ARTH 287-001: 20th Century Art in America and Europe--1945 to Now
Spring 2001
Instructor: Samantha Kavky
Lecture: Monday and Wednesday 12:00-12:50, Meyerson B3
Teaching Assistants: Beck Feibelman, Emily Hage

Recitation Sections:
201 Wed. 2-3 Meyerson B5
202 Wed. 3-4 Meyerson B5
203 Thurs. 10:30-11:30 Jaffe 104
204 Fri. 11-12 Meyerson B7
205 Fri. 12-1 TBA
206 Fri. 12-1 TBA

WATU Affiliation

This course offers a general survey of 20th century art, in America and Europe, from 1945 to the present. Major movements and artists will be presented both chronologically and thematically. Issues of particular interest will include: the politics of the avant-garde, the intersections between fine art and popular culture, representations of sexual and racial identity, censorship, activism, the environment, the museum, public art, and the ongoing debate between Modernist and Post-modernist views. The course will consist of weekly lectures, recitation sections and three museum trips.


Jonathan Fineberg, Art Since 1940 (Prentice Hall, 2000) available at the Penn Book Center, 130 S. 34th St.
Reading packet available at Campus Copy Center, 3907 Walnut Street
Recommended readings can be found on Reserve Furness/Fisher Fine Arts Library
Lecture images will be posted on-line:


Recitation Sections: Attendance is required and participation will count for a percentage of the grade. This will include discussion, museum trips, and a short oral presentation of one reading assignment which will then be written and handed in to your TA (1-2 pages).

There will be two exams--a one hour midterm and a two hour final. There will be two writing assignments: a comparative visual analysis of two works from the Philadelphia Museum of Art (3-5 pages), and a research paper (8-10 pages). No late papers will be accepted. Plagiarism will result in a failing grade.

Participation 15%, Comparison Paper 15%, Midterm 20%, Research Paper 25%, Final Exam 25% 



1/17: Introduction: The 1930s and 40s
Recommended: Fineberg, 20-38

1/19: The New York School / Abstract Expressionism: Action Painting
Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock
Background: Fineberg, 74-98
Readings: Harold Rosenberg, "The American Action Painters," (1952) in The Tradition of the New, 23-39; Clement Greenberg, "‘American-Type’ Painting," (1958) in Art and Culture, 208-229

1/22: The New York School / Abstract Expressionism: Color Field Painting
Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still
Background: Fineberg, 98-115
Reading: Bradford Collins, "Life Magazine and the Abstract Expressionists, 1948-51: A Historiographic Study of a Late Bohemian Enterprise," The Art Bulletin 73 (June 1991), 283-308
For further reading: Max Kozloff, "American Painting During the Cold War," and Eva Cockcroft, "Abstract Expressionism, Weapon of the Cold War," in Francis Frascina, ed., Pollock and After, The Critical Debate (1985)

1/24: Sculpture at Mid-Century
Louise Bourgeois, Alberto Giacometti, Isamu Noguchi, David Smith
Background: Fineberg, 115-127
Reading: Rosalind Krauss, "Tanktotem: Welded Images," in Passages in Modern Sculpture, 147-71

1/29: Assemblage, Environments, Happenings
Jim Dine, Alan Kaprow, Edward Kienholz, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenberg, George Segal
Background: Fineberg, 188-199
Reading: Alan Kaprow, "The Legacy of Jackson Pollock," Art News (October 1958): 24-26, 55-57

1/31: Robert Rauschenberg
Background: Fineberg, 177-187
Reading: Leo Steinberg, "The Flatbed Picture Plane," excerpt of "Other Criteria," (1972) in Other Criteria, 82-91

Trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Section

 2/5: Jasper Johns
Background: Fineberg, 206-221
Reading: Leo Steinberg, "Jasper Johns: The First Seven Years of His Art," (1962) in Other Criteria, 17-54

2/7: Early British and American Pop Art
Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol
Background: Fineberg, 237-241, 250-261
Reading: Clement Greenberg, "Avant-Garde and Kitsch," (1939) in Art and Culture, 3-21

