Reed College Catalog

Kris Cohen

Modern and contemporary art history.

William Diebold

Ancient and medieval art, manuscript illumination, art historical method. On sabbatical 2017–18.

Daniel Duford

Ceramic sculpture, block printing, drawing and graphic novels.

Joanna Fiduccia

Modern and contemporary art.

Dana E. Katz

Renaissance, baroque, and colonial Latin American art and architecture; Jews and the visual arts; methodologies of art history.

Michael Knutson

Painting, drawing, printmaking.

Hsinyi Tiffany Lee

Chinese art history and the history of photography.

Akihiko Miyoshi

Photography, digital media, drawing.

Geraldine Ondrizek

Sculpture, installation, drawing, artists’ books.

Michelle H. Wang

Art and archaeology of early China. On sabbatical and leave 2017–18.

Art majors at Reed study both art history and studio art, which the department sees as complementary disciplines. Introductory courses provide a foundation and an intensive experience in the practice of art or creative scholarship for both prospective majors and nonmajors.

In studio art, the 200-level courses stress formal, technical, and conceptual topics in a broad range of projects. More independent exploration, which might involve further work in the traditional core media or branch off into more experimental forms, is encouraged in 300-level courses. In art history, the introductory course introduces students to the discipline of art history through a detailed, methodologically based examination of a particular body of art. Advanced courses acquaint students with selected periods, movements, or issues in art and in the various methods of art historical research, as students learn to refine their powers of critical observation by looking, talking, and writing at length about individual works of art and other art-historical questions.

The advanced student may undertake independent work in areas of special interest. In recent years majors have often supplemented their program at Reed with a semester or year of studio art, architecture, museum training, or art history research at cooperating institutions in Europe, the United States, or elsewhere, as well as with summer internships at major museums.

Art history facilities include a large conference room equipped with slide and digital projection equipment, a visual resources collection, and a first-class gallery. These offer students the possibility of working closely with original objects.

The studio arts building contains classrooms for painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and digital media; a gallery/critique space; a seminar/projection room; faculty offices and studios; private senior studios; and a lounge.

The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery shows art of national and international stature through traveling exhibitions and those curated by the gallery director and faculty members. For more complete information on the gallery, see the “Educational Program” section of this catalog.

Requirements for the Major

For students doing a studio thesis: four units of art history, including Art 201 and at least one course in non-Western art; seven units of studio art, including two 100-level art courses in different disciplines; Humanities 220, or two units from Humanities 211, 212, 231, and 232; and Art 470. At least one semester of a 300-level studio course should be completed before the thesis year. For students doing an art history thesis: 6.5 units of art history, including Art 201, Art 300 (or approved equivalent), at least one course in non-Western art, and one course at the 400 level; four units of studio art, including two 100-level art courses in different disciplines; Humanities 220, or two units from Humanities 211, 212, 231, and 232; and Art 470. No art major, except one who transfers with junior standing, may normally use more than one unit of studio art and one unit of art history from outside Reed to fulfill departmental requirements.

Interdisciplinary majors are normally allowed to waive two units from the departmental requirement, one each from art history and studio art.

Applicants planning to major in art are not normally considered before successful completion, or reasonable certainty thereof, of two 100-level art courses in different disciplines and Art 201. Transfers from other colleges, for whom in some cases one of these introductory courses may be waived, are expected to take a comparable amount of coursework at Reed (one unit of art history and one unit of studio art) before they can be considered as majors.

Normally, before taking the junior qualifying exam, students should have taken the following courses at Reed (in addition to two 100-level art courses in different disciplines and Art 201): for students planning a studio art thesis, at least one unit of studio art at the 300 level; for students planning an art history thesis, three units of art history.

Senior Thesis

The senior thesis encourages students to pursue a significant, clearly defined project through individual initiative and independent work, culminating in a unified body of art or historical study.

Pacific Northwest College of Art Program

Reed students are eligible to apply to a joint program with the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). The joint program requires five years: the first and second years at Reed, followed by a two-year course of full-time study at PNCA, and a fifth year combining work at both institutions. Graduates of this program receive a bachelor of arts with a major in art from Reed and a bachelor of fine arts from PNCA.

Students interested in this course of study are strongly advised to meet with the Reed chair of the joint program before the end of their first year. Although application to the program occurs in the fourth semester, it is important that students be aware of the requirement differences for the Reed art and joint program majors. Applicants to the program are recommended by the Reed chair, and acceptance is contingent upon successful completion of at least 16 units of Reed credit, including at least three units of studio art and one unit of art history at Reed.

