Art Course Descriptions

Art 161 - Visual Concepts

Full course for one semester. This course introduces the concepts and processes of studio art through drawing and other media. The work will involve traditional and nontraditional approaches to representation and abstraction, and investigate such problems as appropriation and the media, symbolism, narrative, temporality, and site specificity. The focus of the course may vary each semester, depending on the interests and areas of expertise of the faculty. Areas of focus may include painting, printmaking, photography, digital media, sculpture, or the artist’s book. This course serves as the prerequisite to 200-level studio courses. Studio.

Art 201 - Introduction to the History of Art

Full course for one semester. Basic art historical methods and examples of recent scholarship are examined in relationship to a chronologically, geographically, or thematically defined body of art. Credit may not be earned for this course if it is taken after passing a 300-level art history course. Lecture-conference.

Art 262 - The Figure

Full course for one semester. The tradition of Western academic figure drawing began in the Renaissance. The academies of the past, reflecting the official artistic cultures of their time, considered the figure to be central to their artistic training. Each academy represented a different ideal and featured its own style of presentation. The tradition of Western figure drawing centers on the body's response to gravity, volume, and weight within a solid floor plane seen in perspective. The traditional methods of rendering the human body from the Renaissance to the 18th century will be introduced. Students will practice gesture drawing and proportion studies, and will focus on the anatomical structure. We will investigate tonal rendering of the body with various materials, modern and postmodern composition, expressionistic representation, and abstraction. Students will sculpt the figure using fired clay to investigate the body in three dimensions and explore the concept of fragmentation and abstraction. Contemporary issues of body language and gender will be explored in a final project. Slides and readings will expose students to the range of traditional and contemporary figurative works. Prerequisite: Art 161. Studio. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 264 - Intaglio Printmaking

Full course for one semester. This explores the technical, formal, and conceptual aspects of printmaking through such thematic assignments as organic/inorganic, interior/exterior spaces, self-representation, appropriation, relationships of images and words, and a final project involving narrative (representation of extended time and expanded space). Intaglio printmaking includes drypoint, etching, sugarlift, aquatint, and multiple color processes. Additional work will include printing an edition of an image for exchange with class members, and studying master and contemporary prints in the Reed and other local collections. This course is offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Art 161. Studio. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 265 - Relief Printmaking

Full course for one semester. We explore the technical, formal, and conceptual aspects of printmaking through such thematic assignments as organic/inorganic, interior/exterior spaces, self-representation, appropriation, relationships of images and words, and a final project involving narrative (representation of extended time and expanded space). Relief printmaking includes woodcut, linocut, stencil, collagraph, multiple and subtractive block chiaroscuro, and multiple color printing. Additional work will include printing an edition of an image for exchange with class members, and studying master and contemporary prints in the Reed and other local collections. Prerequisite: Art 161. Studio. This course is offered in alternate years.

Art 271 - Painting I

Full course for one semester. The first semester focuses on color interaction and illusions, abstraction and composition, and unusual image shape and mixed media. Assignments include creating a “shape alphabet” and several variations on it; a painting in which there is a close correspondence between image and support; a painting involving object vs. illusion (an unusually shaped or surfaced support in tension with an illusion of transparency or luminosity); and an independent final project that builds upon previous work in the class. The projects in the second semester focus on forms of representation, involving close study of single natural and manmade forms; a series of magnifications into an object or image; study of optical mixture in a color comic image; a double narrative involving multiple figures and still life forms; windows, mirrors, and pictures within pictures; self-portraiture. In both classes, traditional and experimental approaches are introduced in demonstrations and slide lectures, toward the development of one’s own visual and stylistic vocabulary. Although 271 and 272 are conceived as a yearlong introduction to painting, with a progressive sequence of projects, it may, with consent of the instructor, be entered at midyear. Prerequisite: Art 161. Studio.

