ARTH 4590/6590 Theory and History of Abstraction
W 2:30 – 4:25
Student option grading
In this course, we will explore the long and varied history of abstraction as both a practice and an ideal. We will survey this history by drawing on two distinct bodies of thought relevant to the problem of abstraction, forming a parallel discourse across the length of the course. The theoretical framing will begin by considering Aristotle on aphareisis before proceeding to consider various writings by Marx, Simmel, Husserl, Heidegger and Derrida. The specifically art historical material will begin by addressing the origins of perspectival space before considering practices of abstraction in nineteenth and twentieth century art. We will conclude by examining postwar global variants of abstraction for insights into the history of modernism.