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Art History Course


Modern Art is generally agreed to have appeared as a major force in mid 19th C Europe, with Paris as the epicentre.

But why did art change from the familiar Renaissance style figurative image?

Was it due to a handful of rebellious individuals: Courbet, Manet and Picasso, or related to wider political and social events? Did it happen suddenly or are there clues to be found in art of previous centuries, in, perhaps, the work of Goya, Rembrandt or Vermeer?

Each week we will trace the roots of a different idea in Modern Art through the key artists and art works.

We will examine ideas such as: 'art for art's sake', formalism, the 'primitive', the avant garde, urban capitalism and commodity fetishism. We will explore the movements, including: Symbolism, Impressionism, the Nabis, the Fauves, Cubism, Constructivism, Rayonism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and Conceptualism.

We will ask: why did the centre of Modern Art shift from Paris to New York, and when did the march of the modern'isms' finally come to a halt ... or has it? And what do we mean by Post-Modern Art?