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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Utopia Zones: Modernism and Abstraction (HIAR11064)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is designed to trace the vicissitudes and resurgence of utopian energies in art throughout the twentieth century. The twin desires to remake society anew, and to transform art, cancelling and rejecting its previous histories and beginning again, lay behind much twentieth-century artistic experiment, while the idea that art could stand for higher values and our own highest capacities helped to structure many of the most radical aesthetic developments. At the same time, dystopias have exerted a powerful fascination on the modern imagination, and utopianism has not always meant a focus on the 'highest' and most rarefied qualities. Artistic work is understood as its own utopia, in the practice of some artists, while the overlooked and neglected, or alternatively, the everyday have been sources of utopian energy for others. Much utopianism has involved an engagement with the city and with urban noise, dirt, detritus and distraction; whilst other utopias have been developed at the margins of the land, on the coast, or at the edges of cities. Throughout the modern era, non-Western artists have also developed their own engagements with these traditions, and have developed alternative modes of visuality and artistic making which may be seen to represent a challenge to Euro-centric histories of art.

Each class is structured around key formal and material paradigms which originated in the early decades of the twentieth century, and were further developed in the post-war period. These include: grids and windows; the palimpsest; the monochrome; collage; urban visuality; colour and colour-lessness; chromophilia and chromophobia; the city; work; the studio; social utopianism and the ideal of a collective; war; maternity; childhood; repetition and film spectatorship. Artists whose work we will examine include Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Sophie Taueber-Arp, Hans Arp, Henry Moore, Agnes Martin, Gerhard Richter, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg, Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana, Eva Hesse, Roni Horn, Gabriel Orozco, Hélio Oiticica, Tacita Dean and Chris Ofili.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
* Students will acquire knowledge and develop understanding of key twentieth-century artists and artistic movements.
* Students will be equipped to perceive and analyse the ways in which forms and ideas developed within earlier twentieth-century art continue to underpin later twentieth-century and contemporary art.
* Students will develop the ability to perceive and argue for connections across a range of artistic practices.
* Students will gain confidence in handling a range of theoretically sophisticated methodologies.

Students will develop their existing abilities to:
* Look closely at works of art;
* Read difficult texts skilfully and with understanding;
* Analyze ideas and arguments successfully;
* Present their own ideas clearly and well in writing and in debate;
* Prepare and organize their work effectively to deadlines.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Tamara Trodd
Tel: (0131 6)51 3120
Course secretaryMiss Lizzie Robertson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5852
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