HISTART 378-001

Sculptural Practices – Modern and Contemporary

180 Tappan
TTh 11:30-1pm
3 Credit Lecture

Sculpture is an art form that has to do with objects, materials and environments. Sculpture traditionally took the form of figures, but now encompasses a diversity of three dimensional phenomena. This course explores the differences between a sculptural art that exits in three dimensions, and an art of two dimensional forms and images, that is painting, which normally receives most attention in discussion about the history and theory of art. What does sculpture do that painting doesn't? What happens when images are rendered as things existing in the same space as the viewer? Most importantly, how are ways of understanding the world rendered in sculpture, and how has this changed with the shifts taking place in artistic languages and forms over the past century? The course focuses on modern sculptors' approaches to figuring the body and human presence and creating environments. It also explores sculptural interventions in public spaces and landscape settings. While traditional conceptions of sculpture have been strongly challenged, art works realized in three dimensions, and concerned with the material presence of bodies, objects and environments, continue to play a key part in visual art's capacity to represent and intervene in the material and social worlds we inhabit.

Textbooks/Other Materials: None

Course Requirements:

  • Attendance and participation, completion of ungraded assignments: 20%
  • Mid-term test: 20%
  • End-of-term test: 30%
  • Essay (5-6 pages): 30%

Intended Audience: Upper level undergraduate, some familiarity with modern and contemporary art

Class Format: Two one and a half hour lectures

Estimated Cost of Materials: $0-$50

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

Poster images: (L) Hans Haacke - Gift Horse, 2015, fourth plinth, Trafalgar Square, London (R) Juan Muñoz - Many Times, 1999