2/12: Pop Art
Robert Indiana, Claes Oldenberg, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann
Background: Fineberg, 199-206, 261-266
Reading: Benjamin Buchloh, "Andy Warhol’s One-Dimensional Art: 1956-1966," in Andy Warhol: A Retrospective, Kynaston McShine ed. (1989) 39-61 Recommended: Thomas Crow, "Saturday Disasters: Trace and Reference in Early Warhol," Art in America 75 (May 1987): 129-136

2/14: Post-Painterly Abstraction
Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski
Background: Fineberg, 154-158
Reading: Clement Greenberg, "Modernist Painting," Art and Literature 4 (1965), repr. in F. Frascina and C. Harrison eds., Modern Art and Modernism: A Critical Anthology, 5-10
Visual Analysis Papers Due in Section

2/19: Minimalism
Frank Stella, Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Tony Smith
Background: Fineberg, 294-306
Reading: Michael Fried, "Art and Objecthood," Artforum (June 1967), repr. in G. Battcock ed., Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology, 116-147
Recommended: Anna Chave, "Minimalism and the Rhetoric of Power," Arts Magazine 64 (January 1990): 44-63

2/21: Grids: Modernism and Post-Modernism
Agnes Martin, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Ryman, Sol Le Witt
Background: Fineberg, 307-310
Reading: Rosalind Krauss, "The Originality of the Avant-Garde: A Postmodernist Repetition," October (Fall 1981), repr. in The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths, 151-170

2/26: Conceptual Art in Europe
Joseph Beuys, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni
Background: Fineberg, 222-236
Readings: Thomas McEvilley, "Yves Klein, Messenger of the Age of Space," Artforum 20 (January 1982), 38-51; Donald Kuspit, "Beuys: Fat, Felt and Alchemy," Art in America 68 (May 1980), 79-89

2/28: Conceptual Art/ Process Art
John Baldassari, Eva Hesse, Joseph Kosuth, Robert Morris, Richard Serra Walter de Maria
Background: Fineberg, 311-315, 318-323, 338-346
Reading: Joseph Kosuth, "Art After Philosophy," Studio International 178 (October 1969), 134-137

3/5: Earthworks
Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Richard Long, Walter de Maria, Robert Smithson, James Turrell
Background: Fineberg, 323-332
Films (shown during section): Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty; Christo’s Running Fence

3/7: Midterm Exam

Spring Break

3/19: Site Specific Art / Architectural Art / Public Art
Alice Aycock, Christo, Robert Irwin, Maya Lin, Mary Miss, Richard Serra
Background: Fineberg, 356-365, 398-405
Readings: Elizabeth Hess, "A Tale of Two Memorials," Art in America 71 (April 1983), 121-128; Robert Storr, "‘Tilted Arc’: Enemy of the People?" Art in America 73 (September 1985), 90-97

3/21: Performance Art
Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Chris Burden, Gilbert and George, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik
Background: Fineberg, 346-349, 351-354
Reading: David Bourdon, "An Eccentric Body of Art," (1973) in Gregory Battcock ed., The Art of Performance, 183-193
Recommended: Christine Poggi, "Vito Acconci’s Bad Dream of Domesticity," in Christopher Reed, ed., Not at Home: The Suppression of Domesticity in Modern Art and Architecture, (1996), 237-252 

3/26: Performance / Feminist Art
Eleanor Antin, Judy Chicago, Carolee Schneemann, Hannah Wilke, Ana Mendiata, Faith Ringgold, Miriam Schapiro
Background: Fineberg, 376-382
Readings: John Berger, excerpt from Ways of Seeing, (1973) 45-64; Judith Barry and Sandy Flitterman, "Textual Strategies: The Politics of Art Making," Screen 21 (Summer 1980), repr. in R. Parker and G. Pollock eds., Framing Feminism: Art and the Women’s Movement 1970-1985, 313-321

3/28: Feminist Strategies (cont.)
Mary Kelly, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Janine Antoni, Guerilla Girls
Judith Williamson, "A Piece of the Action, Images of ‘Woman’ in the Photography of Cindy Sherman," from Consuming Passions: The Politics and Images of Popular Culture, (1985) 91-113

