154DVA Contextual Studies (level 1)
Module Guide (2015 – 2016)
Module Start date: 1/10/2015
Module end date: 06/05/2016
This is a 20 credit module which runs in the first and second terms of the BA Fine Art and BA Fine Art and Illustration courses. It aims to introduce students to the theoretical and historical frameworks which underpin the world of the visual arts. A lecture series will give an overview of the history of western art from the Renaissance
to the present day, and a seminar series will introduce analytical and study skills, as well as opening up theoretical debates related to critical positions and the relationship of art to audiences. Students will be encouraged to build on the knowledge and understanding gained in the lectures and seminars, and to develop their research abilities so that they are able to articulate ideas with confidence.
The intended learning outcomes are that on completion of this module students should be able to:
Demonstrate the ability to source and select relevant information from a range of texts.
Demonstrate an understanding of the selected material.
Demonstrate the ability to analyse written and visual texts.
Demonstrate the ability to order and structure information.
Demonstrate the ability to work independently and pursue a line of enquiry.
Demonstrate a good understanding of academic referencing.
Assessment will be by submission of a 1500 word essay and related source review
Hand in date: 6th May 2016. Feedback and marks available from 20/05/16. The link to upload your essay will be available from April 22nd, so you are welcome to submit earlier than the final date if this makes your schedule planning easier.
Work to be uploaded to moodle page for module 154DVA: look for the link to ‘Turnitin’, click and follow instructions on uploading.
Teaching and learning methods
Through the lecture series students will learn the fundamental frameworks of the history of Western art from the Renaissance to the present day and be introduced to the work of major practitioners. It will also demonstrate how artists’ work relates to the contexts of their times, and in turn how they influence contemporary work. We will think about how and why art is made and how it relates to its audiences, and how art now exists in a much wider, global context.
Your engagement in the ideas in this module should be regarded as part of your thinking about your own work, not as something disconnected.
The seminar series will develop study and analytical skills, as well as opening up the major debates that are relevant to contemporary work.
For your assessment you will write a 1500 word essay. You can choose your own title, but please check it with a member of staff before proceeding.
The subject of your essay should relate to contemporary art in some way, rather than being purely historical.
Remember, an essay is a discussion, not just description, so it can be helpful to work on a title which has some sort of question built into it (‘What is the relationship between…’, ‘How did…’ etc.) The essay will bring together a range of material and will develop the ability to sustain a coherent and well researched discussion in clear English.
Your essay will also contain a bibliography which lists all of the books, journals and other sources you have consulted in writing your essay.
Please note, writing an essay based only on what you have researched from websites is not acceptable, and will be penalised in the marking. Use your excellent art library to research and read as much as possible. An introduction to the library will be given as part of your Wednesday seminar series.
Note: guidance notes will be provided at lectures and seminars, and a separate contextual studies handbook provided.
Lectures will take place every Thursday during teaching blocks 1,2 and 3 at 1:00 pm in GSG22 (the ground floor lecture theatre, Graham Sutherland building).
Seminars will take place on Wednesdays at 10 and 11 (2 groups), 7th Oct – 18th Nov. in room GS111 which is on the first floor at the end of the fashion corridor
You will be split into 2 groups for seminars:
10:00 groups 1A & 1B, group 2A
11:00 group 2B, groups 3A & 3B
Remember to always say (reference) where you have gained information. This is important in order for you to find it again, and if you don’t reference it can be regarded as plagiarism. Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as your own, and is serious; please see further university guidance on this.
