The Independent Study consists of three interrelated parts: Studio, Curatorial, and Critical Studies. The IS provides a setting within which students pursuing art practice, curatorial work, art historical scholarship, and critical writing engage in ongoing discussions and debates that examine the historical, social, and intellectual conditions of artistic production. The program encourages the theoretical and critical study of the practices, institutions, and discourses that constitute the field of culture.
Curatorial students collaborate to produce an exhibition. Working closely with the program’s faculty and curators at the Whitney, the students develop proposals for the exhibition. Once a proposal has been approved by the cultural center curators, the students proceed to select artworks, arrange loans, and design and oversee the installation of the exhibition. The students write essays for and participate in the production of a catalogue accompanying their exhibition.
Critical Studies participants engage in individual scholarly research and critical writing projects through tutorials with a professional art historian, critic, or cultural theorist. The program’s faculty arranges tutorials and provides additional advice and guidance.