4/2: Art Institutional Critiques
Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren, Hans Haacke, Louise Lawler
Background: Fineberg, 354-356
Readings: Daniel Buren, "The Function of the Museum," (1970) in Hertz, ed. Theories of Contemporary Art, 219-222; Douglas Crimp, "On the Museum’s Ruins," in Hal Foster, ed., The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, 43-56

4/4: Race and Cultural Identity
David Hammons, Glenn Ligon, Adrian Piper, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems
Background: Fineberg, 484-487
Readings: bell hooks, "The Poetics of Soul: Art for Everyone," "Altars of Sacrifice: Re-membering Basquiat," "Diasporic Landscapes of Longing," Facing Difference: The Black Female Body," "Representing the Black Male Body," in Art on My Mind: Visual Politics, 1995.
Trip to Institute of Contemporary Art during Section

4/9: New Image Painting
Jennifer Bartlett, Philip Guston, Neil Jenney, Susan Rothenberg
Background: Fineberg, 405-413, 433-439
Reading: Barbara Rose, "American Painting: "The Eighties," (1980) in Hertz, 17-30

4/11: Neo-Expressionism and the Trans-avantgarde
Georg Baselitz, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Anselm Kiefer, A. R. Penck, Jean-Michel Basquiat
Background: Fineberg, 414-428, 448-459
Readings: Craig Owens, "Honor, Power and the Love of Women," Art in America 71 (January 1983), 7-13 repr. in Hertz, 57-67; Hal Foster, "The Expressive Fallacy," Art in America 71 (January 1983), 80-83, 137

4/16: Appropriation
Jenny Holtzer, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger; Sherrie Levine
Background: Fineberg, 466-471
Readings: Douglas Crimp, "Appropriating Appropriation," in Hertz, 157-162; Hal Foster, "Subversive Signs," in Hertz, 179-188; Jeanne Siegel, "After Sherrie Levine," Arts Magazine 59 (June 1985) 141-44

4/18: Simulation / Neo-Geo
Peter Halley, Jonathan Lasker, Ross Bleckner, Allan McCollum, Haim Steinbeck
Background: Fineberg, 471-474
Readings: Craig Owens, "Allan McCollum: Repetition and Difference," (1983) in Beyond Recognition, Representation, Power and Culture, 117-121; Peter Halley, "On Line," New Observations 35 (1985), repr. in Brian Wallis, ed., Blasted Allegories, 329-334
Recommended: Jean Baudrilliard, "The Precession of Simulacra," (1983) in Brian Wallis, ed., Art After Modernism, 253-281

Trip to PMA during section

4/23: Politics: Censorship / Activism / AIDS
Robert Maplethorpe, Andre Serrano; Act-up, David Wojnarowicz
Background: Fineberg, 459-63
Readings: NEA articles; Douglas Crimp, "AIDS: Cultural Analysis/ Cultural Activism," October 43 (Winter 1987), 3-16

4/25: Art Now: Body and Video
Kiki Smith, Robert Gober, Charles Ray, Bill Viola, Matthew Barney, Jeff Wall, Tony Oursler, Rachel Whiteread, etc
Recommended: Fineberg, 478-84, 488-95