Art 272 - Painting II

Full course for one semester. The first semester focuses on color interaction and illusions, abstraction and composition, and unusual image shape and mixed media. Assignments include creating a “shape alphabet” and several variations on it; a painting in which there is a close correspondence between image and support; a painting involving object vs. illusion (an unusually shaped or surfaced support in tension with an illusion of transparency or luminosity); and an independent final project that builds upon previous work in the class. The projects in the second semester focus on forms of representation, involving close study of single natural and manmade forms; a series of magnifications into an object or image; study of optical mixture in a color comic image; a double narrative involving multiple figures and still life forms; windows, mirrors, and pictures within pictures; self-portraiture. In both classes, traditional and experimental approaches are introduced in demonstrations and slide lectures, toward the development of one’s own visual and stylistic vocabulary. Although 271 and 272 are conceived as a yearlong introduction to painting, with a progressive sequence of projects, it may, with consent of the instructor, be entered at midyear. Prerequisite: Art 161. Studio.

Art 281 - Sculpture I: The Language of Structure and Scale

Full course for one semester. This introductory course introduces the structural principles and communicative possibilities of materials and their formal three-dimensional relationships. Development of the student’s ability to apply formal visual principles such as scale, weight, and mass is emphasized. Each project addresses one of the three scales of sculpture: the architectural, into which the body fits; the human, to which the body relates; and the intimate, which relates to the hand or head. We will study the fundamentals of wood fabrication including joinery and lamination, plaster molding, and metal fabrication. Throughout the course slide lectures and readings on the work of artists and architects will demonstrate how they have addressed these problems in the past. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Studio.

Art 282 - Sculpture II: From the Figure to the Machine

Full course for one semester. Until the 20th century, representations of the human figure were central to the history of sculpture. In modern and contemporary art, the scale of sculpture is in direct reference to our bodies. Current subjects of art are our bodily functions, aspects of our anatomy, and ideas about the temporal nature of our bodies. In this course students will begin with an investigation of the mechanics of the skeletal and musculature structure in a welded and riveted metal form. The second work focuses on transformation of functional objects made for our bodies; students will reorient the viewer’s understanding of an object, or invent the next generation of an object. Recycled products such as furnishings or home equipment may be used along with welded structures. The final work will focus on sculpture in the expanded field of landscape and architecture. Readings and discussions on figurative sculpture, Dada, Fluxus, contemporary architecture, and contemporary artists’ works will be covered. There will be focus on metal fabrication and welding, and sewing and fabric construction. Prerequisite: Art 281 or consent of the instructor. Studio.

Art 290 - Contemporary Art Photography I

Full course for one semester. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of black and white photographic processes and investigates the use of photography in the context of contemporary art. The class will cover camera operation, principles of exposure, basic understanding of light, film development, and darkroom printing. Technical, aesthetic, and conceptual possibilities of photography are explored through shooting assignments, readings, slide presentations, lab work, and critiques. Students will learn to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Prerequisite: Art 161. Conference.

Art 291 - Contemporary Art Photography II

Full course for one semester. The course will introduce color, larger scale printing, fiber-based printing, and medium format materials. With elementary skills and historical context in place, the class will focus on manifestations of the photographic image as an art object, both physically and conceptually. Technical, aesthetic, and conceptual possibilities of photography are explored through shooting assignments, readings, slide presentations, lab work, and critiques. Class time will be spent in lecture, slide presentations, lab work, critique, and occasional field trips. Students will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Prerequisite: Art 290 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 295 - Digital Media I – Image/Process

Full course for one semester. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of digital media. Technical and conceptual units will be presented in both a historical context and in light of contemporary arts practice. We will explore the link between art, technology, and the computer through readings, slide presentations, and class discussions. Topics will include the nature of the digital document; the relationship of digital forms to traditional hand-based media; the machine/digital aesthetic; intersecting discourses of art, new media, and the sciences. Students will learn to acquire, manipulate, and print digital images. The class will also explore the use of the computer as an autonomous art tool through programming and examine the possibility of process-based art. Students will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Prerequisite: Art 161 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 296 - Digital Media II – Video/Interactive Art

