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CWU ART 237 - Syllabus

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Dr. William Folkestad, Associate Professor Art History 237-01 Office #142, Randall Hall tel.: 963-3138 RN 117 MTWTR12-12:50 email [email protected] OFFICE HOUR 3-4 Monday and Thursday or by appointment ART 237.01 IMPRESSIONISM THROUGH POSTMODERNISM Prerequisite Art 236. DSS/ADA students must identify themselves during the first week of the quarter. REQUIRED TEXTS: Cynthia Freeland But is it Art? (2001) and Joli Jensen Is Art Good for Us? (2002). Recommended Texts: Arnason, Prather. History of Modern Art. Balzac The Unknown Masterpiece. Optional article: Folkestad, Exile: Idea as Despair Idea as Desire. This course chronologically and thematically examines western art beginning in 1850 and ending in the twentieth century. ART237 introduces student artists and non-art majors to the changing artistic influences of women, men, philosophy, politics, and industrialization; the sources of contemporary plurality in the arts. Painting, sculpture photography and architecture are examined from a historical perspective to provide an understanding of the interrelated nature of twentieth-century art. By understanding the artist's purposes and the inner structure of various works, it will be possible to relate the artist's style to the time in which s/he lived while appreciating the originality of individual artistic achievements. In the wake of the Italian Renaissance western artists concentrated on a Roman aesthetic of Greek origin. This self-limiting cultural bias was endorsed and maintained by the French Academy (founded 1648). By the latter nineteenth century, the Academy had become an oppressive monolith, a dictator of style limiting the look and function of the arts. In the second half of the 19th century we witness the slow liberation of the formal elements (line, shape, space, color, and texture) from the objective recording of nature. This was paralleled by the disassociation of the artist from the traditional primary patrons of the arts: the state, church, and upper classes. This disassociation is of paramount importance to the new “objectivity”. The new objectiveness centered on the argument of Creativity (Avant-garde) versus Craft (Academy). Does the qualification “This is a work of art.” necessarily require that painting or sculpture or whatever, “reflect” the natural world? Indeed, when considering products created by individuals, what is not real? The ever progressive democratization of art in the 19th century, beginning with Romanticism and Realism, initiated modifications to the academic painter’s subject matter (such as the peasant worker, still life, political themes, and people-less landscapes). However changes to subject matter are slight when compared to the change in craft--that is the art of painting. Painting will lead the avant-garde through the 19th and most of the 20th century. With formal elements of primary concern, ‘formalism’ became the source of a new aesthetic. The question arises: How does one work with the formal elements and not repeat or mimic another artist’s work? Personal expression isparamount. The avant-garde demanded fresh expression. Among avant-garde artists, an overt reference to past styles was cause for condemnation. Nineteenth century manifestos legitimized new styles in art, changes in craft, and the artist’s projection of what is an artist through self typing. In the nineteenth century we also witness the full development of the idea of the artist as an insightful outcast from society and hence, a misunderstood individual with the powers of a seer. When the avant-garde artist projects her/himself as a seer, unfettered by the prejudices of academic procedures or themes, the schism between artist and public, so characteristic of the modern movement, occurs. This rift in shared understandings and the emphasis on fresh experience born of vital experiments with the formal elements will be the legacy bequeathed to the 20th century world by the 19th century French painter. The course objective is to bring your experiences of Art 235 Ancient and Medieval Art and Art 236 Renaissance Through the mid-19th century to conclusion with an examination of nineteenth and twentieth century art. The course outcomes include your demonstrated understanding of the following (see Paper assignment, Midterm and Final exam information at the end of this syllabus): • the post-postmodern rationalization of creative potential; • the post-postmodern recognition of the unlimited nature of contemporary expression; • the post-postmodern identification of the continued role of political and inspirational (spiritual) forces in the creation of contemporary art; • the post-postmodern identification of the absence of a fixed or academic view of contemporary art; • the recognition of the limits of postmodernism as a term and style; • and the acceptance and identification of a post-postmodern art as a term and style. Modern Art _________________________________________________ LECTURE ONE: Introduction: The nineteenth-century sources of modern art. Neo-Classicism Romanticism Realism Impressionism Suggested reading: A & P pp. 17 - 63. Selections from Winckelmann; Gautier; and Baudelaire. Suggested supplementary readings: Eitner, Neoclassicism and Romanticism, 1750-1850: Sources and Documents in the History of Art; Markowski, The Art of Photography: Image and Illusion; Nochlin, Realism and Tradition in Art, 1848-1900: Sources and Documents in the History of Art; White, Impressionism in Perspective. LECTURE TWO: Introduction: Post-Impressionism Symbolism PrimitivismSuggested reading: A & P pp. 64 - 130. Suggested supplementary readings: Gerhardus, Symbolism and Art Nouveau; Goldwater, Symbolism; Lovgren, The Genesis of Modernism: Seurat, Gauguin, Van Gogh and French Symbolism in the 1880s; Nochlin, Impressionism and Post Impression, Sources and Documents in the History of Art. LECTURE THREE: Introduction: Fauvism/Expressionism Suggested reading: A & P pp. 131 - 170. Suggested supplementary readings: Crespelle, The Fauves; Grohmann, Wassily Kandinsky: Life and Work; Hodin, Oskar Kokoschka: The Artist and His Time; Kuhn, German Expressionism and Abstract Art: The Harvard Collection. LECTURE FOUR: Introduction:


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