Trends in Modern Art
This course is no longer being offered.
This course will look at the major art movements from the 1880s to the present. We will focus on the dominant trends in art making as well as some of the critical theory that surrounds it.
From the Impressionist paintings of Claude Monet, the Cubist work of Pablo Picasso, and the Pop art of Andy Warhol, this course will examine what it means for a work of art to be Modern. Our examples will be drawn from a variety of artistic styles and media including, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography, to name just a few. Some works will defy traditional categorization such as Earth Art, Installation, and Performance. Our goal is to consider the larger cultural context in which each work was produced. Students will encounter works that challenge assumptions about race and gender, while others will challenge assumptions about art itself. A range of critical texts by both artists and historians will be introduced. This course is foundational for students wishing to further their studies in either the studio arts or in art history, as well as those seeking to broaden their historical knowledge of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
By the end of this course, students will be familiar with the major artists and artworks from the Modern period. They will also become familiar with some of the critical questions posed by scholars on issues from technology to politics to aesthetics. Students will be able to better grasp art history terms and to write an exhibition review. They will also read about various contemporary controversies over copyright, censorship, and public funding of the arts. Ultimately, our goal is not to simply identify one original context as a basis for interpretation, but rather, to consider what works mean and how they function in different contexts. The aim of this course is for students to begin to look at works more critically and to actively partake in the dynamic process of viewing.