Art 170 - Introductory Drawing

Full course for one semester. An introduction to studio art through the processes, concepts and subjects of drawing. Work in the first half of the semester involves the apprehension of landscape spaces and natural forms through contour, shape, gesture, and chiaroscuro, leading to the study of the human form and self-representation. The second half of the semester focuses on spatial representation (isometric projection and Western perspective, and chiaroscuro) in still life and architectural spaces. The final project is a series of eight drawings exploring a particular interior or exterior space each student has chosen. Throughout the semester there are also nontraditional assignments that involve working from memory, working from nonvisual sensory experiences, abstraction, and collaboration. Art 170, 173, and 175 are alternative prerequisites for Art 271: Painting I, and Art 272: Painting II. Enrollment limited to 18. Studio.

Art 171 - The Figure

Full course for one semester. Making an image of the human body is one of the most basic artistic acts. It involves sympathy with another body, self-identification and empirical observation. As practiced by Wester artists it serves as both the basic roots of drawing and the height of artistic facility. In this class we explore all dimensions of the studio practice of rendering the figure. The course begins with observational drawing moves through figure sculpture and finally ends with portraiture. We will create a rigorous studio practice centered on the act of drawing. Readings, homework assignments and discussions will unpack traditions based in gender and race. Through field trips to galleries and museums we will look at the uses of the figure in art history and contemporary art. The bulk of the studio work will be done in class. An average of one to three hours outside of class per week is expected. Aside from the work of observing and sussing out the details of the figure, classes will include discussions of assigned readings. Enrollment limited to 18. Studio.

Art 173 - Intaglio Printmaking

Full course for one semester. An introduction to studio art through the processes, concepts, and subjects of printmaking. Intaglio printmaking includes drypoint, linear etching, aquatint, soft ground, sugar lift, and multiple tone and color processes. In the first half of the semester these techniques will be introduced and applied to thematic projects involving natural and manmade forms, landscape and architectural spaces, self-representation, relationships of images and text, etc. Two large projects will occupy the second half of the semester: a class-sized edition of a print on an agreed-upon theme, and a final project, a large, complex image or a sequence of images, involving several processes. Additional sketchbook work will study the styles and compositions of master and contemporary printmakers. The class will also study prints in the Reed College collection, the Portland Art Museum, and local galleries. This course is offered in alternate years with Art 175. Art 173, 175, and 170 are alternative prerequisites for Art 271: Painting I, and Art 272: Painting II. Enrollment Limited to 18. Studio.

Art 175 - Relief Printmaking

Full course for one semester. An introduction to studio art through the processes, concepts, and subjects of printmaking. Relief printmaking includes woodcut, linocut, stencil, collagraph, nonrectangular shaped and puzzle-piece blocks, subtractive block chiaroscuro, and multiple-block/multiple-color printing. In the first half of the semester these processes will be introduced and applied to thematic projects involving natural and manmade forms, landscape and architectural spaces, self-representation, relationships of images and text, etc. Two large projects will occupy the second half of the semester: a class-sized edition of a print on an agreed-upon theme, and a final project, a large, complex image or a sequence of images, involving several processes. Additional sketchbook work will study the styles and compositions of master and contemporary printmakers. The class will also study prints in the Reed College collection, the Portland Art Museum, and local galleries. This course is offered in alternate years with Art 173. Art 175, 173, and 170 are alternative prerequisites for Art 271: Painting I, and Art 272: Painting II. Enrollment limited to 18. Studio.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 180 - Art and Language

Full course for one semester. This course will explore text as the crucial element that links a number of avant-garde movements of the twentieth century when artists take cues from literary works. Technically, the course will cover page design, typography, letterpress, and block printing. Students will complete projects that explore the classical use of the page and roman lettering, the potential of the printed word to convey meaning through graphic and pictorial poetry, and creating a sculptural piece of concrete poetry. Readings will focus on the social and political significance text-based works have in society. They will include Essays on Art and Language by Charles Harrison; The Futurist Moment by Marjorie Perloff; interviews with Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson; and essays on Ian Hamilton Finlay, Ed Ruscha, Xu Bing, Alison Knowles, and Jenny Holzer. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio.

