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12 Sessions / 8-10 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Video Transcripts
English, Afrikaans
Modern Art, Postmodern Art, Painting, Sculpture, Photography

Not available for purchase in India

Starts May 26, 2016

Touring Modernism: From the French avant-garde to American Pop and Beyond

Coming Soon

Would you like to enroll?

Enrollment for this course has closed. But you can enroll in a future offering (please select)

Enrollment has closed

12 Sessions / 8-10 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Video Transcripts
English, Afrikaans
Modern Art, Postmodern Art, Painting, Sculpture, Photography

Not available for purchase in India

Course Description

This dynamic course focuses on the history of modern and postmodern art from the 19th and 20th centuries, with an emphasis on major works found in the collection of the renowned Art Institute of Chicago.  Painting, sculpture, photography, and other media, placed within a larger socio-political context, will reveal how aesthetic expression proves a compelling barometer of the modern human experience. 

From the advent of European democracy and the parallel birth of the avant-garde artist, whose singular vision boldly shattered prevailing styles and norms, to the radical rise of abstract painting and the even more provocative introduction of everyday objects into works of art, this course will unfold modernism’s defiant embrace of the new. This course will engage the major issues of twentieth-century aesthetic practice, from Freud’s description of the unconscious and the play of dreams as fertile source material for the artist, to the explosive rise of pop art and the dizzying information age that has profoundly shaped contemporary practice. To closely study modern and postmodern art is to learn how to look at the world, to take notice of form, color, and image, and to respond to the richness of visual and material culture that is all around us. 

This course will not only provide a canonical repertoire of great works of historic art, as well as the context for understanding them, but through the unfolding of such a narrative, these lectures will allow new ways of observing one’s own contemporary world and reimagining its value.


This course is in scheduled mode and starts May 26, 2016. Learn more about scheduled courses here.

Session 1: The Rallying Cry of the Avant-Garde
Romanticism and Realism
9 lessons
1. Course Introduction
2. Revolutionaries and the Avant Garde!
3. Neo-Classicism
4. Women Painters of Neo-Classicism
5. Introducing Romanticism
6. More Romanticism!
7. Realism
8. Realism of the Bourgeoisie
9. Interview with Gloria Groom
Session 2: The Power of Form and Emotion of Color
Impressionism and Post Impressionism
10 lessons
1. The Rise of Landscape Painting
2. Impressionism
3. Interview with Liz Siegel Part 1
4. Post-Impressionism: Seurat
5. Post-Impressionism Cézanne
6. Post-Impressionism Van Gogh
7. Post Impressionism: Gauguin
8. Interview with Douglas Druick
9. Interview with David Getsy Pt 1
10. Interview with David Getsy Pt 2
Session 3: The 20th Century Explodes
Fauvism and Cubism
9 lessons
1. Fauvism: Vlaminck and "the Primitive!"
2. More Fauvism: Derain, Braque, and Henri Matisse
3. The Legend of Picasso
4. Interview with Delinda Collier
5. Cubism
6. German Expressionism
7. Interview with Annie Bourneuf
8. More with Annie Bourneuf
9. The Degenerate Art Show
Session 4: Painted Blueprints Of Utopia
Kandinsky, Mondrian, And Malevich
8 lessons
1. Der Blaue Reiter
2. Kandinsky and the Rise of Abstraction
3. Holland and Piet Mondrian
4. Mondrian and the De Stijl Movement
5. Russian Modernism- Kazimir Malevich
6. Vladimir Tatlin
7. More Russian Art: El Lissitzky and Others
8. The Italian Futurists
Session 5: Pranksters, Tricksters, Revolutionaries
Dada Breaks the Mold
5 lessons
1. Zurich Dada
2. German Dada and Collage
3. New York Dada and Marcel Duchamp
4. Interview with Simon Anderson
5. New York Dada and Man Ray
Session 6: Surrealist Dreams
Courting the Unconcious
5 lessons
1. Introduction
2. Magic Realism
3. Picasso, Dali and Others
4. The Women Surrealists!
5. Surrealist Objects
Session 7: The Last Gasp Of Modernism
The heroics of the New York School
5 lessons
1. Transplanting Surrealism
2. Existentialism and the Cold War: Backdrop for the New York School
3. Introducing Jackson Pollock
4. W.P.A/ Mexican Muralists/ Native American Art: More Backdrop
5. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner
Session 8: The Romantic Sublime/ American Style
The New York school and Abstract Expressionism
5 lessons
1. Willem de Kooning
2. Mark Rothko
3. Barnett Newman
4. The Second Generation of Abstract Expressionism
5. The Post-War Movement Abroad
Session 9: Pop And Its Legacy
Pop art
7 lessons
1. Culture as Nature
2. Robert Rauschenberg
3. Jasper Johns/ Junk Sculpture
4. Introduction to Pop
5. Andy Warhol
6. James Rosenquist
7. Roy Lichtenstein
Session 10: Minimalism And The Phenomenology Of Being
6 lessons
1. The Radical 60s- Pop and Minimalism
2. Introduction to Minimalism
3. Dan Flavin Richard Serra and Carl Andre
4. Frank Stella, Eva Hesse, and Lynda Benglis
5. Interview with Daniel Ricardo Quiles
6. Conclusion
Session 11: Critiquing The Institutions Of Art
Earthworks, Body, and Conceptual Art
9 lessons
1. Merging Art and Life: Happenings and Body Art
2. More Body Art and Video
3. More Body Art! More Performance Art!
4. Earthworks: Robert Smithson and Walter de Maria
5. More Walter de Maria and Michael Heizer
6. Nancy Holt, Anna Mendieta, and Christo
7. Conceptual Art
8. Art Activists!
9. Interview with Matthew Wittkovsky
Session 12: The Cacophony Of Postmodernism In The Information Age
Postmodernism and beyond
12 lessons
1. 70s Pluralism
2. More Pluralism: Grafitti Art; the Aids Crisis
3. Paint is Back!
4. The Return of Abstraction
5. Art and Commodities
6. Art, Media and Money
7. The Art Market and Art Theory: Julian Schnabel and David Salle
8. Interview with Terry Myers
9. The Age of Simulacra
10. Multiculturalism and Globalism
11. Interview with James Rondeau
12. Farewell!
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Learning Outcomes

Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.

Instructors And Guests
What You Need to Take This Course

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Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course For-Credit or as a Premium Member, does not affirm that a student has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Taking part in this course For-Credit offers credit that is recognized by School of the Art Institute of Chicago, should the Kadenze student be accepted for enrollment in the future.

Students who are currently enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago are not eligible to receive credit for this course.

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