Full course for one semester. With basic familiarity with the digital environment and possibilities for image creation and treatment, we will explore the use of the moving image and digital video as related to art. Students will be exposed to the concepts and techniques of nonlinear video editing and interactivity. We will analyze the ways in which artists employ these technologies and tools into their works through theoretical readings, class discussions, and slide presentations. Assignments will simultaneously address technical and conceptual topics such as the relationship of the real to the virtual and the analog to the digital; scale and repetition; narrative and sequence; meaning and value in the mechanically produced image; the ontological implications of indexical representation; and the dematerialization of the visual object. Class time will be spent in lecture, slide presentations, lab work, critique, and occasional field trips. Students will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Although the course is designed as an extension of Art 295, students with adequate computer literacy may enroll without Art 295. Prerequisite: Art 295 or Art 161 and consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 301 - Recent Writing about Art

One-half course for one semester. This course is intended for, but not limited to, junior and senior majors in art and art history. This team-taught course will introduce students to innovative examples of recent art historical scholarship, spanning a broad geographical and chronological range of topics. Texts will be read with an eye to understanding the methods currently engaged within the discipline of art history and within other fields to interpret visual artifacts. The course also will offer a forum for participants to test the applicability of these interpretive strategies through presentations of their own work. Prerequisites: Art 201 and a least one 300-level class in art history or studio art. This class may be taken more than once for credit. Conference.

Art 304 - Reading the Roman House: Art and Myth in Domestic Space

Full course for one semester. This course will investigate the decoration of the Roman house, with a particular focus on the representation of myth in a domestic context. We will begin by discussing the organization and function of the house in Roman society. We will then consider how mythological scenes found in such spaces could be understood in light of Roman conspicuous consumption, erudite display, gender roles, or religious practices. Mythological painting abounds in the villas of Herculaneum and Pompeii; however, the course will also include late antique examples of myth in domestic settings (such as the floor mosaics of Antioch on the Orontes, or the silver vessels found in Kaiseraugst on the Rhine). Students will give due consideration to what ancient texts (by Petronius, Vitruvius, Pholostratus, and others) might tell us about domestic decoration and the Roman viewer, and what modern interpreters (such as Bryson, Elsner, and Bergmann) might have to contribute to our understanding. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 310 - Art of the Italian Renaissance Courts

Full course for one semester. This course examines the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance courts during the late medieval and early modern periods. Concentrating primarily on the dynastic centers of Milan, Mantua, Ferrara, and Urbino, the course explores the ways in which Renaissance art operated in the service of the court as a powerful tool of statecraft. We will consider the union of art and politics by examining the patronage of the secular princes, while also analyzing how the visual identity of the state intersected with representations of gender and religious difference in the Italian Renaissance city-states. The course will provide new insights into the famous masterworks by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea Mantegna and place their work within a larger discourse that incorporates less well-known local art by painters including Cosimo Tura and Dosso Dossi. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 312 - Art Historical Interpretation

Full course for one semester. A consideration of the ways in which individual works of art and art in general have been understood. This course will examine the historical interpretation of art from its beginnings (Vasari and Wincklemann) through the foundations of modern art history (Panofsky, Wölfflin, Riegl) to the present day (Baxandall, Fried, Bryson). Special attention will be paid to approaches outside of the mainstream of art history (Freudian psychoanalysis and Marxism) and to the methods of interpretation developed in art history's sister disciplines (literary criticism and history). Theoretical problems will be tested against important and controversial works of art such as the Arch of Constantine, Velazquez's Las Meninas, Poussin's Et in Arcadia Ego, the paintings of Gustave Courbet, and Manet's Olympia. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 313 - Art and Life in Renaissance Florence

Full course for one semester. In Lives of the Artists Giorgio Vasari describes how “the arts were born anew” in Renaissance Florence. The city’s streets and piazzas, palaces and churches, paintings and sculptures all give visual form to the cultural and social changes that affected Florentine life. In its study of artists such as Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Leonardo, and Michelangelo, this course concentrates on the 15th and 16th centuries as a period of innovation, in terms of both artistic theory and practice. Through an examination of Florence’s public, ecclesiastical, and domestic spaces, we will consider how visual and material culture served as markers of civic identity and social distinction. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 315 - From Manuscript to Printed Page

Full course for one semester. This course will examine book production from late medieval manuscripts through the rise of printing in the Early Modern period. While some attention will be paid to chronological developments, the primary focus will be thematic. Among the issues considered will be the role of collaboration and workshops, the relationship of word to image, the nature of reproduction, and the impact of technological change. Throughout we will consider the book as a complex whole in its original and modern contexts, working when possible with examples in local collections. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of instructor. Conference.