Art 181 - Architectonic Structures

Full course for one semester. This course introduces students to the structural principles and communicative possibilities of sculpture and architecture. Each project addresses one of the three scales: the architectural, into which the body fits; the human, to which the body relates or which the body physically inhabits; and the intimate, which relates to the hand or head. We will study the fundamentals of wood and aluminum fabrication, including handcrafted joinery, lamination, steam bending, wall construction laser cutting, and 3-D printing. Readings will focus on the application of craft-based architectural construction and the direct impact this has on society through communal projects, new types of housing, and personal agency. Students will be exposed to diverse, international contemporary artists and architects. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio.

Art 182 - Material Objects

Full course for one semester. A crafts-based course that focuses on the form, function, and concept of handmade objects in our society. The class will learn skills in hand-built and thrown clay forms, casting, and fabricating with ceramics, wax, paper, cloth and glass. The assignments will explore the poetic language of each material, fusing the analog and the digital, and will focus on cooperative and community-based works that can emerge from these mediums. Readings will focus on social practices and culturally significant, politically motivated works made for and with communities. Students will have technical workshops with studio assistant in glass and ceramics weekly. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio.

Art 190 - Art & Photography I

Full course for one semester. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of photography through both black-and-white and digital 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/digital printing. Technical, aesthetic, and conceptual possibilities of photography are explored through assignments, readings, slide presentations and critiques. Enrollment limited to 16. Studio.

Art 195 - Digital Imaging/Processing

Full course for one semester. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of digital imaging and creative coding. Technical and conceptual units will be presented in a historical context and that of contemporary art practice. We will explore the link between art, technology, and the computer through readings, slide presentations, and class discussions. Students will learn to acquire, manipulate, and print digital images using Photoshop and Illustrator. The class will also explore the use of the computer as an art medium through programming and examine the possibility of process-based art using Processing. Students will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Enrollment limited to 12. Studio.

Art 196 - Digital Video/Interactive Art

Full course for one semester. We will explore the use of the moving image, digital video, and interactivity as related to art. Students will be exposed to the concepts and visual strategies surrounding digital media, and techniques of nonlinear, nondestructive video editing and interactivity. We will look at the various ways in which artists employ these technologies and tools in their works through readings, class discussions, and slide presentations. First, students will deal with moving image as a medium as practiced in art and will be exposed to media software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. Then, we will take apart and reexamine the moving image and the tools artist use to edit the moving image in an attempt to expand our understanding of the medium through a graphical programming environment for video, music, and data called Max/MSP/Jitter. Students will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. Enrollment limited to 12. 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 251 - Making Graphic Novels

Full course for one semester. This course will examine the history of comics as well as contemporary trends. Students will study the mechanics and structure of the medium. We will also refer to other forms of visual storytelling, such as serial television, film, and art historical references. Students will apply these directly to their own work. Each student will create a self-published comic. Discussions and lectures will cover topics such as character studies, format, size, material choice, etc. Occasional field trips to printers, comic shops, and comic companies will give students a sense of professional resources. The class will produce an anthology based on a selection of work produced in class. Enrollment limited to 16. Prerequisite: one 100-level studio art course, consent of the instructor based on senior standing, or consent of the instructor. Studio.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 261 - The Art of Printing, Publishing, and Distribution

Full course for one semester. This course will cover the practical techniques and conceptual methods underpinning the production and distribution of printed matter in the arts. The history of radical thought in arts (and politics) parallels the history of print. From the populist broadsides of Ben Franklin and the manifestos of Dada and surrealism to Fluxus books and contemporary artist-run publications, the technology of print has always been vital to the unfettered distribution of ideas. In this class we will learn fundamental skills for designing and printing text and image-based works in a variety of media, including letterpress, block printing, silk screen, and Xerox as well as print-on-demand and digital publishing. As an integral part of our work in the studio we will develop practical strategies for dissemination through an in-depth look at the history of distributed art forms, including posters, pamphlets, currency, stamps, mail art, subscription services, and web-based media. Readings on artist books, printing, and publications by Johanna Drucker, Robert Kinross, Maria Gough, and Simon Cutts will supplement a broad survey of artists working in distributed forms including Dan Graham, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Ed Ruscha, David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey, Allison Knowles and Dick Higgins. Enrollment limited to 15. Prerequisite: one 100-level studio art course, consent of the instructor based on senior standing, or consent of the instructor. Studio.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 262 - The Figure

