This course takes a new and interactive look at 20th Century art, from the move toward total abstraction around 1913 to the development of Postmodernism in the 1980s. We examine the impact on art of social and political events such as World War I, the Russian Revolution, the rise of Fascism, the Mexican Revolution, the New Woman in the 1920s, World War II, the Cold War, and the rise of consumer culture. We will investigate the origins and complex meanings of movements such as Fauvism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Mexican Muralism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art. We will reconsider and reevaluate major issues in Modern art and culture such as the evolution of personal expression, the recognition of non-western culture in Euro-America, the interest in abstraction as a universal language, new technologies in art, the politics of the avant-garde and its attempts to reconnect art and life, issues of gender, race and representation, the role of myth and the unconscious, and the dialogue between art and popular culture. (Gen. Ed. AT, DG)
Course projects which give practice in different types of art historical writing (catalogue entry, book or exhibition review, interpretative essay, technical report) combined with in-class exercises in the writing of analytical and explanatory prose. Topic focuses from semester to semester on a period, culture and/or individual artist. Required of all art history majors in their junior year. (Planned for Fall)
We will explore potential career paths with guest speakers from museums, libraries, archives, galleries, auction houses, and more. The course is designated to help majors begin to plan art history careers through coursework, internships, and other work experiences.