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HA4326 Art and Modernism

Module Coordinator: Dr Yvonne Scott
Duration of the Module: Hilary Semester
Contact Hours: 2 lectures pw, and 1 seminar per fortnight
Weighting: 10 ECTS

Art and Modernism will explore the work of the hundred years or so to 1970. While Modernism is largely associated with the twentieth century this module explores also the cultural environment of the late nineteenth century that gave rise to this exciting and dynamic phase of visual art. This programme will provide a structure in terms of the movements and visual strategies identified with modernism, such as Cubism, Primitivism, Expressionism, Dada, Surrealism (and others) but also the key themes and issues that were significant across these movements. Art and Modernism will address the ground-breaking contributions of some of the leading figures, including Picasso, Matisse, Munch, Kandinsky, Duchamp, Malevich, Dali, and Pollock. The means of visual communication – through experiment with colour, form, materials and forums for exhibition – were fundamental to the challenges they posed not just to traditions of visual expression, but to the very society within which they functioned.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • recognize and identify the work of a range of significant artists during the period 1880-1970
  • explain the stylistic, philosophical, and/or theoretical bases of various art movements
  • critically analyse the thematic content and methods of representation of art over the period
  • understand the relevance of the wider cultural context for the production of art in the period
  • engage critically with a range of selected texts on the art history, visual culture, and critical theory relevant to art of the period
  • have an appreciation of the infrastructure for the exhibition of art


Last updated 13 December 2016 arthist@tcd.ie.