Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: Art and Architecture at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century
Art and architecture have long been bedfellows, to varying degrees of likelihood. Ever since Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao opened in 1998, put a small Basque town on the global culture map, and ushered in the era of the celebrity architect (or “starchitect”), buildings built for art, inspired by art, and sometimes themselves classified as art, have begun to dot cities like Chicago, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee in what has come to be called the “Bilbao Effect.” In the last fifteen years, architects have become celebrities and their designs have come closer to art even as the economics of the profession have profoundly shifted, and architects’ necessary relationships with developers, potential clients, and real estate brokers have begun to rely ever-more on fantastic renderings, hyper-realistic fly-throughs, and the occasional sculpture.
This course will focus on projects, architects, and theoretical work that bridges and connects art and architecture, and will use a variety of readings, images, writing assignments, and formal papers to investigate issues surrounding construction, building, sculpture, architecture, painting, and art.
As this is the second course in the Reading and Composition series, the syllabus also places an emphasis on the acquisition of the skills required for researching and writing a 10-to-15-page undergraduate term paper.