5/9: Final Exam

Select Bibliography on Reserve at Furness/Fisher Fine Art Library:
Arnason, H.H. History of Modern Art, 4th ed. New York: Abrams, 1998.
Batchelor, David. Minimalism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Battcock, Gregory ed. The Art of Performance: A Critical Anthology. New York: Dutton, 1984.
-------, ed. Idea Art: A Critical Anthology. New York: Dutton, 1973.
-------, ed. Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology. New York: Dutton, 1968.
Beardsley, John. Earthworks and Beyond: Contemporary Art in the Landscape. New York: Abbeville Press, 1998.
Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1972.
Causey, Andrew. Sculpture Since 1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Chave, Anna C. Mark Rothko: Subjects in Abstraction. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.
Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls. New York: Harper, 1995.
Crow, Thomas. The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent. New York: Abrams, 1996.
Felshin, Nina ed. But is it Art? The Spirit of Art as Activism. Seattle: Bay Press, 1995.
Fineberg, Jonathan. Art Since 1940: Strategies of Being. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1995.
Foster, Hal ed. The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. Port Townsend, Wash.: Bay Press, 1983.
-------. The Return of the Real, The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996.
Frascina, Francis, ed. Pollock and After: The Critical Debate. New York: Harper & Row, 1985.
Fried, Michael. Art and Objecthood: Essays and Reviews. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Gibson, Ann. Abstract Expressionism, Other Politics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.
Goldberg, Roselee. Performance: Live Art Since 1960. New York: Abrams, 1998.
Greenberg, Clement. Art and Culture: Critical Essays. Boston: Beacon Press, 1961.
Guilbaut, Serge. How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom and the Cold War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983.
Haskell, Barbara. Blam! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism and Performance 1958-1964. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1984.
Hertz, Richard. Theories of Contemporary Art. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1985.
hooks, bell. Art on My Mind: Visual Politics. New York: New Press, 1995.
Hopps, Walter and Susan Davidson. Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 1998.
Johnson, Ellen H. ed. American Artists on Art from 1940-1980. New York: Harper and Row, 1982.
Kastner, Jeffrey. Land and Environmental Art. London: Phaidon Press, 1998.
Krauss, Rosalind. Cindy Sherman. New York: Rizzoli, 1993.
---------. Grids, Format and Image in 20th Century Art. New York: Pace Gallery, 1980.
---------. The Originality of the Avant-garde and Other Modernist Myths. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985.
---------. Passages in Modern Sculpture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1981.
Lacy, Suzanne, ed. Mapping the Terrain, New Genre Public Art. Seattle: Bay Press, 1995.
Landau, Ellen G. Jackson Pollock. New York: Abrams, 1989.
Madoff, Steven ed. Pop Art: A Critical History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
Mamiya, Christin. Pop Art and Consumer Culture, American Super Market. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992.
McShine, Kynaston ed. Andy Warhol, A Retrospective. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1989.
Owens, Craig. Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.
Parker, Rozsika and Griselda Pollock. Framing Feminism: Art and the Women's
Movement, 1970-85
. New York: Routledge, 1987.
Ratcliff, Carter. The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Postwar American Art. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1996.
Reed, Christopher ed. Not at Home: The Suppression of Domesticity in Modern Art and Architecture. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996.
Risati, Howard, ed. Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1998.
Rosenberg, Harold. The Tradition of the New. New York: McGraw Hill, 1965.
Sandler, Irving. Art of the Postmodern Era, from the Late 1960s to the Early 1990s. New York: Icon, 1996.
-------. The Triumph of American Painting, A History of Abstract Expressionism. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970.
Saltzman, Lisa. Anselm Kiefer and Art After Auschwitz. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Sayre, Henry. The Object of Performance: The American Avant-Garde Since 1970. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989.

Siegel, Jeanne. Painting After Pollock: Structures of Influence. Amsterdam: G & B Arts, 1999.
Smagula, Howard. Currents: Contemporary Directions in the Visual Arts. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1983.
Steinberg, Leo. Encounters with Rauschenberg. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
-------. Other Criteria: Confrontations with Twentieth-century Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 1972.
Stiles, Kristine and Peter Selz, eds. Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art, A Source Book of Artists Writings. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
Tempkin, Ann. Thinking Is Form: The Drawings of Joseph Beuys. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1993.
Varnedoe, Kirk. Jackson Pollock. New York: MoMA, 1998.
Varnedoe, Kirk. Jasper Johns: A Retrospective. New York: MoMA, 1996.
Wallis, Brian ed. Art After Modernism: Rethinking Representation. New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1984.
-------, ed. Blasted Allegories: An Anthology of Writings by Contemporary Artists. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987.
Weintraub, Linda. Art on the Edge and Over: Searching for Art’s Meaning in Contemporary Society 1970s-1990s. Litchfield, CT: Art Insights, 1996.
Wheeler, Daniel. Art Since Mid-Century: 1945 to the Present. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1989
Williamson, Judith. Consuming Passions: The Politics and Images of Popular Culture. New York: Boyars, 1985.
Wood, Paul, et. al. Modernism in Dispute, Art Since the 40s. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.