“Let There Be Fashion, Down With Art” –Max Ernst
The rise of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution led to radical shifts in politics and art in the late 19th century. Fashion acts as a powerful analogue to and forecaster of Modernism. Artists such as Henri Matisse, Leon Bakst, Sonia Delaunay and Salvador Dali took note of fashion’s nascent agency and created clothing as a means of engaging the new political, social and cultural landscapes of the 20th Century. Influenced by Charles Baudelaire’s radical questioning of beauty and fashion, artists attempted to define fashion’s role in culture, manipulating it to reflect their own proclivities. This course will introduce and reconsider various movements such as Cubism, Fauvism, Futurism, Constructivism, Dada, and Surrealism through the lens of fashion, investigating the various agendas and ideologies deployed. Students will create artworks that engage the political spectrum as it intersects with Modernism’s aesthetic partisanship, including the creation of original garments. While this is a studio course, there will be weekly reading assignments and discussion as well as critiques. Students may work in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, video, or costume design. A high degree of motivation is expected.