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

Undergraduate Course: The Death and Life of Painting (HIAR10097)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn the early 1980s, painting, which had come to represent a diminished presence at the cutting edge of the international art scene, was finally declared dead by a number of influential American art critics. The death of painting however, turned out to be a curious affair. While those who had come to bury the medium attempted, in their critical writings, to dispose of the aesthetic remains, others began to claim that, far from being dead, painting was actually showing vital signs of life.

These seminars will examine the crisis which brought about painting's premature burial and explore the reasons behind its cultural resurrection.

Through a critical analysis of texts by writers such as Archille Bonito Oliva, Thomas Lawson, Donald Kuspit and Douglas Crimp together with an exploration of painting by a wide range of artists including Ryman, Guston, Twombly, Schnabel, Baselitz, Kiefer and Richter, we will scrutinize the claim that painting represented a stagnant bastion of a redundant modernist tradition and consider its capacity to remain a relevant cultural force.

Along the way we will examine a variety of ideas relating to the nature of the avant garde and the meanings of Postmodernism.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History of Art courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify the factors involved in the, so-called, 'death of painting' and therefore, be equipped to formulate their own opinions on both the nature of this specific debate and on the changing role of painting under new Post Modern conditions.
  2. Use textual and visual material to analyse and interpret how cultural attitudes and political agendas influenced the responses to painting, a medium long considered to be a crucial vehicle of artistic expression.
  3. Be equipped, with a general understanding of the visual, conceptual and theoretical developments influencing the general trends in artistic production, after world war two in America and Europe.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Peter Rimmer
Tel: 0131 651 1460
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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