Art 319 - Late Antique, Early Christian, and Byzantine Art and Architecture

Full course for one semester. An examination of works of art and architecture made in the Mediterranean world between c. 200 and c. 600. Major monuments considered include the Christian and Jewish buildings at Dura-Eupros, the catacombs, the monuments of Constantinian and post-Constantinian Rome, the churches of Ravenna, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, and the icons and monastery of Mt. Sinai. Special attention is paid to placing works in their art historical, historical, and religious contexts and in understanding how art, society, and theology were not interrelated in this period. Conference. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 320 - Iconoclasm

Full course for one semester. Iconoclasm, the purposeful destruction of images, and aniconism—the refusal to produce images—have been recurring phenomena throughout the history of Western art. Whether iconoclasm is an exclusively Western practice will be one of the subjects considered in this course. Prominent examples of iconoclasm and aniconism across time include the ancient practice of destroying the monuments of previous rulers; the prohibition on images in the Hebrew Bible; Christian iconoclasm in medieval Byzantium and in the wake of the Protestant Reformation; state-sponsored destruction of images during the French, Russian, and Nazi revolutions; vandalism; and contemporary attempts to censor the visual arts. Long neglected by art historians, the study of iconoclasm is now considered central to understanding the historical function of images. By examining theories of iconoclasm and selected case studies, this course will attempt to understand the phenomenon and its importance for the study of past art; over the course of the semester each student will conduct a detailed examination of an iconoclastic incident of his or her choice. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 330 - The Nude in Early Modern Europe

Full course for one semester. This course addresses the nude in early modern Europe as a site for theological debate, Neoplatonic inquiry, scientific exploration, and erotic desire. Gazing into the body with an early modern eye initiated a series of negotiations involving the soul, the body politic, and the gendered body. We will contextualize our discussion around the exhibition, The Language of the Nude: Four Centuries of Drawing the Human Body, opening in fall 2008 at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Gallery at Reed College. The exhibition consists of a collection of Old Master drawings by artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Peter Paul Rubens, and Charles Le Brun. Working in conjunction with the curator of the Cooley Gallery, we will study visual display and the poetics of exhibiting the nude. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 334 - Gaps: Visual Art in Cold War Culture 1945–1975

Full course for one semester. Since Plato made his notoriously damning pronouncements concerning the duplicity of art and artists in his Republic, art’s relationship with deception and illusion has been considered to various degrees both inherent and insidious. It is within this tradition that our survey of artistic production in U.S. culture following World War II is situated. The objects we will examine were created during a period marked by numerous gaps manifested most famously in missiles, generations, technology, and credibility itself. Moreover, during a moment of exponential growth in mass media and dematerialized, electronic forms of communication—an era filled with both hope and distrust for the regulating and economizing powers of technology and bureaucratization—the gap widened between seeing and believing. This course will explore the various ways in which the visual arts engaged within the discourse of gaps in culture between 1945 and 1975, paying special attention to how the gaps themselves become sites for signification within the historical network of objects, texts, and events in which they emerged. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 338 - Jewish Art from Moses to Modernity


