Art

Courses

Art 170 - Introductory Drawing

One-unit semester course. 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

One-unit semester course. 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 Western 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

One-unit semester course. 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 174 - New Media/Old Media

One-unit semester course. The course will examine and experiment with various forms of old and analog media combined with new and speculative twenty-first-century media technology to see if they can be productively rethought and integrated into contemporary art practices. Our goal is to defamiliarize photography and new/digital media by finding alternative uses, or by revisiting a time when they have not separated themselves into distinct and different discourses looking at historical devices, methods, and tools that shared common aspirations and limitations. Technical, aesthetic, and conceptual possibilities are explored through studio workshops, projects, readings, slide presentations, lab work, and critiques. This course will be taught simultaneously with Art 374 New Media/Old Media. It will share the same readings/conferences as Art 374 with different sets of assignments and experiments. Enrollment limited to 8. Studio.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 175 - Relief Printmaking

One-unit semester course. An introduction to studio art through the processes, concepts, and subjects of printmaking. Relief printmaking includes woodcut, linocut, stencil, nonrectangular-shaped and puzzle-piece blocks, reduction block printing, and multiple-block/multiple-color printing. We will use both hand and press printing in the making of our work. Three main projects focus on the print in different environments: the print on the wall, the print in the book, and the print in the “expanded field.” Some bookbinding will also be taught. We look at a wide variety of both contemporary and historic print; host visiting artists or visit their studios; study prints in the Reed College collection, the Portland Art Museum, and local galleries. Students are required to spend 4–6 additional hours per week in the studio to complete assigned work. The 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 15. Studio.

Art 176 - Beginning Bookbinding

One-unit semester course. This hands-on course offers an introduction to the techniques, tools, materials, and processes used in bookbinding. We begin with basic box construction in order to build eye/hand skills, then follow with a variety of sewn book structures that have evolved in different cultures around the world. We end with a multi-section hardcover binding. Along the way are field trips, artist lectures, and two self-directed assignments that allow students to express their own ideas within the realm of book and box structure. Four hours of additional studio time is required to complete each week’s binding. No prerequisites. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio.

Art 180 - Art and Language

One-unit semester course. 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. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio. May be repeated for credit.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 181 - Architectonic Structures

Syllabus (Ondrizek)
Student work

One-unit semester course. 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 3D 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. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio. May be repeated for credit.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 182 - Material Objects

Student work

One-unit semester course. 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. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio. May be repeated for credit.

Art 183 - Art and the Printed Word

One-unit semester course. This course explores text and its relationship to image as the focus of a fine art practice. Technically, the course covers page design, typography, letterpress printing, simple bookbinding, and some low-tech image-making processes. Projects explore the space of the calling card, the poster, and the book through three main assignments. We will read Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks to connect language to the natural world, and other texts that explore the social and political significance that text-based works have in society. Requirements beyond assigned studio projects include written responses to writings and videos, one research presentation, and attendance at organized field trips. Students need 4–6 additional hours per week in the studio to complete assigned work. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio. May be repeated for credit.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 188 - Object and Social Context

One-unit semester course. Objectness is the nature of a tangible material or thing. Every object has a number of social contexts surrounding it. It is important to consider the social relationships within the materials we use for artworks to truly express the intention of the maker. In this class we will explore the meanings behind the materials we work with in our practices, and how teasing out and understanding the underlying contexts within those media can be used to make more visually striking and conceptually compelling artwork. To do this we will take mini–field trips around campus to harvest objects, perform white elephant gift exchanges with material, and play with different sculptural techniques with an emphasis on conceptual underpinnings in the work. Technically we will cover the fundamentals of wood and aluminum fabrication, wall construction and laser cutting. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio. May be repeated for credit. 

Art 190 - Art and Photography I

One-unit semester course. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of photography through both analog 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 manipulation of photographic images. 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 and Coding with Processing

One-unit semester course. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of digital imaging. Technical and conceptual units will be presented in a historical context and that of contemporary art practice. The class will cover digital camera operation, as well as the use of scanners, phones, tablets, and other digital tools and techniques to produce work. 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. Students are meant to develop a solid understanding of these digital imaging practices as well as an adaptable approach to emerging technologies. Students will be expected to respond to assignments with technical competence and critical clarity. No prerequisite. Enrollment limited to 12. Studio.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 196 - Digital Video and Coding Interactivity

One-unit semester course. 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

Website (Katz)

One-unit semester course. Basic art-historical methods and examples of recent scholarship are examined in relationship to a chronologically, geographically, or thematically defined body of art. Lecture-conference.

