In art, as in other fields of knowledge, the late 19th century and the early 20th century was a time when pre-existing assumptions were challenged in a radical way. To certain artists in Europe, for instance, illusionistic realism or the conventions of perspective no longer seemed adequate tools for representing the world and our experience of it. Amongst the factors provoking this crisis of vision was an increasing awareness of other cultures and their differing modes of visual representation, and many non-Western artists shared with their Western counterparts this new sense of the relativity of cultural knowledge, although they tended to respond to it in different ways. Vision in Crisis will examine this moment of great artistic change, focusing primarily on European examples, with Chinese art being taken as the main non-Western case for study. Artists whose work may be discussed in depth include Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Picasso and Matisse.
Assessment: 100% coursework.
Prerequisite: One 1000-level Fine Arts course.