Full course for one semester. What is the relationship between Judaism and the visual arts? How has the Second Commandment's prohibition against making "graven images" been interpreted in the ancient and modern worlds? What role have art and visual culture played in "boundary definition" when Jewish communities encountered Hellenistic culture, Christianity, Islam, and modernism? This course will take an in-depth look at Jewish texts on art and images from the biblical and rabbinic past to the modern period. We will study the decoration of synagogues in the ancient and modern world and the illumination of Jewish manuscripts. We will then investigate Jewish visual culture in the Italian Renaissance, the age of the ghetto, and the emancipation period. We conclude with biographical studies of some 20th-century Jewish artists, considering questions related to memory, exile and diaspora, tradition and the individual, the Holocaust, Israeli identity(ies) and the arts, and the perceived connections between Jewish spirituality, abstraction, and the use of Hebrew letterforms in the visual arts. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 339 - Images of the Jew in European History

Full course for one semester. This course explores the representation of Jews in European visual and literary culture from the medieval period to the 20th century. We will examine the evolution of an anti-Jewish iconography in Christian art and literature and the relationship of such representations to ecclesiastical exegesis and to the accusations of ritual murder, host desecration, image profanation, and usurious corruption that flourished throughout the continent primarily from the 12th to the 16th century. We will also study the architecture of the Jewish ghetto, examining how Christians and Jews defined themselves and their faiths through the architectural designs, urban planning, and socioeconomic structures of the city. Finally we will investigate the impact of assimilation, acculturation, and anti-Semitism on European visual culture from the 18th to the 20th century—exploring, for example, the work of Degas and Toulouse Lautrec, as well as the art and cultural policy of Nazi Germany. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 355 - Representation and Democracy in American Art from the Colonial Period to 1900

Full course for one semester. The concepts of representation and democracy have been fundamental to the political and cultural identity of the United State since the country’s inception. This course will explore the history of visual art in the United States, from its formation through the rise of the industrialized and modernized nation in the late 19th century, using these two terms as guiding principles and foundational themes. In particular, we will examine how the concept of democracy and the emergence of a middle-class culture required new models of visual representation, and how the expanding realm of political representation and economic opportunity was considered as much a force that needed to be controlled as a political ideal. This class will investigate how such national ideals and anxieties were negotiated and represented by artists, paying special attention to certain themes such as landscape, industry, race, gender, and social class. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 361 - Intermediate Photography and Digital Media I

Full course for one semester. This intermediate studio course provides a forum for more advanced and independent work for students who have completed the introductory sequence in photography or digital media. It will function as both a studio intensive and a junior seminar, with regular discussion of articles in contemporary media arts and theory as well as selected historical writings and works. Assignments will be open-ended, providing thematic guidelines that build on skills and conceptual awareness from the introductory courses. Assignments will also respond directly to individual and group interests. Possibilities include electronic visualization, collaborative video or still production, documentary, large-format photography, mural printing (photographic and digital), and hybridization of traditional and electronic photography. Topics of reading and research will include the aesthetics and politics of visual truth, the collective imagination of popular culture, the science and psychology of optics and seeing, and the indexical as a mode of representation. Class time will be spent in lecture, slide presentations, lab work, critique, and occasional field trips. Students must be highly self-motivated and will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Prerequisites: Art 291 or 296 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference.

Art 362 - Intermediate Photography and Digital Media II

Full course for one semester. This intermediate studio course provides a forum for more advanced and independent work for students who have completed the introductory sequence in photography or digital media. It will function as both a studio intensive and a junior seminar, with regular discussion of articles in contemporary media arts and theory, as well as selected historical writings and works. Assignments will be open-ended, providing thematic guidelines, which build on skills and conceptual awareness from the introductory courses. Assignments will also respond directly to individual and group interests. Possibilities include electronic visualization, collaborative video or still production, documentary, large-format photography, mural printing (photographic and digital), and hybridization of traditional and electronic photography. Topics of reading and research will include the aesthetics and politics of visual truth, the collective imagination of popular culture, the science and psychology of optics and seeing, and the indexical as a mode of representation. Class time will be spent in lecture, slide presentations, lab work, critique, and occasional field trips. Students must be highly self-motivated and will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Prerequisites: Art 291 or 296 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 365 - Intersection: Architecture, Landscape Sculpture

