New Course for Spring 2012: Art of the Historical Avant-Garde

As registration for Spring 2012 academic courses begins, I have been fielding questions regarding new courses I will be teaching in January. In addition to previously taught courses which I will be instructing again, FPA 111: Issues in Fine and Performing Arts (SFU) and ARTH 1130:Introduction to Film Studies (Kwantlen), I will also be involved with teaching a new upper level seminar—see detailed description below. Once again I am looking forward to a dynamic and engaging term in all classes!

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Thursdays 4:00-6:50pm, Fir D128)
This seminar examines the shifting field of visual art and culture in Europe and North America during the first half of the twentieth century (c. 1900-1955) with special emphasis given to the movements of the historical avant-garde. Considering these major movements (such as Fauvism, Futurism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism) in the context of the social, economic and political upheavals of this complex and multi-faceted time period, key to the course will be the broader question of modernity itself and its transformation through a time of radical technological, social and political change. 

Blindman. Ed. Henri-Pierre Roche, Beatrice Wood, 
and Marcel Duchamp. New York, 1917.

Topics such as the social and representative meanings of abstraction, the internationalization of art production, the development of modernism and its attendant theories, and the impact of new technologies on the production and dissemination of art objects will be explored. And while the seminar itself will be organized around the familiar “isms” that have historically constructed the canon of avant-garde studies, careful consideration will be given to the fabricated nature of these designations, reading instances of art practice for aesthetic significance together with connections and responses to specific historical and social developments. Traditional media such as painting, drawing and sculpture will be examined alongside the newer media of photography, assemblage, film and collage.