Full course for one semester. This course explores the human body and its representations. Studio exercises focus on traditional Western approaches to rendering the human form from the Renaissance forward, investigating gesture, proportion, tone, and perspective through close observation and anatomical study. Students will have the opportunity to work in charcoal, ink, and a variety of other 2-D media, and will learn to build armatures and work figuratively in clay. The second half of the term will explore more experimental approaches to working with the human form. Although the course is primarily a studio course, short readings and written assignments touch on key issues in art criticism and theory, including expressionism, abstraction, phenomenology, poststructuralism, and feminism. Prerequisite: one 100-level studio art course, consent of the instructor based on senior standing, or consent of the instructor. Studio.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 271 - Painting I

Full course for one semester. The class explores color structure, interaction, and illusions (transparency, luminosity, atmosphere), through abstraction and various compositional strategies. Major projects involve creating a “shape alphabet”; and a series of variations on it; paintings in which there is a close correspondence, or a tension, between image and support; paintings that focus on process and nontraditional techniques; and an independent final project that builds upon previous work in the class. Weekly slide lectures focus on color and composition in representational and abstract painting. Prerequisite: Art 161, 170, 173, or 175, or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 18. Studio.

Art 272 - Painting II

Full course for one semester. The class extends many of the color relationships and compositional models from Art 271 to an exploration of different styles of representation and genres, including still life, interior and landscape spaces, portraiture and self-portraiture, and narrative painting. Weekly slide lectures focus on how different artists have explored these genres over their careers. A sketchbook of compositional and color studies of historical and modern paintings is also required. Prerequisite: Art 161, 170, 173, or 175, or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 18. 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: one 100-level studio art course and sophomore standing, consent of the instructor based on senior standing, or consent of the instructor. Studio.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 282 - Sculpture II: Sculpture in the Expanded Field

Full course for one semester. A studio sculpture course exploring the human body as a site for transformation through clothing, performance, and architectural construction. We will explore wearable works as well as spatially dynamic and temporal art form, directly related to the human form and phenomenological experience. Readings and discussions will focus on feminist theory, queer theory, and critical race theory, and the representation of the body throughout art history, fashion, and performance art. Technically, we will focus on metal fabrication, welding, and sewing. Prerequisite: Art 181, 182, or any 100-level studio course or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio.

Art 291 - Art and Photography II

Full course for one semester. The course will introduce advanced topics such as color, large-format, and medium-format photography. Technical, aesthetic, and conceptual possibilities of photography are explored through projects, 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 190 or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 16. Studio.

Art 293 - Internet Literacy, Culture, and Practice

Full course for one semester. Students will develop an understanding of the technology and the issues surrounding the internet and the web through studio activities, readings, and online and/or physical fieldwork. Students will gain literacy in web development languages (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript). We will cover the history of the use of computers and networks as a tool for empowerment and for creating art. We will explore topics such as hypertextuality, nonlinearity, interactivity, authorship, web as archive, net neutrality, and the open-source movement. With the newly acquired literacy in hand we will investigate how the convergence of the web/social media with social practice/activism reconfigures the ways in which artists and citizens view, participate in, understand, and narrate real-world issues. Prerequisite: Art 195 or 196, or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. Studio.

Art 300 - Junior Seminar (Art History)

One-half course for one semester. This course is designed for declared art history majors with junior standing, and is limited to those art history juniors (of whom it is required as part of the junior qualifying examination in art history). This team-taught course will introduce students to innovative examples of art-historical scholarship. The theme of the class will change yearly to engage a broad geographical and chronological range of topics. A major task of this seminar is to prepare students to design and research a topic, compose and annotate a bibliography, and write and revise a 20-page research paper by the end of the semester. This experience, in turn, will prepare them to write their senior art history thesis. Prerequisites: Art 201 and two 300-level classes in art history. 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 at least one 300-level course in art history or studio art. This course may be repeated for credit. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 308 - Gothic Architecture and Art

Full course for one semester. This class will examine Gothic art and architecture. Attention will be given to the contexts of its production, especially in France, from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries, and of its reception, both in the Middle Ages and since the eighteenth century. Students will study Gothic buildings and the art produced in the ambient (Saint-Denis, Chartres, Bourges, Amiens, Reims, and the Sainte Chapelle) and the modern reception of the Gothic in architecture (Horace Walpole; the Gothic revival), art (William Morris), and literature and film (Victor Hugo; Walt Disney). Topics include the definition of the Gothic; the Gothic as a French and/or courtly style; the encyclopedic nature of Gothic thought, building, and art; the unity of Gothic art and architecture; and the appeal of the Gothic in the modern period. Prerequisite: Art 201, a course in medieval culture, or permission of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

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 fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 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 famous works 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 2017–18.

