Paris has been described as the capital of the 19th century, and indeed one can talk of a European cultural hegemony that lasted until the outbreak of the Second World War. The postwar period, however, saw a migration of cultural authority across the Atlantic to the United States, and with the ending of the Cold War American cultural dominance seemed to become even more deeply entrenched. If the close of the colonial era did not then eliminate the asymmetry of power between Western and non-Western cultures, it did at least alter the conditions for artistic production in the latter. Furthermore, with an increasing pace of globalization at the end of the century, the opportunities for non-Western artists to reach new audiences have expanded enormously. This course will begin with a consideration of Pollock and Abstract Expressionism, and later developments in American art will be a major focus of the course, which will also be concerned to document the contribution of non-Western artists. A thematic approach will be adopted, with tendencies such as Pop Art, Minimal and Post-Minimal art, Environmental and Installation Art, Performance Art, Conceptual and Neo-Conceptual Art being amongst those which may be considered. A wide variety of artworks dating from 1945 to the present day will be discussed.
Assessment: 100% coursework.
Prerequisite: One 1000-level Fine Arts course.