HISTART 497-003

Upper Level Seminar: The Legacy of the Avant-Gardes

Tappan Hall 210
T 10:00 - 1:00
3 Credit Seminar

Art today is in many ways shaped by the legacy of the avant-gardes. The avant-gardes arise after the devastations of the First World War and aim to link artistic experimentation (already a hallmark of modernism) to a utopian commitment to bring about a radically new, and better world, in other words to politics. In order to achieve these goals the avant-gardes to formulate themselves into movements of political solidarity, and they rely on the force of the manifesto, a combination of theory and aesthetics with a high dose of poetry, to empower their experiments with what they believe is political force. We will explore the rise and practice of the avant-gardes in detail, including their gravitation to new media and their aims of consciousness raising—visual, cognitive and political. And we will continue on to study the legacies of the avant-gardes in post-World War II artistic practice: the American interest in identity politics framed as the critique of representation, the desire to raise Europe like Lazarus from its World War II death and ruination, the politics of new media, and the many other ways art today is the result of the avant-gardes.

Textbooks/Other Materials:
• Danto, Arthur, Beyond The Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective, Danto, Andy Warhol
• Danto, The Transfiguration of the Common place
• Perloff, Marjorie, The Futurist Moment
• Herwitz, Daniel, Making Theory/Constructing Art: On the Authority of the Avant-Garde
• Venturi, Robert et al, Learning from Las Vegas
Most materials will be posted to the Canvas site or available on reserve in the Fine Arts Library

Course Requirements: One three page paper due at the mid-term on an assigned topic, and one final paper due at the end of the class of twelve pages or more. There will be no final exam.

Intended Audience: anyone welcome including graduate students

Class Format: One three hour seminar per week.

Estimated Cost of Materials: $50-$100

HISTART Distribution Requirements: D. Europe and the US, 4. Modern and Contemporary