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Second Year Short Modules

All modules are 15 credits and are taught in a single term

HA2A5: Art and Culture since the 1960s

The 1960s saw an unprecedented explosion of new art forms: happenings, performance, pop, conceptualism, body art, earthworks, installation, video. Many of these emerged as a reaction to long-established traditions of painting and sculpture, but they were equally a response to specific social and political upheavals. This module examines how and why these changes came about, and how they have impacted upon contemporary art. The emphasis will be on European and North American art from the 1960s to the present day. By the end of the module you will have an overview of the most significant developments in contemporary art since the 1960s, and tools with which to research and decipher a wide range of visual imagery and documentation. You will also be equipped with a critical framework by which to discuss contemporary art.

HA2A9: The Italian City States in the Age of Dante and Petrarch

This module will introduce students to the rich visual culture of the Italian towns in their most successful period of economic growth and social change, c.1215-c.1400. It analyses and compares the sophisticated civic identities that were crafted by four Italian communes: Siena, Florence, Padua and Venice. The modules also addresses the importance of religious renewal, above all the impact of the mendicant orders, for the religious art and devotional ritual of the Italian communes. It will encourage students to place the visual arts of this period in relation to contemporary literature (above all Dante’s Divine Comedy), political thought, and social history.

HA2B1: The Spaces in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting

This module aims to familiarise students with the new subjects, styles and genres of painting which emerged in the newly-independent Dutch Republic during the seventeenth century. Focusing on imagery of everyday life – including domestic genre scenes, townscapes and still life paintings – the module will look at how artists pictured the interior, exterior and colonial spaces in which a newly-empowered Protestant, middle-class public emerged between c.1600 and 1680. We will look at how these paintings dealt with issues relating to representation and realism, national, civic and artistic identity, gender and sexuality, and commerce and colonialism. As well as examining the role of painting in contributing to the formation of identities and ideologies which forged a Dutch middle-class society, students will also be asked to consider the impact which this process had on the production, forms and status of painting itself.

HA2B9: The Aesthetic Movement in Britain 1860-1900

This module aims to familiarize students with the conceptual, visual and material aspects of the Aesthetic Movement in Britain from the 1860s to the end of the nineteenth century. Examining a wide range of paintings, prints, decorative arts, and interiors, the module will explore different notions of “art for art’s sake”, and the ways in which these underpin new artistic styles, approaches to the exhibition of art, debates about interior spaces and their decoration, and new models of artistic identity. Students will be asked to consider how coherent a notion Aestheticism is, and to address tensions between high art and commodity culture, and between politically conservative and politically radical uses of the aesthetic in the period

HA2C5: A Fine Tomorrow: British and and Culture in the 1950s

The years 1945-1960 marked an extraordinary period for British art, architecture and design. From the austerity years and the optimism and idealism of planners and politicians, to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's claim that most people had 'never had it so good', this module probes the diversity and vitality of British culture in the Cold War era. The module considers a breadth of art from Neo-Romanticism and Kitchen-Sink realism, to Geometry of Fear sculptors and responses to the growth of consumer culture. It also explores the role of architects and planners in rebuilding post-war Britain. Events and artists considered may include the Festival of Britain, Competition for a Memorial to the Unknown Political Prisoner and the 'This is Tomorrow' exhibition, John Piper, Graham Sutherland, Henry Moore, Reg Butler, Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, Le Corbusier and Alison and Peter Smithson.