Special Topics in Art and Culture
Interwar Avant-Gardes
210 Tappan
M 10:00am-1:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

This seminar examines the cultural movements of Dada, Surrealism, and the Bauhaus, all active in Europe in the period between the two World Wars. These groups all sought to address or alter the relationship between art and life, though their strategies ranged from oppositional politics to institutional affiliation. We will situate their activities and visual production in historical context, providing a comparative assessment of their responses to the cultural and political conditions of the interwar period. Our topics will include the emergence of new formal strategies like chance and collage; new relationships to media and technology; connections between art and literature and the dissemination of new ideas through print culture; and the development of artistic networks and models of collaborative practice in an increasingly international context. We will conclude with problems of exile, emigration, and international inheritance. Our course materials will include primary sources from the period, but we will also attend to the recent confluence of museum exhibitions and academic scholarship that have sought to re-assess these central twentieth-century movements. D. 4