20th Century Art: 1945 - Now
Instructor: Samantha Kavky
This course will explore artistic practices in the West from 1945 to the present: drips of paint "thrown" on the canvas by Jackson Pollock; representations of Campbell soup cans (re)produced by Andy Warhol; performance art by men and women using their own bodies instead of paint; earthworks and site-specific constructions that altered urban and rural landscapes; billboard texts by Barbara Kruger; and the AIDS quilt that covered the mall in Washington D.C. The aim is twofold--to offer an introduction to recent art and to provide the conceptual groundwork necessary for understanding it. We will consider certain major themes such as the critique of both traditional and avant-garde aesthetic ideas, resistance to established art institutions, the breakdown of boundaries between art, dance, and theater, and the politics of identity (race/class/gender). Visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA, on campus) will be an integral part of the course.