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Course - Modern art: 1900 - 1950

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Comments about Course - Modern art: 1900 - 1950 - At the institution - London - Greater London

  • Objectives
    An introduction to art and culture in the early 20th century. All the major styles and movements are covered including Cubism, Expressionism and Surrealism. Can be studied on its own or as a continuation of 'Modern art: 1850-1900'.
  • Course description

    What topics will we cover?

    The course follows a broadly chronological survey of the major phases in modern art between 1900 and 1950. The movements and artworks selected are presented in the context of twentieth-century cultural history. For example, a class on the Bauhaus in Germany looks at how artists’ and designers’ education was changed radically by the organisation and ethos of the new academy, and later how the cultural values enshrined there came into conflict with Nazism. When looking at Surrealism, the dream-inspired paintings of Dali and Magritte are examined in light of Freud’s theories and the contemporary popularity of psychoanalysis. A recurrent theme is the gradual shift towards non-representational art in the period; how abstraction, in different forms, emerged and became dominant. New developments in design and architecture from the period are also included.

    By the end of this course you should be able to:

    • Recognise different styles/types of early twentieth century art
    • Describe works of art from the period and express an informed personal response
    • Understand the reasons why abstract art emerged during this
    • Understand the broad cultural and social contexts for early twentieth century art

    What level is the course?

    The course is open to all. No prior knowledge of the subject is required.

    How will I be taught?


    Each week there will be a slide presentation by the tutor. There will also be some pairs and small group activities. Each week there will opportunity for group discussion.

    Are there any other costs (e.g. certification, materials, equipment or books I need to buy)?

    No. However, you may wish to buy some of the books on the reading list.

    What feedback will I get?

    All students complete a statement of learning form at the beginning and end of the course to assess their achievement. The pairs and small group activities in class will enable you to check your understanding with other students and the tutor. The tutor will provide informal feedback during class discussion. You will receive regular feedback from your tutor throughout the course, as and when appropriate. At the end of the course you and your tutor are asked to assess the progress you have made.

    Will I have a chance to give my views on the course?


    Yes, please complete the evaluation form at the end of your course. These are monitored and help us to continually improve our courses.

    When I've finished, what course can I do next?

    You may like to take the other courses in this series on modern art: Modern Art 1850-1900 and Modern Art 1950-2007.

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