Art and Modernity
Full course description
How does modern art relate to its social context? This course answers that question by exploring the complex ties between modernity and the various arts, especially painting, literature, and film. It focuses on the period between 1780 and 1980, roughly, and introduces influential artistic movements including realism, naturalism, modernism and the avant-gardes - all of which try to capture what they consider to be reality. The course also places these movements in a broader social context, and explains how artists responded to phenomena like urbanization, colonialism, and the rise of the modern media system. Making things more concrete, the course zooms in on a number of case studies including Manet’s Olympia (1863), Conrad’s “An Outpost of Progress” (1897), Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925), and Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929).