ARTS1451: Early Twentieth-Century Art
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This course offers an overview of artistic innovation in Europe and the Americas during the first half of the twentieth century. It will cover the major avant-garde movements of this period, from Expressionism to Cubism, to Futurism and Suprematism, to Dada and Surrealism. We will look closely at individual works of art, major exhibitions, critical writings, and secondary sources that place these works and movements within a cultural context. At its core, however, this course proposes a new way of framing this material. Rather than following the textbook narrative, we will instead approach the history of early twentieth-century art through the perspective of the women artists who participated in its production. This course will thus move between the rejection of Jacqueline Marval’s works from the Paris Salon des Indépendants in 1900 to the successful group exhibitions of women artists in Peggy Guggenheim’s New York gallery in the 1940s. In class and in local museums we will study the art of avant-garde figures like Suzanne Valadon, Hilma af Klint, Gabriele Münter, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Sonia Delaunay, Vanessa Bell, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Hannah Höch, Natalia Goncharova, Vavara Stepanova, Anni Albers, Frida Kahlo, Meret Oppenheim, Barbara Hepworth, Georgia O’Keefe, and others. Later in the semester, a visit to Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction – a major exhibition opening November 21 at MoMA – will concretize our understanding of the artistic practices of the period. Working from such a frame of reference, this course will open new ways of understanding the art of the historical avant-garde.
Young, Marnin. (2021, Fall), Syllabus, Early Twentieth-Century Art - ARTS1451, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.