Modernism, Postmodernism and Beyond

Instructor: Riccardo Marchi

In this seminar, we analyze crucial moments and issues in the art practice, theory and criticism of the last 40 years or so. Our focus is mostly on the United States, and on the concepts of modernism and postmodernism, which artists, critics and historians have used to characterize our recent past, and which are helpful to understand what lies beyond it: our present cultural and artistic condition, and perhaps the future. We start with some of the main interpretations of modernism (Clement Greenberg, Michael Fried), and then study the way in which the neo-avant-garde, pop art, minimalism, site specific art, installation, conceptual art, institutional critique, feminism, performance, video, and photography have challenged the modernist paradigm. After the exploration of these artistic strategies and of their critical interpretations, we examine various notions of postmodernism, including those of philosophers. Finally, we close with a consideration of the role of globalization for contemporary art.

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