This course will examine Italian art production from the mid-19th century through the 20th century. Italian artists played an important part in the international development of modern art. Yet with Italian national unification only in 1861, Italy's artistic identity is heavily coded with local political ideas. Therefore, historical context will be an important component of this course and will be presented in dialogue with aesthetic analyses.
Starting with the Macchiaioli and covering up through Arte Povera, this course will give students an introduction to modern Italian art. It will present Italian artists' relationships to larger developments of modern art and it will cover a wide variety of media: painting, sculpture, photography, performance, installation, and film. Some of the course's topics will include: Italian artists in Paris, Italian cinema's international audience, art's response to national and international politics from the Risorgimento to the Vietnam War, Futurism and Arte Povera as international phenomena, art, design, and consumerism, and the effects of the Venice Biennale on artistic trends.
Estimated cost of materials: less than $50.