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ARTH208: Modern Art

Unit 3: Freedom in Pre-War Europe: Fauvism, Futurism, Expressionism and Cubism   In this unit, you will learn about the most important European art movements prior to the outbreak of World War I and how each one challenged society’s understanding of the category of “art.” You will also read and learn about how the idea of the modern man greatly informed movements of this era, including Fauvism, Futurism, Expressionism, and the most recognizable modern style of the early 20th century, Cubism. Most importantly, you will explore how political ideology and philosophical currents influenced artists and their work, and you will learn how this trend added a new dimension to the development of modern art.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
Time Advisory:  This unit should take you 15.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 2.5 hours ☐    Subunit 3.1.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.1.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 5.5 hours ☐    Subunit 3.2.1: 1 hour               

☐    Subunit 3.2.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2.3: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2.4: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 2.5 hours ☐    Subunit 3.3.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.3.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.4: 4 hours ☐    Subunit 3.4.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.4.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.4.3: 1.5 hours

☐    Assignment: 1 hour

☐    Assessment: 0.25 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Define the movements known as Fauvism, Futurism, Expressionism, and Cubism. - Identify the visual elements that set Fauvism, Futurism, Expressionism, and Cubism apart from preceding modern movements. - Explain the many ways by which political and philosophical ideas were expressed through visual art, and discuss why artists and works from this time period are so significant to the development of modern art.

3.1 The Fauves: Pure Color   3.1.1 Fauvism   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Fauvism” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Fauvism” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Compared to earlier movements, Fauvism represented both a progressive leap forward in painterly style and a conservative regression to traditional motifs. Read this page carefully for examples of this, and consider what made Fauvism different from previous modern movements and, at the same time, in-tune with avant-garde trends. Additionally, look for references to earlier artists and movements that informed the Fauvist style, and cite specific examples. If you like, go back to previous artist and movement pages in order to compare and contrast preceding artworks with those of the Fauves.
 
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3.1.2 Henri Matisse   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Henri Matisse” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Henri Matisse” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. While reading, you will notice several references to Matisse’s use of color. Read carefully, and take note of how the artist’s use of color is described (“pure,” “bright,” etc.). Consider what is significant about Matisse’s work, and what characterizes it as “modern.”
 
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3.2 Cubism: Seeing the World through Many Eyes   3.2.1 Cubism   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Cubism” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Cubism” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. While reading about the Cubist movement, consider why the term “Cubism” was applied to the work of Picasso, Georges Braque, and others. One could argue that there are several different styles of Cubism, but that at its core, all Cubists experimented with a compositional grid wherein various forms are layered. Read carefully about the different Cubists, identify the definitions of “analytic” vs. “synthetic” Cubism as well as the visual characteristics of Cubism as a whole, and think about what makes the movement so important to modern art.
 
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3.2.2 Pablo Picasso   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Pablo Picasso” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Pablo Picasso”  (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. In the modern canon, Pablo Picasso is widely considered to be thedefinitive modern artist, and the standard to which all other modern artists are held. Part of the reason for this is Picasso’s prolific artistic output, as well as the fact that he worked in so many different styles throughout his long life. The artistic movement to which he’s most often linked is Cubism, which he co-founded with Georges Braque.
 
Read this page’s content carefully and identify some of the different visual styles (and movements) that Picasso adopted and mastered in his career, all the while paying particularly close attention to his Cubist works, theories, and practices. In addition to his role in the invention of the style, consider why Picasso is so important to any discussion of Cubism. Additionally, look at his Major Works and try to place each work into its corresponding movement or style. Note that in some cases, works may fit into more than one category.
 
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3.2.3 Georges Braque   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Georges Braque” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Georges Braque” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Braque is one of the more underrated modern artists; his name is rarely mentioned without being coupled with that of his fellow Cubist, Picasso. However, Braque’s Cubism is more analytic, compared with Picasso’s synthetic approach. Read this page carefully and look at his Major Works. After doing so, think about why such a claim has been made and identify some of the characteristics of Braque’s work. If needed, re-familiarize yourself with the definitions for “analytic” and “synthetic” Cubism.
 
