Ten Decades, Ten Exhibitions: Popular Art Narratives of the Twentieth Century (VA2226.01)

Anne Thompson

This introductory course considers modernism and postmodernism through exhibitions that have shaped scholarly and popular conceptions of twentieth-century Western art history. Readings, films, discussions and interactive lectures address styles and ideas within the context of the art spectacle or “show.” Starting with the Armory Show of 1913, the class examines art-world machinations as part of economic, political and social shifts. How did players and institutions, from curators and collectors to politicians and the press, combine to elevate certain artists and exhibitions to fame or notoriety? While looking critically at popular narratives—and, in parallel, lesser-known and alternative narratives—students simultaneously gain a foundational understanding of sub-movements and concepts within modernism and postmodernism such as Dada, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Pop, Conceptual Art, appropriation, identity politics, and institutional critique.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Fully In-Person , Visual Arts (VA)