6: Dia: beacon

7:30 am: Meet at hotel for attendance, proceed to Grand Central Terminal for 8:43 am train to DIA: BEACON (arrives 10:16 am)

10:30 am “Tour” of Michael Heizer’s NSEW

11:00 am Dia: Beacon opens; see collection

12:00-1:00 pm: GROUP LUNCH 4: DIA CAFE

2:08 pm train back to NY (arrive 3:42 pm)

            4:00 pm CUNY Graduate Center: Marie Angeletti “laptop visit” \


Reading Assignment 6 on Private Patronage:

  • Anna Chave, “Revaluing Minimalism: Patronage, Aura, and Place,” Art Bulletin 90, No. 3 (Sept. 2008): 466-86.


CLASS 7: williamsburg

9:00am Meet at hotel for attendance; approx. 1-hour trip to Queens        

10:00-11:30 Queens Museum, Mel Chin: All Over the Place exhibition and Talk # 13 with Laura Raicovich

1:00 LUNCH in Williamsburg

2:00-3:00 Talk #14 with Hrag Vartanian, from Hyperallergic, offices in Williamsburg


Reading Assignment 7 on Exhuberance & Deadlines

CLASS 8: sunset park

9:00 am: Meet at CUNY Graduate Center for attendance

11:00-12:00 pm: Dumbo Galleries

12:00-1:00 pm: LUNCH

1:30-3:00 pm: Talk #16 Jes Fan, 1713 8th Ave, New York, 11215 

4:00-5:00 pm Studio Visit #15 with Doug Ashford, Sunset Park Studios 36th Street, between 2 & 3rd Ave.


Reading Assignment 8 on Institution & Critique

  • Relyea, Lane, “Ruins,” in Your Everyday Art World (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013), 169-201.

CLASS 9: objectS: order in chaos

9:00 am: Meet at CUNY Graduate Center for attendance

11:00-1:00pm: Brooklyn Museum, Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985

1:00-2:00 pm: LUNCH

2:00-3:00 pm: Talk #16 Cecilia Vicuña

4:00-5:00 pm Studio Visit #17 with Kalup Donte Linzy,¨46 Washington.  Brooklyn, NY 11205 (can meet anytime bet 2-5pm)

5:00-6:00pm DUMBO Galleries

  • Art in General, 145 Plymouth Street.

  • Smack Mellon Studios. 95 Plymouth Street.

  • 6:00pm Waterfront Break at the Ice Cream Factory

  • 7:00pm Travel by Water Ferry to Manhattan


Reading Assignment 9 on Politics and Identity:

  • “Introduction” and “The Iconographic Turn,” in Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985, eds. Cecilia Fajardo-Hill and Andrea Giunta, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Hammer Museum, 2017), 17-19 & 29-35.


CLASS 10: from prototypes to final work

9:00 am: Meet at CUNY Graduate Center for attendance

11:00-12:00pm:  GROUP LUNCH at Lombardi’s Pizza

1:00-2:30pm: Judd Foundation

3:30-4:30pm Talk with Artist Melissa Brown at Derek Eller Gallery, 300 Broome Street.


5:00-6:00 pm: Talk 18 with Jesse Hammerman at Essex Flowers

6:00-7:00 pm: GROUP DINNER at Wong’s or Congee Village.


Reading Assignment 10 on Art and Activism

© 2017 LAN TUAZON.