Full course for one semester. This advanced studio course explores architectural and landscape-based sculpture. We will study artists and architects from the 1970s to the present who work within the realm of environmental art, land art, and architecture. We will focus on new ecological materials and planning methods, which focus on the use of available resources and the invention of new materials such as the William McDunna, Rural Studio, Orta Studio, and Simpark. Studio training will begin with an introduction to drafting using AutoCAD, model building, planning strategies, writing proposals, and consideration of building materials. Students will create three scaled models of architectural works, draft a proposal, and build an element of one work out of doors. Land and Environmental Art, edited by Brian Wallis, will provide background texts for the course. Two local professionals will visit the class, one working in the realm of architecture and one working with landscape. Prerequisite: Art 161 and 281 or consent of the instructor. Studio. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 368 - Image and Text: The Book as a Sculptural Object

Full course for one semester. This course explores the significant role artists’ books have played among the avant-garde of eastern and western Europe and the United States from the turn of the 20th century to the present. The structural format book works take and their social and political functions will be viewed, discussed, and fabricated. The course will cover binding both codex and accordion books, reproducing images using palmer plates, and setting and printing type and images using a Reprex letterpress. Reed’s special collections will provide a spectrum of professional artists’ books, including magazine works, anthologies, diaries, manifestos, visual poetry, word works, documentation, reproductions of sketchbooks, albums, comic books, paper art, and mail art. We will read and discuss essays relating to each studio problem. Prerequisites: Art 161 and one 200-level studio course or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 371 - Intermediate Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking I

Full course for one semester. The first few weeks of each course (Art 371 and 372) involve exploratory drawing toward a project to be proposed and executed over the rest of the semester. This project might involve continued work in drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, or two-dimensional mixed media. The two courses serve as a junior seminar with weekly discussions of critical essays and articles, and short papers. Readings may focus on modernist art and theory from 1940 to 1970; postmodernism and critical issues in art since 1970; 19th- and 20th-century aesthetics; and artist intentionality. Prerequisites: Art 264 and 265, or Art 271 and 272, or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference.

Art 372 - Intermediate Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking II

Full course for one semester. The first few weeks of each course (Art 371 and 372) involve exploratory drawing toward a project to be proposed and executed over the rest of the semester. This project might involve continued work in drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, or two-dimensional mixed media. The two courses serve as a junior seminar with weekly discussions of critical essays and articles, and short papers. Readings may focus on modernist art and theory from 1940 to 1970; postmodernism and critical issues in art since 1970; 19th- and 20th-century aesthetics; and artist intentionality. Prerequisites: Art 264 and 265, or Art 271 and 272, or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 381 - Intermediate Sculpture and Multimedia

Full course for one semester. This studio and seminar course focuses on specific topics in contemporary art and criticism. The course integrates studio problems and critical readings. Technical instruction includes sculptural and architectural model building, wood and metal fabrication, wiring, projection of video works, cloth and alternative material fabrication methods, and wall and room construction. Topics covered change from year to year and include sculpture in the expanded field of landscape and architecture; illuminations, video, and photography in sculptural installations; collaboration and installation in a global art world; the material semiotics of feminism; the role of the artist in society: questioning authorship; and aesthetic criteria, modernism to minimalism. Prerequisite: Art 281 and 282, or 292 and 295, or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 385 - Powers of X: From the Miniature to the Gigantic

Full course for one semester. Knowledge of the very small and the very large sets the parameters by which we understand our position in the system of things. This advanced studio and seminar course examines concepts of scale and magnification that help us define our place in the world. A focus on historical and contemporary uses of scale in artistic practice will guide a series of image- and object-oriented projects. Conceptual- and material-based assignments investigate the miniature and the monumental in the natural world and in our constructed environment. Studio training will introduce methods of model making, experimental drawing, proposal design, and alternative material fabrication. A series of readings including Susan Stewart, Gaston Bachelard, and Martin Heidegger’s Age of the World Picture will accompany slide lectures and film screenings that will prompt assignments and discussions considering how these concepts impact art, technology, information, and our lives. Topics include: scale and the body, culture and consumption, the visible vs. the invisible. Prerequisites: Art 161 and one 200-level studio course or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference.

