Building Resonance (echo) by Benjamin Gale-Schreck

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ART H 309 A: Topics In Art History

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Vanguard Painting: Cézanne, Picasso, Mondrian

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
TTh 12:40pm - 2:40pm
* *
Marek Wieczorek
Marek Wieczorek

Syllabus Description:


Vanguard Painting: Cézanne, Picasso, Mondrian

Class times: T/TH 12:40-2:40pm
Instructor: Marek Wieczorek,
Office hours: by appointment on Zoom
TA: Laura Stowell,
Office hours: TBD

IMPORTANT: communicating with me should ideally be done in the Zoom sessions when your question is also relevant to others, or right after class, or otherwise through my UW email:

Course Description:
Discover the impact of such Post-Impressionist painters as Paul Cézanne on Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian. Cézanne’s elimination of traditional perspective, and even of light shining in the imaginary space of painting, emboldened Picasso and Mondrian to push painting to the brink of abstraction and beyond. Picasso, who invented Cubism, became the most famous painter of the 20th century, Mondrian arguably the most influential. His influence reached into all fields of culture, not only high art and architecture, but also design, film, fashion, advertising, gaming, knickknacks, and the like. We will look at how these painters pushed the boundaries of their medium into new, hybrid forms of art, Mondrian pushing for the merger of the arts into an all-encompassing, dynamically colored environment. Their innovations earned them the name of “vanguard” or “avant-garde” artists, often seen as ahead of their time. We will examine their work in relation to changing perceptions of the role of color, facture, modern life, psychology, and modes of production, as well as questions of framing, ideology, and the idea of the “primitive.” If you have ever wondered what the cutting edge of the avant-garde was about, or why these works look so unusual yet are widely revered, this class is for you.

The course is largely synchronous and discussion based via Zoom, with emphasis on the development of specific skills required for art historical argumentation. You will be graded on participation, two short papers, and a final exam. Class participation is vital to the success of the class and your grade.

Course Objectives:
1.    You will gain familiarity with the development of Post-Impressionist art into abstraction and with several
       themes that have structured scholarly inquiry into these movements.
2.    You will learn and refine your knowledge of the elements of visual analysis in modern and abstract painting, and develop your skills at communicating visual analysis.
3.    You will learn how to develop visual description into art historical interpretation.
4.    You will gain exposure to some of the ways in which art historical scholarship relates visual objects to their historical contexts.
5.    You will get hands-on experience engaging with artworks in virtual museum settings.

Paper 1:                                                            10 %
Paper 2:                                                            30%
Final Exam:                                                       20%
Participation (including short quizzes):          40 %
A minimum of a 60 % score is required to pass the course.



Catalog Description: 
Topics vary.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
April 9, 2021 - 8:35pm