This dynamic course focuses on the history of modern and postmodern art from the 19th and 20th centuries, with an emphasis on major works found in the collection of the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Painting, sculpture, photography, and other media, placed within a larger socio-political context, will reveal how aesthetic expression proves a compelling barometer of the modern human experience.
From the advent of European democracy and the parallel birth of the avant-garde artist, whose singular vision boldly shattered prevailing styles and norms, to the radical rise of abstract painting and the even more provocative introduction of everyday objects into works of art, this course will unfold modernism’s defiant embrace of the new. This course will engage the major issues of twentieth-century aesthetic practice, from Freud’s description of the unconscious and the play of dreams as fertile source material for the artist, to the explosive rise of pop art and the dizzying information age that has profoundly shaped contemporary practice. To closely study modern and postmodern art is to learn how to look at the world, to take notice of form, color, and image, and to respond to the richness of visual and material culture that is all around us.
This course will not only provide a canonical repertoire of great works of historic art, as well as the context for understanding them, but through the unfolding of such a narrative, these lectures will allow new ways of observing one’s own contemporary world and reimagining its value.
Session 1: The Rallying Cry Of The Avant-Garde: Romanticism, Realism, And ImpressionismSession 2: “Primitivism” And The Emotional Power Of Form: Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, And The ExpressionistsSession 3: Painted Blueprints Of Utopia: Kandinsky, Mondrian, And MalevichSession 4: Dada And Surrealism: Courting The Irrational With Chance, Dreams, And PlaySession 5: The Last Gasp Of Modernism – The Heroics Of The New York SchoolSession 6: Pop And Its Legacy/Minimalism And Its RenewalSession 7: Critiquing The Institutions Of Art: Earthworks, Body, Conceptual ArtSession 8: The Cacophony Of Postmodernism In The Information Age
is taking this course right now, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I haven't completed the course yet but I've done three sessions and I thought it was interesting, informative and in several cases insightful. I only audited it; I would have liked to have participated more fully but it just wasn't practical for me. I liked that there were a lot of images of each artist's work shown and that they were clearly labelled. I also appreciated the snippets of biography that were included, and the few annecdotes were entertaining and revealing. The presenter was engaging, professional and amazingly knowlegable. She made a valiant attempt at the foreign words and that's what counts. The closed caption subtitles need to be looked at carefully though. That's my only real complaint. Thank you for a wonderful course!
Absolutely loved every minute of this course - especially the parts I didn't actually think I'd enjoy so much, or even understand. Lisa Wainwright is an absolute star, so easy to watch and explains difficult concepts brilliantly. The other interviewed experts are also fantastic. I have long been a lover of Art History but this course pushed me out of my comfort zone and introduced me to some incredible artists, movements and artistic philosophies - so much so I have decided to sign up for my Master Of Arts in Art History with the Open University here in the UK. Thank you so much to all concerned with the creation of this course, I just wish I had the funds to do the full program and develop my knowledge further.