1. The Nineteenth Century (18 hours, 3 cfu). First lessons will explore the age of neoclassicism and the political and ideological reasons which led to artistic production; they will address thus the revival of ancient forms in revolutionary and Napoleonic Europe. Romanticism will be analysed in its fantastic and visionary aspects as well as in its nationalist-historical revivals. Cities and landscapes will be studied as both social and artistic places of action and representation. Special emphasis will be put on the art system: through realism to symbolism, the bourgeois culture led to a different social role for artists, after the loss of prestige for traditional institutions such as the Salon, the Academy or the Museum, and radically changed the reception of modern art within public and criticism.
2. The First Half of Twentieth Century (18 hours, 3 cfu). Classes will be focused on the avant-garde movements – from fauve painting to German expressionism, from French cubism to Italian futurism, from British vorticism to Soviet constructivism and suprematism, from Dutch neoplasticism to dada and surrealism – and thus on their controversial acknowledgement, within scandals and lively debates, radical experimentations in language and shocking poetics statements. Textual analysis of artworks and criticism will lead our understanding of key-personalities of the epoch, before and after WWI, when the rappels à l’ordre will mark quality and fortune of some proposals: from Metafisica to Novecento Italiano, from German Neue Sachlichkeit to the École de Paris and new antifascist groups all throughout Europe. Ideology and propaganda imprinted artistic research in the interwar years of totalitarianism and deeply conditioned subjects, languages, techniques and formats (from the return to handicraft to mural painting). Thanks to an extraordinary public investment in state culture, politics shaped the art system, influencing exhibitions, criticism, and the market.
3. The Second Half of Twentieth Century (18 hours, 3 cfu). The end of WWII was a turning point for artists on both sides of the Atlantic: from American abstract expressionism to art brut and informel in Europe, to their crisis in the years of the economic boom of capitalist societies, from early 50s, between realisms and new figuration. In the 60s and 70s, neo-avant-garde breaks with habits, poetics and even spaces traditionally used for art practise and contests the art system and mass-culture: from pop art to minimalism, from arte povera to land art, from video to performance and body art, works and artists will be read in the light of political, economic, social and technological changes in a global perspective. Such opening will let us consider the entrance of new names, media and viewpoints on the art scene since the first 80s, with a decolonial approach, far from the hegemony of modernist discourse.