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 2017–18.

Art 316 - Medieval Manuscript Illumination

Full course for one semester. This course examines the manuscript book from its origins in late antiquity, tracing its development through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. The emphasis will be on illustrated manuscripts in their context: what they were, how they were made, and the ways in which they were used. Rather than providing a chronological survey, this course will consider some of the fundamental issues in the history of manuscripts, such as the origin and nature of the codex, the relationship of text and image, the problem of illusionism in manuscript illumination, and the interaction between manuscripts and printed books. Readings and lectures will be supplemented by the detailed study of medieval manuscripts in the Reed College collection. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

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 their choice. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 322 - Early Modern Things

Full course for one semester. Things expose relations in and between societies that inform the past. As Arjun Appadurai argues, “Even though from a theoretical point of view human actors encode things with significance, from a methodological point of view it is the things-in-motion that illuminate their human and social context.” In this course, we will mobilize early modern things to explore what inanimate objects reveal about the animate world. We will study the social significance and cultural value of such things to look at and beyond their materiality. In particular, we will examine objects such as clothing from England, earthenware from Italy, featherwork from the New World, and carpets from the Ottoman Empire to rethink how such things construct biography, impact memory, produce ambiguity, and dictate taste. Prerequisite: Art 201, or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 332 - Art and Archaeology in Early China

Full course for one semester. This course will explore artifacts excavated in China from the height of the Neolithic period (c. 4000–2000 BCE) to the end of the eastern Han dynasty (25–220 CE). Excavated objects from these periods rarely have accompanying textual explanations. Instead, we rely primarily on archaeology, which provides the raw material for understanding the distant past and constructs temporal narratives that account for the categorical differences between artifacts. With the rise of material culture studies in the field of art history, enigmatic objects that fell within the domain of archaeology may now have art-historical explanations. The course is organized chronologically by archaeological site. Secondary textual sources and comparative studies with other sites will be used to refine our understanding of artisans and their craft and the social and cultural functions of objects. What types of training did artisans undergo? What sources (manuals, tacit knowledge, guild practices, etc.) provided the necessary skills for artisans to work? How was labor divided and what were the social structures in place that dictated artisans’ modes of production? How were these objects used and circulated by the living and the dead? Prerequisite: Art 201, or Humanities 231 and 232 (previously numbered Humanities 230), or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 334 - Art and Politics in Modern China

Full course for one semester. This course focuses on late nineteenth- to twenty-first-century Chinese visual culture and its political implications. The course, organized loosely around four historical moments in the past one hundred years of Chinese history, emphasizes parallel narratives constructed by the rise of specific technologies that were employed for visual production. We begin with the major transition from the imperial Qing dynasty to the tumultuous Republican period in 1911, paying close attention to the discussions on Western and Chinese artistic practices that arose at this critical political junction. We then turn to art production under Mao Zedong beginning in 1942, with his famous talks on literature and art presented in Yan’an, in which art became an integral part of his social and political platforms. From there we examine the visual objects produced during and shortly after the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. Finally, we will seek to critically examine the political, economic, and social changes that have transformed China into one of the most exciting geographic regions for thinking about contemporary art, and the ways in which artists have chosen to depict and negotiate their changing realities. Prerequisite: Art 201, or Humanities 231 and 232 (previously numbered Humanities 230), or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 340 - Art and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century

Full course for one semester. This conference will engage students with a critical history of nineteenth-century art and visual culture in Europe (especially France, Britain, and Belgium) and its imperial domains in North and Central Africa, the Near East, and South Asia. It will thus explore how nineteenth-century art and visual culture instantiated the psychological, physical, and imaginative experiences of empire. In so doing, the conference offers an entwined history of global power and modernity. Students will read key theoretical texts on Orientalism, postcolonialism, and alternate/global modernities, and examine the conditions and possibilities for dominance, transculturation, and subversion at intersections of power and visual culture. Prerequisite: Art 201, Humanities 220, or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 341 - The Emergence of Architecture in Nineteenth-Century Europe

Full course for one semester. This conference will offer a critical survey of nineteenth-century European (primarily French, German, Belgian, and British) architecture that traces the ways in which architecture was consolidated as a “modern” discipline and practice during this period. In this vein, the conference will examine architecture’s contentious entanglements with drawing, urban planning, craft, financial speculation, and industrialization. In addition, it will pay attention to the formalization of the discipline of “architectural history” in the nineteenth century as a result of changing technologies in print culture, humanist debates about restoration and preservation, and colonial archaeology. Prerequisite: Art 201, Humanities 220, or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 344 - Visual Art in Spanish Baroque Literature

See Spanish 344 for description.