Art 392 - The Forbidden City

Full course for one semester. From the 15th century through the early 20th century, the imperial city walled within the Ming and Qing dynasty capital at Beijing was the center of a politically mandated and produced visual and material culture. This seminar will explore the architecture, the city plan, and an array of objects produced at court, from carved walnuts in the shapes of boats to monumental dragons of white marble, from handscroll paintings to maps. We will interpret the city in light of classical Chinese theories of city design, theoretical discussion of ethnicity and the arts, and issues of identity surrounding the patronage and personality of the Qing emperors. The course will ask why and how the city, although forbidden, managed to become and remain the symbolic locus of power in late imperial China, and how it has been reinterpreted and re-presented by the Communist state. At the end of the semester we will investigate some current attempts at visual deconstruction of the city by 21st-century artists. Lecture-conference. Prerequisite:  Art 201 or consent of instructor. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 395 - Art in Contemporary China

Full course for one semester. This course explores Chinese cultural identity as expressed in global economies of art production and performance. We will study a dynamic field of artistic activity that touches on many central issues informing cultural identity in Maoist-era (1949–1976) and contemporary China: globalization and transnational formations; political ideology and censorship; the body, gender, and sexuality; and the impact of market forces and art-world institutions on the art scenes in Beijing and Shanghai. Along the way, we will question the status of the image: how is identity differently shaped and expressed in painting, photography, sculpture, and experimental arts such as performance and video? Participants will conceive and design a thematically based exhibition of works produced since the mid-20th century. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 397 - Body Language in Chinese Visual Culture

Full course for one semester. This course examines the relationship between the body and visual representation in China, addressing images of the body in a variety of media and the role played by the viewer's body in the reception of visual images. Case studies will be drawn from Chinese art. We will focus on images of the body in late imperial scrolls, woodblock prints, and sculpture, as well as contemporary photography, mixed-media installations, performance art, video, and web-based art. Readings will be drawn from art history, critical theory, feminist theory, psychoanalysis, and phenomenology. Each student will use course readings as a theoretical framework for a research project. Projects may be drawn from any historical moment or geographical location within China or the Chinese diaspora. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 424 - The Real and the Fictive in Contemporary Art

Full course for one semester. It could be argued that in the broadest sense the modern conception of the aesthetic is predicated on a degree of fictiveness, that is to say, the acknowledgment that the work of art stands somewhere outside the realm of everyday experience. Yet throughout the history of modernism, and in particular the history of late-20th-century art, artists have repeatedly and productively blurred this boundary. This class will attempt to chart the various ways works of art have engaged with external reality, as both literal documents and imaginative artifacts, in an effort to construct an innovative paradigm for understanding modern and contemporary artistic practice. Assigned readings will emphasize theoretical approaches to the subject to which students will bring relevant case studies to serve as examples and challenges to the models provided in the assigned texts. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 432 - Sites of Visual Modernity in China

Full course for one semester. This course will trace the formation of modes of visual modernity in China from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) through the Republican era (1911–1949). Our exploration will focus on visualities produced in architectural and public spaces such as museums, gardens, and the theatre, as well as on cultural and imaginary spaces of representation such as printed books, maps, paper currency, and handscrolls. Among the issues for discussion will be the problematic terms “modernity,” “modernization,” and “Westernization.” We will consider structural conditions for the emergence of distinctly Chinese modes of modern visuality in comparison to European modes, including perceptions and discourses of change and newness, the prominence of an urban public visuality of reflexive sociability and spectacle, and the role of the state in promoting certain modern modes of seeing. Further, we will take into account the development and understanding of new technologies of vision such as lithography and photography. Conference. Prerequisite: two previous art history classes or consent of instructor. Not offered 2008-09.

Art 470 - Thesis

Full course for one year.

Art 481 - Independent Projects or Independent Reading

One-half or full course for one semester. Independent courses are usually offered only to students already admitted to the division as art majors. Such courses cannot be used to satisfy the basic course requirements of the department. Prerequisite: approval of instructor and division.




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