Introduction to Modern Art: Making Art Modern in a Globalized World
This course will offer a general overview of the history of modern art from the 1860s to the 1960s. In addition to introducing the “-isms” that are commonly associated with “Modern Art”— Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism…etc.—we will focus on the global circulation of the visual vocabularies of these -isms and how they were manifested in local contexts, especially in Asia. We will also examine what made exchanges of ideas, materials, and objects possible across the wider globe: the rise of international expositions, the establishment of national art schools and museums, the use of photographic reproductions in printed matters, and international transport infrastructures, just to name a few. Crucial issues such as “authenticity” and “novelty” in existing modernist studies will be studied in a cross-cultural context: to whom are the works “authentic” or “new,” and who gets to decide? Besides paintings, photography, and installations, we will also discuss modernist architecture and the so-called “international style” that arose in the post-war period. Through this course, students will develop a critical understanding of major modern artistic movements from a global perspective.
All course readings will be accessible online through bCourses.