Spanish 344 Description

Art 351 - Making Space

Full course for one semester. Space isn’t an empty, neutral vehicle in which artworks simply appear for public consumption. While an artwork makes the space for its own display, spaces do their own work to determine the range, impact, and execution of an artwork within them. But when all space is necessarily coded as real estate, all but the most famous and privileged artists will struggle to make space not just for their own work, but to support other artists and build various forms of community. In this, present-day Portland is both an exemplary and a distinctive case. This art history class will visit a number of art spaces that are commonly understood as small, alternative, or experimental, although this in no way predefines their relationship to institutionality. Each week we will spend time with and, most weeks, in a different space around Portland, talking to the people who established and run those spaces. In these conversations, we will ask about their engagement with their communities, why and how they established their space, the uses and valences of institutionality, and the relationship between art’s attempts to make space and the ongoing processes of gentrification in and around Portland. Participating spaces/collectives include home school, Physical Education, Pochas Radicales, Portland Museum of Modern Art, Sunday Painters Group, The Residency in the Garden, and more. We will meet once per week, in the evening, for 3 hours in order to facilitate travel. Prerequisite: Art 201, or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 352 - The Art of Capitalism

Full course for one semester. Even if modern art in Europe and America could exist without capitalism (as it has often imagined that it could), it has never existed without capitalism. Capitalism has been the sustaining condition of modern art, a fact that has been seen by artists, critics, and historians as variously tragic, melancholic, utopian, or simply the case. The weave that connects art and capitalism has only tightened as we have moved into the twenty-first century. This course will survey some of the histories and technologies that have staged encounters between art and capitalism (e.g., industrialization, Fordism, post-Fordism, neoliberalism, affective labor, network society). In parallel, we will survey some of the ways that artists, critics, and historians have, intentionally and unintentionally, optimistically and pessimistically, taken up a position in relation to capitalism, where capitalism is understood as a (if not the) defining feature of ordinary life (e.g., impressionism, constructivism, Dadaism, situationism, Fluxus, appropriative traditions, abstraction, performance art, relational aesthetics). This means that we will be reading substantively within the history of modern capitalism in order to understand some of its more significant transformations across the twentieth century. Critical theory is the general name for the mode of cultural criticism that this course tries both to study and to historicize. Karl Marx was its first proponent and continues to be its most generative. There will be a focus on Marx and Marxist critical traditions, and alternative traditions of cultural analysis will also be covered. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 354 - Performing Mediation: Video Art from the Studio to the Database

Full course for one semester. The video medium implicates various popular media, including home video, cinema, television, and, more recently, webcams and online video. We will study the aesthetic precursors of video art as well as the histories of the popular media with which video art is historically and technologically enmeshed. Central to our discussions will be questions of media, and in this we will draw both from art history’s focus on medium specificity and media theory’s focus on mediation. A wide range of video practices will be covered (analog, digital; closed-channel, broadcast, networked; in and outside the Americas). A significant portion of the semester will be spent on feminist video art—its politics of address, its affect, and its historical relationship to theories of gender, sex, and sexuality. Videos will be viewed in class, and students should expect to watch videos outside of class each week as well. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 355 - Representation and After

Full course for one semester. Starting with second-wave feminism, gay liberation, and civil rights in the ’60s, we will study different forms of representational politics in and around the visual arts. For the second half of the course, we will ask whether representational politics have been superseded by new structural conditions (e.g., new identity formations seen in their intersections with new media), study some of those conditions as they pertain to questions of collective politics, and then ask what forms of political action in the aesthetic realm (broadly conceived) have become possible or are now needed. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 356 - Resisting Sculpture

