ARTH 2600 Introduction to Modern Western Art: Materials, Media, and the End of Masterpieces
MW 3:00-4:15 ***Times tentative***
Discussions: 201: F 11:30-12:20 202: F 12:40-1:30 203: R 9:10-10:00 204: R 10:20-11:10
This course offers a broad introduction to some of the artistic practices that have come to be known as “modern” in Europe and the United States. Beginning with the upheavals of the French Revolution and carrying through to the turmoil of two world wars, we will survey the role of both fine art and visual culture in a period of great political, social, and technological change. The very definition of art was revolutionized in this moment, as an emphasis on materials and experiments with new media like photography and cinema took precedence over the production of highly-skilled masterpieces. Particular attention will be given to exchanges between western representation and that of other cultures. Topics covered include revolutionary propaganda; romantic unreason; caricature and political critique; the changing pace of the modern city; architecture in the machine age; the place of women in modernity; and the impact of new technology on spectatorship. Students should leave the course with increased familiarity with key art movements in the modern era and the skills to analyze and appreciate art and visual culture from any period.