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GERM4131 - Modern German Art

Please note - This module is not running in 2013/14

Value: 0.5 course units / 30 MA credits
MA mode code: GERMG023
Tutor: TBC
Teaching structure:
Assessment for GERM4131: two 2 500 word essays (50% each).
Assessment for GERMG023: one 6 000 word essay (100%).
Available to: Final Year students and MA students

Module Description:

This module investigates painters' reactions to modernity during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Through the study of some of the most remarkable works of the modern avant-garde, and critical reviews of such works, students are encouraged to re-evaluate how the Academy, Symbolists, Expressionists and the artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit movement defined and reacted to the characteristics of the modern age. The module aims to introduce students to the history of art and ideas, and to complement modules in modern history, film and literature.

Module outline

1. Introduction: History of Art and Cultural History.
2. Academy, Symbolism, and Secession: History, Myth, and Nation.
3. Expressionism (i): Die Brücke.
4. Expressionism (ii): Der Blaue Reiter.
5. Dada and Neue Sachlichkeit: The Insanity of Reality.
6. Bauhaus and Abstract Art: Form, Function, and Spirituality.
7. The Self: Psychology and Art.
8. War and the Art of Violence.
9. Women and Men: Constructions of Gender.
10. Metropolis: City, Nature, and Society.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

Methodology and Theories of Art History

  • Malcolm Barnard, Approaches to Understanding Visual Culture (Houndmills, 2001).
  • Norman Bryson, Vision and Painting: The Logic of the Gaze (London, 1983).
  • Anne D’Alleva, Methods and Theories of Art History (London, 2005).
  • Michael Hatt, and Charlotte Klonk, Art History: A Critical Introduction to Its Methods (Manchester, 2006).
  • Oskar Bätschmann, Einführung in die kunstgeschichtliche Hermeneutik. Die Auslegung von Bildern, 5th ed. (Darmstadt, 2001).
  • Hans Belting and others (eds.), Kunstgeschichte. Eine Einführung, 7th ed. (Berlin, 2008).
  • Wolfgang Brassat and Hubertus Kohle, Methoden-Reader Kunstgeschichte. Texte zur Methodik und Geschichte der Kunstwissenschaft (Cologne, 2003).
  • Frank Büttner and Andrea Gottdang, Einführung in die Ikonographie. Wege zur Deutung von Bildinhalten (Munich, 2006).

Surveys of Art and Culture in Germany

  • Christos M. Joachimides and others (eds.), German Art in the 20th Century: Painting and Sculpture, 1905-1985 (London, 1985).
  • Peter Lasko, The Expressionist Roots of Modernism (Manchester, 2003).
  • Robin Lenman, Artists and Society in Germany, 1850-1914 (Manchester, 1997).
  • Shearer West, The Visual Arts in Germany, 1890-1937: Utopia and Despair (Manchester, 2000).
  • Geschichte der bildenden Kunst in Deutschland, 8 vols (Darmstadt, 2006-2008), III: Vom Biedermeier zum Impressionismus, ed. by Hubertus Kohle (2008), VIII: Vom Expressionismus bis heute, ed. by Barbara Lange (2006).
  • Heinrich Klotz, Geschichte der deutschen Kunst, 3 vols (Munich, 1998-2000), III: Neuzeit und Moderne 1750-2000 (2000).
  • Robert Suckale, Kunst in Deutschland. Von Karl dem Großen bis Heute (Cologne, 2005).