Art 251 - Making Graphic Novels

One-unit semester course. 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. Prerequisite: one 100-level studio art course, consent of the instructor based on senior standing, or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 16. Studio.

Art 271 - Painting I

One-unit semester course. 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 170, 173, or 175, or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 18. Studio.

Art 272 - Painting II

One-unit semester course. 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 170, 173, or 175, or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 18. Studio.

Art 275 - Bookbinding: History and Practice

One-unit semester course. The book has evolved for 2,000 years as an extension of the human mind and body. Its various forms express unique understandings of materials, technologies, tools, and usage. Students in this course will create 4–6 book models, ranging from simple pamphlet and accordion structures to a case binding and a Coptic binding with wooden board covers. In order to develop clean and precise hand skills, we begin with a four-walled box and a clamshell box before turning to the sewing of book structures. Visits to Reed’s Special Collections offer us the opportunity to view and handle many historic and contemporary examples, including the William Morris masterpiece known as The Kelmscott Chaucer. Readings cover both bookbinding history and current directions in the field of artists’ books. Together with successful completion of the taught structures, there are two main assignments: a historically based structure based on independent research, and a final project responding to an excerpt from Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities. Class time will be spent introducing, demonstrating, and beginning work on each book structure. 4–6 hours of additional studio time is required to complete each week’s binding. Prerequisites: Art 170, 171, 173, 175, or 180; consent of the instructor based on senior standing; or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 276 - The Artist Book

One-unit semester course. This studio course focuses on the book as a vehicle for artistic voice. We will explore the intrinsic nature of books: that they are physical objects operating in one moment as sculpture, in the next moment as a piece of interactive time art; that they are understood in the hands of a reader who performs the book’s content; and that they speak to us not only through words and images but through the weight, texture and body language of the object itself. Students will learn techniques of ideation, model making, material manipulation, print/binding processes and more as they create two artist book projects. The course will also delve into the history of artist books in their many iterations, from unique objects to hand-printed editions to zines and other forms of artist publications. Visits to Reed’s artist book collection as well as other field trips and artist talks supplement this course. Four-to-six hours of outside studio time is required for this course. Prerequisite: two semesters of studio art. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio.

Art 282 - Sculpture in the Expanded Field

Syllabus (Ondrizek)
Student work

One-unit semester course. 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, Art 182, or any 100-level studio course or consent of the instructor. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio. May be repeated for credit.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 284 - Craft and Culture

One-unit semester course. This is a studio art course covering the craft of ceramics and glass, their historical and cultural context, and contemporary culture’s engagement with these craft forms. The course will focus on how and why artists have explored materials, methods, and strategies of craft over the last seven decades. Many have chosen to expand on their own cultural histories of craft while others have been experimental. In all studio work, the labor and process will be focused on with an eye to training and practice as the core of the craft. Projects will be both utilitarian and conceptually based. Students will advance their skills in hand building, throwing, glazing, glass casting, and 3D ceramic printing. Discussion will cover crafts subversion of the so-called “fine art” and the political stance that the works take. New perspectives on subjects that have been central to artists, including popular culture, feminist and queer aesthetics, and recent explorations of identity and relationships to place will be explored. All students will keep a research notebook/sketchbook in which they will respond to all readings, research artists, and design projects. Prerequisite: Art 181 or 182. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio. May be repeated for credit.

Art 288 - Engaged Objects

One-unit semester course. Much of the material culture in the arts is poised towards the creation and sale of objects. While this practice is valuable in and of itself, there are other ways to apply skilled craftwork. What if the objects one made were designed for application and use? Beyond a cup or a plate, artists have the ability to design unique creations that serve uncharted ends. In this course we will imagine new potentials for the work we make, merging studio practice with interactivity as an additional medium for consideration. We will consider particular audiences and design artistic objects for integration into their lives. To do this we will think about site, participant engagement, and material design solutions that tie these ideas together Technically, we will focus on metal fabrication, welding, and sewing. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Prerequisite: Art 181, Art 182, or any 100-level studio course or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio. May be repeated for credit.

Art 291 - Art and Photography II

One-unit semester course. 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.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 293 - Internet Literacy, Culture, and Practice

One-unit semester course. 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 190, 195, or 196, or one 200-level studio course, or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. Studio.

Art 301 - Recent Writing About Art

One-half-unit semester course. 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 its allied fields to interpret visual and material artifacts. While open to all students with the prerequisites, it is also a required course for all declared art history majors in their junior year. Juniors will have additional assignments that will serve as the junior qualifying exam in art history. Prerequisites: Art 201 and one 300-level course in art history or studio art. May be repeated for credit. Conference.