Full course for one semester. This course surveys major works of twentieth-century sculpture through episodes of resistance, considering both sculpture that resists conventional modes of display, circulation, or consumption, and the sculpture of resistance, placed in the service of progressive social or political positions. Beginning with sculpture’s turn-of-the-century challenge to the ideological functions of the monument, we will examine topics such as the ready-made’s negotiation of the commodity form, the traffic of non-Western objects in the interwar avant-garde, resistance and absorption in minimalism, and site-specificity and public address in postwar sculpture. We will discuss how artists engaged theories of sculpture that defined the medium through resistance as a physical property and consider how these theories converged with the political force of sculpture over the course of the last century. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 361 - Intermediate Photography and Media

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. Assignments will be open-ended, providing thematic guidelines, which build on skills and conceptual awareness from the introductory courses. Readings and lab work will respond directly to individual and group interests. 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 Art 293 or consent of the instructor. May be repeated for credit. Enrollment limited to 12. Studio.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 365 - Intersection: Architecture, Landscape Sculpture

Full course for one semester. This advanced studio sculpture course explores architectural and landscape-based works. Reading and research will focus on artists and architects from the 1970s to the present who use public process and sustainable materials to design and build innovative forms within urban spaces. The class will create a set of potential design solutions for a site in Portland. Studio training will include drafting, drawing, and planning strategies and building scale models in wood and metal. Knowledge of Google SketchUp and or Photoshop desired. Prerequisite: one 100-level studio art course and Art 281 or 282, or consent of the instructor. Studio. 

Not offered 2017–18.

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 twentieth 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, albums, comic books, and mail art. We will read and discuss essays relating to each studio problem. Prerequisites: one 100-level studio art course and one 200-level studio course or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 371 - Intermediate Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking I

Full course for one semester. The first part of the course will involve exploratory drawing toward a project to be proposed and executed over the rest of the semester. The project might involve continued work in drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, or two-dimensional mixed media. The course serves as a junior seminar with weekly discussions of critical essays and articles, and short papers. Past readings have focused on modernist art and theory from 1940 to 1970; postmodernism and critical issues in art since 1970; nineteenth and twentieth century aesthetics; notions of beauty in contemporary art; pictorial representations of irony; and artist self-representation and intentionality. Prerequisite: Art 271 or 272; or, Art 173 or 175 with the permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 18. Studio.

Art 382 - Installation/Participation

Full course for one semester. An advanced sculpture/multimedia course investigating research-based and social art practices including the intersection of art, science, and society. Students may make work in any 2-D, 3-D, or time-based medium they are comfortable with, including performance and electronic media, to create installation-based works that inform and immerse the viewer. All sculpture construction shops and tools are available, including laser cutting, 3-D printing, and casting. Weekly readings will include contemporary art theory, feminist theory, and critical race theory, and will center on artists working directly with social and political issues at the intersection of art, science, and society. Prerequisite: Art 181, Art 182, or any 100-level studio course, or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio.

Art 390 - The Imperial Enterprise: Arts at the Qing Court (ca. 1679–1799)

Full course for one semester. The consolidation of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) led to a level of visibility of the ruling house that had little antecedents in China’s past. New historical research has deeply changed our understanding of the universal empire the Qing envisioned for themselves, but what role images and works of art played in shaping imperial claims still calls for investigation. From a markedly interdisciplinary perspective, this course focuses on about 100 years of court production and explores the practice of painting in relation to contemporary decorative arts, palatial architecture, and conventions of display and ritual performance. Critical issues will consider intercultural and intermedia exchange, the role of European artists, workshop organization and knowledge transmission, and the relationship between technology, labor, and time. Emphasizing an integrated approach to the art produced for/in the palace, this course reframes Qing court art as a modernized incarnation of a long-standing tradition of imperial visuality. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 391 - Material Culture and the Study of Chinese Painting

Full course for one semester.  Although centuries of scholars have written on Chinese painting, with the rise of material culture studies and its various incarnations, canonical objects in the field of art history are now subject to an expanded field of interdisciplinary scrutiny. The central objective of this class is to understand the histories of Chinese painting as networks, where each element in the production of a Chinese painting—from artists, brushes, paper, silk, seals to the spaces in which painting practices occur—serves as a meaningful node. This class critically engages with Chinese paintings from the Song to the Qing dynasty from this methodological lens. Readings are structured thematically, with one theoretical text and other more specific examinations of cultures of painting in imperial China, with the hope that students are able to draw connections between and be critical of the two types of scholarly works. Prerequisites: Art 201, Humanities 231 and 232 (previously numbered Humanities 230), or permission of instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 392 - Replication in Chinese Art

