ARTH 287/687: 20th Century Art in America and Europe--1945 to the Present
Spring 2003

Dr. Oliver Shell
Office: Jaffe204; Hours: Tuesdays 1-3
Phone: (215) 898-0124 or (215) 574-8975

Lecture: Monday and Wednesday 12:00-12:50, Meyerson B3

Teaching Assistants:
Meredith Malone (
Liliana Milkova (


Recitation Sections:
201 Wed. 2-3 Mey B13
202 Fri. 12-1 Jaffe 201
203 Thurs. 10:30-11:30 Jaffe 201
204 Fri. 11-12 Jaffe 201
205 Wed. 3-4 Mey B3
206 Fri. 2-3 Jaffe104

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, 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 at the 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. Participation includes active discussion of the readings during section, attendance of 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.

Comparison Paper Due Feb. 19
Midterm March 5
Research Paper Due April 21
Final Exam May 2 (8:30-10:30 AM)


Participation 20%, Comparison Paper 10%, Midterm 20%, Research Paper 25%, Final Exam 25%





1/13: Introduction: The 1930s and 40s
Recommended: Fineberg, 20-38

1/15: The New York School / Abstract Expressionism: Action Painting
Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock

Fineberg, 74-98

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

1/20: No Class, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

1/22: The New York School / Abstract Expressionism: Color Field Painting

Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still

Fineberg, 98-115

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

Recommended: 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)

1/27: Sculpture at Mid-Century
Louise Bourgeois, Isamu Noguchi, David Smith

Fineberg, 115-127

Rosalind Krauss, "Tanktotem: Welded Images," Passages in Modern Sculpture, 147-71


1/29: Assemblage, Environments, Happenings

Jim Dine, Alan Kaprow, Claes Oldenberg

Fineberg, 188-199

Alan Kaprow, "The Legacy of Jackson Pollock," Art News (October 1958): 24-26, 55-57

1st Trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Section

2/3: Robert Rauschenberg

Fineberg, 177-187

Leo Steinberg, "The Flatbed Picture Plane," excerpt of "Other Criteria," (1972) in Other Criteria, 82-91

2/5: Jasper Johns

Fineberg, 206-221

Leo Steinberg, "Jasper Johns: The First Seven Years of His Art," (1962) in Other Criteria, 17-54

2nd Trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Section



2/10: Early British and American Pop Art

Richard Hamilton, Andy Warhol

Fineberg, 237-241, 250-259

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

2/12: Pop Art

Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenberg, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann

Fineberg, 199-206, 244-250, 259-266

Clement Greenberg, "Avant-Garde and Kitsch," (1939) in Art and Culture, 3-21

2/17: Post-Painterly Abstraction

Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski

Fineberg, 154-158

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

2/19: Minimalism
Frank Stella, Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Tony Smith

Fineberg, 294-306

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 (Fine Arts Library Reserve)

Visual Analysis Papers Due in Class

2/24: Grids: Modernism and Post-Modernism
Agnes Martin, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Ryman, Sol Le Witt

Fineberg, 307-310

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

Fineberg, 222-236

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

3/3: Conceptual Art/ Process Art

John Baldassari, Eva Hesse, Joseph Kosuth, Robert Morris, Richard Serra, Walter de Maria

Fineberg, 311-315, 318-323, 338-346

Joseph Kosuth, "Art After Philosophy," Studio International 178 (October 1969), 134-137

3/5: Midterm Exam

Spring Break!

3/17: Earthworks

Christo, Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Richard Long, Robert Smithson, James Turrell

Fineberg, 323-332, 356-365

Films (shown during section): Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty; Christo’s Running Fence

3/19: Performance Art
Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Chris Burden, Carolee Schneemann, Eleanor Antin

Fineberg, 346-349, 351-352

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

3/24: Feminist Art

Judy Chicago, Hannah Wilke, Miriam Schapiro, Mary Kelly, Cindy Sherman, Guerilla Girls

Fineberg, 376-382

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; 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

3/26: Art Institutional Critiques
Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren, Hans Haacke, Louise Lawler

Fineberg, 354-356

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

3/31: New Image Painting
Jennifer Bartlett, Philip Guston, Neil Jenney, Susan Rothenberg, Mark Tansey

Fineberg, 405-413, 433-439

Barbara Rose, "American Painting: "The Eighties," (1980) in Hertz, 17-30

4/2: Neo-Expressionism and the Trans-avantgarde

Georg Baselitz, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Anselm Kiefer, Jean-Michel Basquiat

Fineberg, 414-428, 448-459

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

4/7: Appropriation
Jenny Holtzer, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger; Sherrie Levine

Fineberg, 466-471

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

4/9: Simulation / Neo-Geo

Peter Halley, Allan McCollum, Haim Steinbeck

Fineberg, 471-474

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

4/14: Race and Cultural Identity
Romare Bearden, David Hammons, Adrian Piper, Faith Ringgold, Betye and Alison Saar, Kara Walker

Fineberg, 394-398, 484-487

bell hooks, "The Poetics of Soul: Art for Everyone," in Art on My Mind: Visual Politics, 1995; David Joselit, "Notes on Surface: Towards a Genealogy of Flatness," Art History Vol. 23 No. 1 (March 2000) 19-34.

4/16: Site Specific Art / Architectural Art / Public Art

Alice Aycock, Robert Irwin, Maya Lin, Mary Miss, Richard Serra

Fineberg, 398-405

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

3rd Trip to the Institute of Contemporary Art or PMA During Section

4/21: Politics: Censorship / Activism / AIDS

Robert Maplethorpe, Andre Serrano; Act-up, David Wojnarowicz

Fineberg, 459-63

Carole S. Vance, "The War on Culture," Art in America Vol.77 (Sept. 1989) 39-45; Nicols Fox, "Cultural Cowardice Conservative Clout," New Art Examiner Vol.17 (Sept. 1989) 38-41; Douglas Crimp, "AIDS: Cultural Analysis/ Cultural Activism," October 43 (Winter 1987), 3-16

Final Research Papers Due

4/23: Art Now: Body and Video

Kiki Smith, Robert Gober, Charles Ray, Bill Viola, Matthew Barney

Fineberg, 478-84, 488-95

5/2: Final Exam (8:30-10:30 AM)


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,


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.