FAH394Y0 Studies in Modern & Contemporary Art and Architecture: Italy in International Modernism – 1909 to the Present

This course follows Italian art within the history of European and international modernism, from the First Futurist Manifesto in 1909 rejecting the “eternal and futile worship of the past,” through the problematic modernity of Italian fascism, the “transavantgarde” painters of the 1980’s who looked for “a past removed from the rhetoric of the great traditions, and into the present day. Field trips to the major collections of modern art and international exhibitions of contemporary art in Rome, Venice, and the hill towns of Tuscany will offer a rich context for this exploration of the dynamic Italy of the past hundred years. In this course you will be given the opportunity to think about what it’s like to be cutting-edge modern while living in a museum. You will also be given the opportunity to work on your own critical writing skills, thinking about describing works of art as a curator, critic, and, generally, creative writer.Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Prerequisites: One FAH half course in Modern or Contemporary Art and Architecture, or relevant academic preparation
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FAH394Y0 – 2017 Preliminary Course Outline

Field trips: Excursions to major collections of modern art offer a rich context for this exploration of the dynamic Italy of the past hundred years and of the present. Sites to be visited include Pistoia, Colle de Val D’Elsa and San Gimignano and overnight trips to Venice and Rome. The cost of these trips is CAD$1,035, paid to U of for return bus transportation to all sites, overnight hotel accommodation in Venice and Rome, and most entry fees. Students should also budget CAD$15 for entrance fees to be paid onsite in Rome.

Instructor: Elizabeth Legge, Chair of the Department of Art, works in the field of European modern art and contemporary art and culture in Britain and Canada. Her books are on the surrealist artist Max Ernst and Freudian psychoanalysis in the 1920’s; and on Michael Snow’s beautiful film Wavelength. Her article on the Dada poet Tristan Tzara and his complicated cultural identities is being reprinted in a new book Dada in Debate (2014); and she has contributed a chapter to a major book on the multimedia artist Vera Frenkel (2013). She has taught in the Siena program four times, and has found the experience of introducing students to Italy — including, of course, food — while wandering off the beaten track in the quest for modern art in the midst of the great monuments of thousands of years, to be the best possible teaching experience.

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