Full course for one semester. The making of copies and duplicates informs a long tradition of artistic production in China. This course explores diverse modes and technologies of reproduction, bringing into focus the function and cultural value of the copy in the history of Chinese art. Through case studies of replications of bronze ritual vessels, painting, calligraphy, and sculpture, we will examine a range of motivations for making copies or replicas that often became something more than just mindless imitation, serving as integral components of an artist’s training, as acts of piety, as forms of preservation and documentation, as agents of dissemination, and as homage to artists and calligraphers of the past. As we study multiples made from the Bronze Age to contemporary China, we will pay close attention to the different processes of reproduction, examining how technique and material shape not only the duplicate produced but also the historically changing perception of the practice of copying. Prerequisite: Art 201, or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 395 - China Through the Lens

Full course for one semester. This course explores the evolution of photography in China from the 1840s to the present. We will examine how China and the Chinese have been represented through the medium, focusing on the changing uses and purposes of photography as China underwent profound social, political, and cultural transformations. As we encounter different genres of photography and agendas for making photographs, we will consider how photography was integrated into Chinese artistic practices and everyday life, helping to form new national and social identities. Topics include photography as handmaiden to imperialism, as fine art, as social documentation, and as a medium of transnational exchange; we will also investigate its relationship to print media, interactions with older media, and uses as propaganda. Prerequisite: Art 201, or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 397 - Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art in a Global Context

Full course for one semester. This course explores key figures, movements and issues in Chinese art and visual culture from the late nineteenth century to present. We will pay special attention to the intercultural encounters and connections from the era of international treaty ports to contemporary global art circuits. By examining key artists and landmark exhibitions in historical sequence, this course considers how aesthetic concerns, expressed through a variety of media from ink painting to video installation, engaged with the unfolding seismic sociopolitical and economic transformations in China. To trace the contours of the modern and contemporary Chinese art scene, we will also analyze primary sources including not only visual works produced but also writings by artists, group manifestos, and exhibition statements that bring into focus major debates and issues. We will consider recurring questions over modernity and tradition, political participation and representation, nationalism and transnationalism, and in relation to an expanding art world and art market. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Art 408 - Renaissance Space

Full course for one semester. “Whoever holds the piazza is master of the city,” writes the Florentine chronicler Giovanni Cavalcanti. The master of the city was no neutered subject; Cavalcanti’s remarks demonstrate how urban geographies were in fact gendered in the early modern period. Whereas men occupied the piazza and its public architecture, women were ensconced within the folds of the private interior. This course will explore the representations of space in visual and textual culture to reveal how the spatial relations of the Renaissance city articulated the power and social controls delineating the contours of community. Included in our discussion will be the art of Botticelli and Titian; the architecture of prostitutes, patricians, and nuns; and contemporary treatises by Alberti. Prerequisites: two 300-level art history courses. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 410 - Medievalism: Modern and Postmodern

Full course for one semester. This course will study medievalism, the postmedieval interest in the Middle Ages, with an emphasis on the period from the European Enlightenment to the present. Medievalism is of interest because it has been seen as both quintessentially modern (most recently in Alexander Nagel’s Medieval Modern) and quintessentially postmodern (e.g. Bruce Holsinger’s The Premodern Condition). A major goal of the course will be examining these positions. While a primary concern will be with visual medievalism, the course will also consider in detail medievalism in history, literature, and popular culture. The course will culminate in a small exhibition of material drawn from Reed College’s collections. Prerequisite: two 300-level art history courses or consent of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Art 421 - Theories of Form

Full course for one semester. Form is at once the site and source of art’s most hermetic instincts while also anchoring a set of theories wherein the border between art and world erodes most completely. No wonder the concept can seem hopelessly incoherent. And yet, aesthetics has never been able to do without theories of form, and many important thinkers of art and aesthetics have felt some concept of form to be essential to practices that take critique and critical pedagogy as their goal. What are the boundaries and extensions of form? Is it more like an object or a relation? When is it political? How does form become historical? When form is used to bracket out the world, how is this accomplished and at what expense? This class will ask such questions by surveying a range of thinkers writing from 1900 to the present who have thought in a sustained way about form as an object of study, a site for the crossing of aesthetics and politics. Due to the often recondite nature of our subject, we will spend significant time with each of our authors. Specific artists and artist materials that we consider will be driven by student interests and local accessibility. Prerequisite: Art 201 and two 300-level art history courses. Conference.

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.