WR150 M6: Art and Politics in the Twentieth Century
College of Arts and Sciences, Boston University, Spring 2008
Office hours: Tues. 11-12, 3:30-4:30
CAS Writing Center, 301M
730 Comm. Ave (next to Espresso Royale Café)
Artists and critics of the nineteenth century emphasized art’s autonomy from real life, as
the phrase “art for art’s sake” indicates.
However, the calamitous events of the twentieth
century challenged art’s supposed independence from the social conditions of its creation,
and many artists and critics responded to the two world wars, the Great Depression, the
Cold War, and other events with a strong commitment to social engagement.
explores links between visual art and politics in the twentieth century, focusing
specifically on artistic groups and movements in Europe, the USSR, and the US.
struggles of women and minority artists to gain critical recognition will also be
Students will study seminal works of art, as well as essays by various artists,
critics, and political figures.
The following book is available at the Barnes and Noble in Kenmore Square:
Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell.
The Concise Wadsworth Handbook
ed. Toronto: Thomson and Wadsworth, 2005.
The following readings will be posted on CourseInfo:
Arnold Hauser, from
The Philosophy of Art History
Jutta Held and Alex Potts, “How Do The Political Effects of Pictures Come About? The
case of Picasso’s
Harold Rosenberg, “The American Action Painters”
Lucy Lippard, “Judy Chicago’s
Belisario R. Contrera, “Introduction” from
Tradition and Innovation in New Deal Art