Goncharova bathers

ARTH420: 20th Century Art History

Prof. Roann Barris

213 Porterfield, x. 6001; email: rbarris@radford.edu

SPRING 2012: office hours: T H 9 - 10:45; W 9 - 12; other times by appt

Link to the complete class syllabus

Connect to Artstor

Announcements, summaries, useful information, and class projects will be posted here; check often


I. An introduction to modernism

 Key issues and artists at the end of the 19th century;

Questions to ask about modernism; questions to ask about movements

Book 1 (AAG): read the introduction, chapter 1 and 2.

decorative and expressionistic vs the focus on language and representation

overview of movements and thematic frameworks for comparison

•    German expressionism: Kirchner and die Brücke (Bridge)

Fauvism slide show

Women and Expressionism
Another approch to fauvism


Additional conference panels

Examples of good questions for chapters 1 and 2  

II. Reframing cubism and reframing apocalypse (wks 2 - 4)

Cubism slide show

Cubist Collage and Cubist Objects

•    different “readings” and interpretations of cubism

•    Delaunay’s “orphic” cubism

•    Italian futurism: the “anti”-cubism?

Putting it all together: Cubism's Constructed Realities

chapters 5 and 7

e-readings: manifestos (the real and the new futurist manifestos; Kahnweiler: ch 4 from The Rise of Cubism

test 1 on Feb 9 (expressionism, fauvism, cubism) 

III: From pictures of things to pictures of nothing (wk 5)

•    the “other” expressionism: Kandinsky and the Blaue Reiter (blue rider)

•    absolute abstraction and the 4th dimension (Mondrian and Malevich)

chapter 8

e-reading: Kandinsky, introduction to On the Spiritual in Art

read Flatland

IV: Order, Anti-Order, and the Arts of Revolution (wks 6 - 8)

•    Russian constructivism: Art as revolution (slide show)

•    From Dada to Surrealism: questioning the source, function and meaning of art (slide show)

•    Surrealism and the role of irrational desire; the Surrealist Legacy

chapters 10, 11 and 14; parts of 12 and 13

test on units III and IV: Mar 15

Study Questions

prelude: Women Art and Revolution (Mar 20, 2 pm – Hurlburt aud.)
prelude 2: (tentative: WHS event, Mar 26, 5 pm: “The Dinner Party: Feminist Art or Pornography?”
prelude 3: ART21, season 6, previews: April 3 and 4th, Bondurant auditorium, 6 pm both nights

V: World War II and the Crisis of Art (wks 9 - 11)

•    from surrealism to American abstract expressionism

•    the Greenberg/Rosenberg debate and the meaning of “action” painting

•    the poles of abstract expressionism: from De Kooning to Newman

e-readings: Greenberg, “Towards a Newer Laocoon,” “American-type Painting,”

Rosenberg, “The American Action Painters”; Gottlieb, Rothko and Newman, “Statement

Leja: “Modern Man Discourse

VI: “Responses” to Abstract Expressionism: Post-painterly Realism (12-14)

Abstraction after 1950 (slide show)

Robert Rauschenberg and the NeoDada Axis

•    European existentialism and the crisis of the figure

•    abstraction after abstract expressionism; the return of the repressed: figural art and the “neo”avant-gardes

Lecture notes for slide show on abstraction after abstract expressionism

•    the commodification of art, objects and culture; Postmodern Pop

Book 2: chapters 1-3, 5 (read selectively throughout the rest of the book)



Writing/Reading Help:

The Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC), located in 126 Walker Hall, is open to all students Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Certified, trained tutors provide help with basic study skills, writing, reading, and content-specific material.  An appointment is necessary and can be made by stopping by Walker 126, calling 831-7704, or IMing: rularcappt

Radford Honor Code:

I shall uphold the values and ideals of Radford University by engaging in responsible behavior and striving always to be accountable for my actions while holding myself and others to the highest moral and ethical standards of academic integrity and good citizenship as defined in the Standards of Student Conduct. Specific prohibitions listed in the Handbook of Student Conduct and related to academic behavior include the following: lying, the use of unauthorized material, cheating, fabrication and falsification, multiple submissions of one piece of work, abuse of academic material, knowingly helping someone else to commit an act of dishonesty, and plagiarism.