Art 305 - The Camera in South Asia

One-unit semester course. The paradox of photography is such that photographs reveal and conceal, obscure and illuminate, mutate and remain static. How do we read a photograph? What does it transmit? This course will investigate the development and reception of photography in South Asia, from the introduction of the camera in the mid-nineteenth century to the present. We will explore photography’s diverse iterations, including its role as an apparatus of colonial surveillance, a transcript of historical knowledge, a material technology, and a performative practice, to investigate how photographic practices evolved in response to shifting social, political, and aesthetic concerns. We will examine a wide range of case studies, including the works of nineteenth-century British and Indian photographers; vernacular uses of photography in local studios; the translation of the aesthetics of photography into painting (and vice-versa), panoramas, stereographic views, early seminal films such as Raja Harishchandra (1913), and the works of contemporary photographers such as Dayanita Singh, Raghubir Singh and Pushpamala N. We will also delve into photographic theory by reading Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and Christopher Pinney’s writings. The aim of the course would be to develop the analytical tools for the evaluation of photography that take seriously the protean nature of photographic technology. Prerequisite: Art 201. Conference.

Art 308 - Gothic Architecture and Art

One-unit semester course. This class will examine Gothic art and especially architecture in western and central Europe from the twelfth to the fifteenth century. The focus will be on Gothic buildings and their related artistic decoration (sculpture, stained glass), but we will also consider other media (manuscript illumination, metalwork, ivory carving). The study of Gothic architecture has been one of the most historiographically rich in the Western tradition of writing about the visual, so there will be special emphasis on art- and architectural-historical methods. Prerequisite: Art 201 or a course in some aspect of medieval culture, or permission of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 313 - Art and Life in Renaissance Florence

One-unit semester course. 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 2021–22.

Art 320 - Iconoclasm

One-unit semester course. 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 2021–22.

Art 321 - Moving Pictures: The Migration and Manipulation of Images in the Early Modern Period

One-unit semester course. Images in the early modern period moved further and more regularly than at any other time in history up until that point. While scholars have increasingly taken an interest in the movement of early modern images in recent years, we still lack a study that takes into account the many different ways in which images were understood to move. This class is an attempt to understand and synthesize the early modern concept of movement in its many forms, and by extension the role and status of images. We will explore movement from the micro to the macro, and both literal and figurative. Topics will include the transportation of images between Europe and the rest of the world, representations of travel and movement, translation and mistranslation, prints that were meant to be altered and interacted with, automata, affective and miraculous images, and works of art that were meant to make viewers move in particular ways. Prerequisite: Art 201, or permission of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 322 - Early Modern Things

One-unit semester course. 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.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 323 - Global Early Modern Visual Culture

One-unit semester course. This course explores art produced around the world during the sixteenth through the mid-eighteenth centuries, a period of intense contact between cultures with widely varying ideas about what constitutes art. Out of this contact came a myriad of strange works of art that speak to the pressures of often violent colonial and economic encounters. We will look at the impact on European art of contact with Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas, as well as the ways in which European art and culture changed the local traditions of art making in the rest of the world. We will consider what happens to culturally specific forms and styles when they cross cultural, geographical, ideological, political, and theological boundaries. Among the topics we will discuss are the Italian Renaissance nude, miraculous images in New Spain and Peru, Mughal miniatures, African ivory carvings, one-point perspective, Protestant European printed representations of Native Americans, Japanese iconoclasm, and chinoiserie. Prerequisite: Art 201 or permission of the instructor. Conference.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 325 - Appropriation and Transformation in Early Modern Art

One-unit semester course. This course will explore the myriad ways in which early modern European artists took forms, media, materials, and subjects from other cultures and transformed them into something different. These acts of transformations could be violent, ignorant, admiring, relatively benign, or even unintentional. We will consider what was at stake in these transformations, what was changed, how and why they happened, and what role they played in the broader context of cultural contact in the early modern period. We will analyze the terminology of these “transformations,” and focus in particular on the term “appropriation” and its relationship to power. The latter part of the semester will be devoted to looking at how early modern European art has been commented upon, transformed, remade, and translated by curators and contemporary artists. Prerequisite: Art 201. Conference.

