ARTH 249 - Special Topics: Modern Art/Seminar
Introduces specific topics in the study of modern art. Research and writing intensive. Qualified students from other disciplines are welcome.
Fall 2018 Topic
Art and Biography in the Modern Era
This course will look critically at the relationship between the artist’s life and work. Biographical analysis has been a popular mode of inquiry throughout the twentieth century. Although it has played a key role in shaping our understanding of modern art, this course will challenge the underlying assumption that the artist’s life matters (or to what degree). Some of the questions to be considered include: How important is the artist’s own commentary in determining his or her own intentions? Have critics and historians placed too much emphasis on the biography of the artist? What are the possibilities and pitfalls of using an artist’s life to understand and interpret their work? This course will introduce the theoretical debates over the use of biographical analysis as an art historical method, and then will focus on a selection of artists from the modern period.
Anticipated Terms Offered: Periodically