Painting in Early 20th Century Europe

Instructor: Riccardo Marchi

In this seminar, we will examine the radical transformations in the form and notion of painting that artists active throughout Europe produced at the beginning of the last century. In the quest for the “purity” of painting, artists explored the aesthetic resources of its medium and re-thought the modes in which it refers to the world, in some cases pursuing abstraction. In the same years, they also invented collage, papier collé, and the ready-made, thereby questioning and exploding the boundaries of painting. Among the protagonists of this exciting and enormously influential adventure were Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Umberto Boccioni, Robert Delaunay, Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian and Marcel Duchamp. We will study their revolutionary innovations by means of careful visual analysis of their works, reading of their texts, and consideration of a variety of art historical approaches.

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