Art 327 - Colonial Pasts, Decolonial Futures: Museums and the Global South

One-unit semester course. This course will trace the histories of displaying and interpreting the art of South Asia from the nineteenth century to the present and explore new possibilities for curating South Asian art in the future. While focusing on shifts in the display of South Asian art, we will also interrogate the political and theoretical stakes of curating non-Western art more broadly. A study of the history of the museum from its colonial inception to its postcolonial iterations will foreground the ways in which museums were mobilized for imperial and nationalist aspirations in and beyond South Asia. We will examine key exhibitions including the 1984–85 “Primitivism” in 20th Century Art show at the MOMA, the 1985–86 Festival of India, and the 2014 Yoga exhibition at the Freer Sackler Museum. A speaking Shiva sculpture will open for us the arguments for and against the repatriation of stolen antiquities. We will conclude with a reflection on museums’ varying roles in the present and an invitation to imagine new ways to transform museums into spaces of diversity, inclusion, social justice, and anti-racism. Prerequisite: Art 201. Conference.

Art 328 - Nonextant Art and the Early Modern World

One-unit semester course. What do we learn from objects, images, texts, and performances that no longer exist? How do we write histories of things that have been violently destroyed, involuntarily lost, or deliberately left to decay over time? What is the role of the conservator in recreating lost works of art? What do nonextant things tell us about trauma and collective memory? In this course, we study works that can no longer be experienced firsthand to explore how nonextant art informs our understanding of the past. This course is a team-taught collaboration between the art departments at Reed College and Lewis & Clark College. Prerequisite: Art 201 or consent of the instructors. Conference.

Art 332 - Art and Archaeology in Early China

One-unit semester course. 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 2021–22.

Art 346 - Introduction to Media Studies

See German 346 for description. 

German 346 Description

Art 351 - Making Space

One-unit semester course. 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 353 - Making an Exhibition

One-unit semester course. This course will conceive, research, and execute an exhibition in Reed’s academic museum—the Cooley Art Gallery. The exhibition will be curated from nearly 100 works of art given to Reed over the last decade by the Peter Norton Family Foundation. The works are contemporary, with a special emphasis on artists of color and LGBTQ artists. Many of the works address the body, and explore race, gender, sexuality, and marginalization. Students and faculty will collaborate with the director of the Cooley Gallery to organize the exhibition and design its installation. Students will also research and write the materials accompanying the exhibition. The exhibition will open in the Cooley in the fall semester of 2022. To inform the exhibition, the course will also study the history and theory of museums, especially museum exhibitions related to the artworks donated by Norton. Prerequisites: Art 201. Conference.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 365 - Intersection: Architecture, Landscape Sculpture

Syllabus (Ondrizek)
Student work

One-unit semester course. 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. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Prerequisite: one 100-level studio art course and Art 281 or 282 or consent of the instructor. Studio. 

Not offered 2021–22.

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

Syllabus (Ondrizek)
Student work

One-unit semester course. 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. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Prerequisites: one 100-level studio art course and one 200-level studio course or consent of the instructor. Studio-conference.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 371 - Intermediate Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking I

One-unit semester course. 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. May be repeated for credit.

Art 374 - New Media/Old Media—Experiments in Optical Media and Computation

One-unit semester course. The course will examine and experiment with various forms of old and analog media combined with new and speculative twenty-first-century media technology to see if they can be productively remade and integrated into contemporary art practices. Our goal is to defamiliarize photography and new/digital media by finding alternative uses, or by revisiting a time when they had not separated themselves into distinct and different discourses looking at historical devices, methods, and tools that shared common aspirations and limitations. Technical, aesthetic, and conceptual possibilities are explored through studio workshops, projects, readings, slide presentations, lab work, and critiques. Students must be highly self-motivated and will be expected to design independent projects. Prerequisite: two 200-level studio art courses; or two of Art 190, 195, or 196; or one of Art 291, 292, 293, or 294. Enrollment limited to 16. Studio.

Art 382 - Installation/Participation

Student work

One-unit semester course. 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 2D, 3D, 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, 3D 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. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio. May be repeated for credit.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 388 - Social Practice as Exhibition

One-unit semester course. Social practice is a rapidly developing area of the contemporary art world. Much of this work is embedded within the contexts from which the works are derived—a distinctive component of how this work functions. An additional consideration for social practice is how it shows up in museums and exhibition spaces. In this course we will explore the potential for merging a studio practice with socially engaged projects, and how to design the two together from start to finish. To do this students will explore materials and projects that center specific people and communities. All sculpture construction shops and tools are available, including laser cutting, 3D printing, and casting. Students are required to attend workshops and do studio work outside of class times. Prerequisite: Art 181, Art 182, or any 100-level studio course, or consent of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Studio. May be repeated for credit.

