Twentieth Century Art: Modernism, the Avant Garde, the Aftermath
TTh 2:30pm-4:00pm
Angell Hall, Aud B
4 Credit Lecture

This course explores many different kinds of work produced by European and American artists during the 20th century. We shall begin with the avant-gardes of the early part of the century, then focus on various forms of modernism and realism produced in the mid-century, and finish with the postmodernism and late modern art of the end of the century. Two issues dominate the survey. First, we shall study ways in which modern artists have redefined the nature of the image and the art object, both with new forms of painting and sculpture, but also with photographic work and hybrid forms of art such as environments and assemblages. Secondly, we shall explore how these various forms of art responded to the political and social realities of the times in which they were made, whether by offering a picture of these realities, or by seeking to make some kind of political intervention in them. Among the secondary issues that we shall investigate are: the relationship between artistic radicalism and political radicalism, artists' strategies for negotiating modernization and consumerism, and the relationship between art and human identity or subjectivity. The course is taught by way of lectures and discussions in sections. There is no course reader, but you will need to buy three textbooks from the Yale University Press series 'Art of the Twentieth Century' (total cost $90). Additional readings not in these textbooks will be made available on electronic reserve. Art of the Avant-Gardes, edited by Steve Edwards and Paul Wood. Varieties of Modernism, edited by Paul Wood. Themes in Contemporary Art, edited by Gill Perry and Paul Wood.

Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100.