Please consult your Contextual Studies Handbook for more detailed advice on research, referencing and writing, and for approaches to the essay. This on the moodle page for module 154DVA
Contextual Studies Lecture Series
Venue: Lecture theatre Graham Sutherland Building (GSG22)
Graham Chorlton (GC), Imogen Racz (IR), Rachelle Viader Knowles (RVK)
Lecture 1 1/10/15 Contemporary Dialogues and module introduction GC
Lecture 2 8/10/15 Renaissance GC
Lecture 3 15/10/15 Baroque GC
Lecture 4 22/10/15 Velasquez’s ‘Las Meninas’ GC
Lecture 5 29/10/15 Romanticism and the Sublime GC
Lecture 6 5/11/15 Impressionism GC
Lecture 7 12/11/15 Cubism GC
Lecture 8 19/11/15 Expressionism GC
Lecture 9 3/12/15 New Media IR
Lecture 10 10/12/15 Constructivism/Bauhaus/DeStijl/International Style GC
Lecture 11 7/1/16 Dada and Surrealism GC Lecture 12 14/1/16 American Art GC
Lecture 13 21/1/16 Johns/Rauschenberg/Cage GC
Lecture 14 28/1/16 Pop Art GC
Lecture 15 4/2/16 1960s, Fluxus, Conceptualism, Land Art GC
Lecture 16 11/2/16 Feminist Art from the 1970s onwards IR
Lecture 17 25/2/16 Photography GC
Lecture 18 3/3/16 Post Modernism/ 1980s & 90s GC
Lecture 19 10/3/16 A History of Video part 1 RVK
Lecture 20 17/3/16 A History of Video part 2 RVK
Lecture 21 24/3/16 Relational Aesthetics/Altermodern GC
Lecture 22 21/4/16 Globalisation GC
Bennett, A. (2001) How to Argue: A Students Guide, Open University
Berger, J. (1988) Ways of Seeing, Penguin.
Chambers, E. Northedge, A. (2008) The Arts Good Study Guide, Open University
You should be regularly consulting relevant journals, including:
Afterall, Artforum, Art Monthly, Art Review, Frieze, Modern Painters, Parkett, Printmaking Today, Sculpture, Tate etc., Turps Banana.
Barthes, R. (2009) Mythologies, Vintage
Barthes, R. (1993) Camera Lucida Vintage
Bourriaud, N. Ed. (2009) Altermodern, Tate Triennial, Tate publishing
Bourriaud, N. (2002) Relational Aesthetics Les Presses du Reel
Brown, D. (2001) Romanticism, Phaidon
Clark, T.J. (2001) Farewell to an idea: episodes from a history of Modernism. Yale University press
Cork, R, (2003) Breaking down the Barriers: Art in the 1990s, Yale University Press
Frascina, F. (1983) Modern Art and Modernism: a critical anthology Harper and Row
Golding, J. (1988) Cubism: a history and analysis. Harvard university press
Harrison, C. and Wood, P. Art in Theory 1900-2000 Blackwell
Herbert, R. (1998) Impressionism: Art, Leisure and Parisian Society, Yale University Press
Jameson, F. (1991) Postmodernism, or the cultural logic of late capitalism. Verso
Jones, A. ed. (2006) A Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945, Blackwell
Leighton, (2008) Art and the Moving Image: a critical reader, Tate and Afterall
Nochlin, L. (1989) Women, Art and Power and other essays. Thames and Hudson
Pollock, G. (2003) Vision and Difference: feminism, femininity and history of art, Routledge
Pope-Hennessy, J. (1986), Italian High Renaissance and Baroque Sculpture, Phaidon
Robbin, T. (2006) Shadows of Reality: the fourth dimension in relativity, cubism and modern thought, Yale University Press
Rush, M. (2003) New media in late 20th century art, Thames and Hudson
Stallabrass, J. (2006) The Rise and Fall of Young British Art, Verso
Townsend, C. (2006) New Art from London, Thames and Hudson
Ward, G. (1997) Postmodernism, Hodder Headline
Welch, E. (1997) Art and Society in Italy 1350-1500, Oxford University Press
Weiss, J. (1994) The Popular Culture of Modern Art: Picasso, Duchamp and avant-gardism, Yale University Press
Wood, P. ed. (2004) Varieties of Modernism, Yale University Press and Open University Press.
The range of topics potentially involved in this module is enormous, so the list above is a brief set of texts which might be relevant. You should research a range of texts relevant to your own essay topic.
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