Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917/1964 Glazed ceramic with black paint

Between Art and Life: Postwar Avant-garde Art

Instructor: Lindsay Caplan
The Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street New York
New York 10011

“Painting relates to both art and life,” explained Robert Rauschenberg during a 1973 interview, “I try to act in that gap between the two.” Unlike the interwar avant-gardes like Futurism, Dada, and Constructivism that sought to dissolve art in order to politicize it, artists in the decades after World War II worked within and through art, dispersing the category while always acknowledging the persistence of its frame.

This course will trace the new political stakes of the postwar avant-gardes, focusing on this dispersion of the work of art (through references to pop culture, for example, or its expansion into space through installation and other experimental practices). We will take particular note of the effects this dispersal had on the viewer, assessing the new demands on spectatorship. We will focus on a selection of movements from the 1960s to the 1980s: Pop Art, Minimalism, Installation, New Media, Appropriation, Institutional Critique, Feminism, and Postmodernism. Reading artists’ writings, critical literature, and contemporaneous theories, we will wrestle with the relationship between art, history, and politics as it was formed and reformed from the era of postwar to the postmodern.

Course Schedule

Tuesday, 7-9pm
October 01 — November 05, 2013
6 weeks

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