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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 60's

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.

HA2B5: Art and Visual Perception

We take seeing for granted. But does what we know affect what we see? What is distinctive about the way we see things in a painting? Do we see with our eyes or our whole body? Can seeing be ‘blind’? The module aims to answer questions of this kind bearing on normal perception, and on our perception of pictures. It places emphasis on demonstrating how we see the world, and on how works of art function visually. It is not period-specific, but focuses instead on the nature of perception, and its role in representation and expression, across a wide chronological range of art.

HA2C0: From Fortress to Country House

The idea that castles are for warfare and that houses for the nobility only emerged later has undergone a radical re-evaluation and the boundaries are now less rigidly set. We can now see how the castle was a symbol of prestige and status, and was meant to convey an idea, rather than provide a base for battles. Using Kenilworth Castle as our starting point, we'll explore the changing nature of the housing for the nobility and look at further buildings from the middle ages through the Elizabethan era. We'll evaluate its form and function and you'll be introduced to methods of architectural analysis that involve thinking about the uses of the buildings as much as the development of plans and façade designs.

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

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.

HA2D1: Spanish Painting of the Golden Age

The seventeenth century was a “Golden Age” in Spanish art and culture; a period during which the arts flourished, in stark contrast to the social and political circumstances surrounding the decline of Spain's world-wide empire. This module aims to explore the developments in Spanish painting, from the idiosyncratic mannerism of El Greco and the Counter-Reformistic values of painters such as Zurbarán, Murillo and Ribera, to the extraordinary heights reached by Velázquez, one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time.

HA2D9: 'Golden Age' to 'Modern Breathrough': Danish Art in the Nineteenth Century

This module examines Danish art through the nineteenth century, from the so-called ‘Golden Age’ to what the influential literary critic Georg Brandes termed ‘the modern breakthrough’. Painting, sculpture, and some decorative arts will be analysed against the background of Denmark’s political and cultural history. Topics are likely to include: Eckersberg and the Danish Royal Academy; the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and Thorvaldsen’s Museum; Danish artists in Italy; the representation of public and private spaces in Golden Age Copenhagen; national landscape; the art colony at Skagen; Vitalism and the body in the late-nineteenth century.