HISTART 272-001

Modern Art: Avant-Garde to Contemporary

AH Aud. C
TTh 2:30-4:00pm
4 Credit Lecture

This course is an introduction to modern art. It will give you an understanding of art produced in the period of rapid modernization and political upheaval since 1900. It examines both the different forms taken by modern art and how it was responding to and commenting on broader social and political change. Our principal objectives are to explore:

  • The nature and significance of the abstract or non-representational art developed in the period.
  • How artists developed forms of art that commented on and at times intervened in social and political reality and blurred the boundaries between art and life.
  • How artistic modernism relates to modernization in society in general.
  • Artists' use of modern media, including photography, film and video, as well as their experiments in rethinking the nature of painting and sculpture.
As we look at the developments that have taken place in art since 1900, we shall be focusing on two key issues. What major changes took place in visual representation and conceptions of visual art in the period? What do these artistic developments tell us about the political and social realities of the modern world?

Estimated Cost of Materials: $0-50.

HISTART category for concentration distribution categories: 4. Modern and Contemporary, D. Europe and the US.

Textbooks/Other Materials: No set textbook.

Recommended texts:
Art of the Avant-Gardes, edited by Steve Edwards and Paul Wood
Varieties of Modernism, edited by Pal Wood
Themes in Contemporary Art, edited by Gill Perry and Paul Wood

Course Requirements:
Attendance and participation in section, completion of ungraded assignments 20%
Mid-term test 20%
Essay 30%
Final exam 30%

Intended Audience: Lower level undergraduates

Class Format: Two one and a half hour lectures and a one hour discussion section