Art 390 - Realism and Its Discontents in Contemporary Chinese Visual Media

One-unit semester course. With the opening up and economic reforms beginning in the late 1970s in China, a new aesthetic question confronted literature and the arts: what constitutes the real and what counts now as legitimate modes/means of its representation? While socialist realism was on the wane, realism continued to condition various forms of cultural production and took myriad guises—from an attempt at complete objectivity devoid of emotion to a complete dependence on subjectivity and affect for delivering a sense of the real; from drawing on the experiences of everyday life of individuals to the legendary feats of martial artists and utopian ideals of science fiction. This course grapples with these various interpretations of realism in modern and contemporary Chinese media, while reaching back in time to trace the precedents of these new forms that negotiate the blurry lines between truth and fiction, the objective and the subjective, the real and the fantastical. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Conference. Cross-listed as Chinese 390 and Literature 390.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 393 - Chinese Calligraphy

One-unit semester course. This course is a survey of the history and aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy from the late Eastern Han (25–220 CE) through the Song dynasty (960–1279). In addition to familiarizing students with the calligraphy of these periods, this course also seeks to bring into conversation early Chinese theories on writing and contemporary art, historical literature, and the relationship between words and images. Some questions that will guide the general theoretical arc of the course include 1) how the origins and development of the Chinese writing system inform its later incarnations a an inextricable part of literati art; 2) what it might mean to emphasize the look of writing more than its linguistic characteristics; and 3) how closely the notion of being able to know calligraphers through their calligraphy matches the actual practice of writing and self-cultivation during this period. Prerequisite: Art 201. Conference.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 408 - Renaissance Space

One-unit semester course. “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 2021–22.

Art 412 - Art-Historical Interpretation

One-unit semester course. This course examines in detail some of the fundamental methods of art-historical interpretation and the strategies that have been developed to deal with them. Topics of special attention include the social history of art, phenomenology, gender and race studies, and the relationship between art history and art criticism. To assess these issues, the course will concentrate on recent scholarship on French painting of the second half of the 19th century, especially the art of Édouard Manet. This limitation allows us to take advantage of a diverse body of high-quality scholarship and to use the collections of the Portland Art Museum. Scholars who will be studied in depth include Carol Armstrong, T.J. Clark, Michael Fried, Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Linda Nochlin, and Griselda Pollock. Prerequisite: two 300-level art history courses. Conference.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 414 - Appropriation and Transformation in Early Modern Art

One-unit semester course. This course will explore the myriad ways in which early modern European artists took forms, media, materials, and subjects from other cultures and transformed them into something different. These acts of transformations could be violent, ignorant, admiring, relatively benign, or even unintentional. We will consider what was at stake in these transformations, what was changed, how and why they happened, and what role they played in the broader context of cultural contact in the early modern period. We will analyze the terminology of these “transformations,” and focus in particular on the term “appropriation” and its relationship to power. The latter part of the semester will be devoted to looking at how early modern European art has been commented upon, transformed, remade, and translated by curators and contemporary artists. Prerequisites: Art 201 and two 300-level art history courses. Conference.

Not offered 2021–22.

Art 451 - Oceans, Rivers, Rains, Pools: An Art History of Water

One-unit semester course. Why did artists from the regional courts of India paint poetic visions of rains, lakes, and rivers during periods of drought? How can the ocean serve as an archive, metaphor, and method for thinking about early modern and colonial material cultures, trade, and mobility? How do media images of environmental catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina make visible, and invisible, the ocular tactics of biopolitical racism? How do our current water crises demand a wholesale rethinking of how we write and think about art? This class will focus on water as a subject and a methodology for studying early modern, colonial, and contemporary visual cultures. We will study a range of case studies, including regional Indian paintings, early modern hydro-architecture in South Asia, material cultures shaped by the Manila galleon trade and Indian Ocean trade networks, media images of environmental catastrophes, recent museum exhibitions on climate change, and more. Our studies will be supplemented by writings in art history, environmental humanities, anthropology, and new materialism. We will also consider the emergence of an art historiography of water that has been shaped by the ecological turn in the humanities. The class will take a mandatory trip to the Seattle Art Museum, where we will think about, and with, water while viewing the exhibition Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water. Prerequisites: Art 201, and two 300-level art history courses. Conference.

Art 470 - Thesis

Two-unit yearlong course; one unit per semester.

Art 481 - Independent Projects or Independent Reading

Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. 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.