170.036 (20S) Fundamentals on contemporary art: from avant-gardes to neo avant-gardes

Sommersemester 2020

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Erster Termin der LV
23.04.2020 16:00 - 18:00 , V.1.07
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LV-Titel englisch
Fundamentals on contemporary art: from avant-gardes to neo avant-gardes
Seminar (prüfungsimmanente LV )
6 (30 max.)
zum Moodle-Kurs


Intendierte Lernergebnisse

The knowledge andunderstanding of the proposed contents, concepts and methods on contemporaryart; the ability to apply such knowledge in an autonomous and conscious way, accordingwith logical and argumentative skills; the ability to construct an appropriatecritical speech that is relevant, clear, effective and personal.


Every lesson will be articulated in a lecture, image and video screenings, text readings, discussion and cooperative work. Moreover, students will be supposed to read some short texts at home. During the lesson after, the discussion will also concern the texts that students will have read. After the end of the seminar, by September 15th 2020, students will write a final paper (5 pages long, maximum 25.000 characters).


The course aims to provide a general knowledge of some fundamental events and concepts concerning art from the early Twentieth Century avant-gardes to the neo avant-gardes in the second half of the Century. Some references will also concern today artistic trends. Students will be introduced to the knowledge of some exemplary study cases, that will make them able to understand ideas and programs on which contemporary art is based. Contents: Twentieth Century art, with specific references to: Cubism and the “art of thinking”; Wassily Kandinsky and the meaning of abstraction; Futurism: from painting to life; Marcel Duchamp and the invention of the “ready-made”; Action Painting: canvas as "an arena in which to act"; towards the zeroing: the art of Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt; the silence of John Cage; new ready-mades: Robert Rauschenberg, Piero Manzoni, Yves Klein; the route of hyperrealism: from Jasper Johns to John De Andrea; “art as art”: the rise of Conceptual Art.

Limited changes to the contents will be possible in consideration of the progress of the course.

Erwartete Vorkenntnisse

Dear students, the seminar "Fundamentals on contemporary art: from avant-gardes to neo avant-gardes" will be conducted digitally, at least until the measures to contain the contagion from Coronavirus cease. The videos of the lessons will be progressively uploaded on the Moodle page of the course, which you can follow in sequence at the most appropriate times. In addition, slides, links to images and videos of the artworks, and any other material useful for your preparation will be uploaded. Your participation will also take place online using Moodle tools.


Guillaume Apollinaire,  Aesthetic Meditations on Painting: The Cubist Painters, Paris, Figuière, 1913 https://download.e-bookshelf.de/download/0000/3694/11/L-G-0000369411-0002317307.pdf

Wassily Kandinsky, Über das Geistige in der Kunst, München, Piper, 1912; English translation: On the Spiritual in Art, https://holybooks-lichtenbergpress.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/On-the-Spiritual-in-Art-Kandinsky.pdf

Futurism manifestos, English translation: https://www.unknown.nu/futurism/

Pierre Cabanne, Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp, Paris, Belfond, 1967, https://monoskop.org/images/5/55/Cabanne_Pierre_Dialogues_with_Marcel_Duchamp.pdf

Harold Rosenberg, The American Action Painters, in “Art News”, December 1952, http://timothyquigley.net/vcs/rosenberg-ap.pdf

John Cage, Silence. Lectures and Writings, Middletown (Conn.), Wesleyan University Press, 1961, https://monoskop.org/images/b/b5/Cage_John_Silence_Lectures_and_Writings.pdf



Exam information: active participation during the seminar will be consider 40% of the evaluation; the final paper, that students are supposed to write till 15th September 2020, will be consider 60%.


Note/Grade Benotungsschema

Position im Curriculum

  • Masterstudium Visuelle Kultur (SKZ: 655, Version: 18W.1)
    • Fach: Visuelle Medien zwischen Fakten und Fiktionen (Wahlfach)
      • 6.1 Visuelle Kultur als Träger von Mythen, Ideologien, Utopien ( 0.0h VC, SE / 6.0 ECTS)
        • 170.036 Fundamentals on contemporary art: from avant-gardes to neo avant-gardes (2.0h SE / 6.0 ECTS)

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