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3.2.4 Fernand Léger   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Fernand Léger” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Fernand Léger” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Léger’s unique brand of Cubism has alternatively been labeled “Tubism.” How are Cubism and Tubism similar and dissimilar? Read this page closely for a reference to this term, consider how such a title came about, and, finally, look at Léger’s Major Works to try to identify visual characteristics that may fit the definition of Tubism. How did Léger extend the practice of Cubism and what was his achievement?
 
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3.3 The Futurists: “The Beauty of Speed”   3.3.1 Futurism   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Futurism” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Futurism” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Futurism was arguably the first modern art movement to adopt a formal manifesto. While reading, pay close attention to any references to Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the author of the Futurist Manifesto, and, if you so choose, take notes on Marinetti’s philosophy. Consider as an OPTIONAL READING the “Founding and Manifesto of Futurism,”and pay close attention to its central tenets. From this, think about what the Futurist artists were attempting to achieve and communicate through their art. Also, while looking at the Major Works on this page, consider how Cubism informed the Futurists and their work, and cite specific examples of this where possible.
 
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  • Reading: unknown.nu: F.T. Marinetti‘s “Founding and Manifesto of Futurism” Link: unknown.nu: F.T. Marinetti‘s “Founding and Manifesto of Futurism” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the linked page in full.
     
    NOTE: This is an OPTIONAL READING, and is not factored into the time advisory for this subunit.
     
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3.3.2 Umberto Boccioni   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Umberto Boccioni” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Umberto Boccioni” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Aside from Marinetti,
Umberto Boccioni was the most celebrated of all the Futurists, for
both his work and academic background. His early death during World
War I made him emblematic of the Futurists’ celebration of the
machine and the violent, destructive forces of modernity. While
reading, look closely for references to Boccioni that set him and
his work apart from that of his fellow Futurists, and for
explanations as to why his art is exemplary of the movement.
Finally, think about why Boccioni’s work warrants special
attention.  

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3.4 Expressionism: Anxiety of the Modern Man   3.4.1 Expressionism   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Expressionism” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Expressionism” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. While reading, look closely for references to how, and particularly, why, the Expressionist movement got its name. Of the artists have you already studied in this course, who was most important to the Expressionist style?  Additionally, consider that Expressionism was a movement centered in Germany. With this in mind, think about the social circumstances in which the movement emerged and developed, the individual artists associated with it, and, most importantly, why Expressionism could not have thrived in Germany after the 1920s.
 
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3.4.2 Ernst Ludwig Kirchner   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Ernst Ludwig Kirchner” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Kirchner was one of the most influential Expressionist artists and one of the founders of the artist group Die Brüke (The Bridge). Look closely for any references to this group and take notes on some of the specifics of Kirchner’s goals through the formation of the group. Additionally, pay close attention to Kirchner’s Major Works and note in particular how he approached the human figure and form. What visual characteristics can you identify that make Kirchner’s approach unique?

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3.4.3 Wassily Kandinsky   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Wassily Kandinsky” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Wassily Kandinsky” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Kandinsky’s contribution to modern art is as significant—if not more so—than that of any other artist. In particular, Kandinsky’s use of abstract forms was of great importance to Expressionism and 20th-century art as a whole. Read this page carefully for references to “abstract” and “non-objective” art, examples of Kandinsky’s use of it, and reasons for why his art is Expressionist. If you like, take notes on why abstraction was so important to his work, and think about the impact Kandinsky’s art had both on movements of which he was a part (Expressionism, Bauhaus) and subsequent modern movements, such as Abstract Expressionism.
 
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  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "Unit 3 Quiz" Link: The Saylor Foundation's "Unit 3 Quiz" (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above to download this assessment.  Please complete all of the questions for the Unit 3 Quiz, and then check your answers against the Saylor Foundation's "Answer Key to Unit 3 Quiz." (PDF)  You should spend approximately 15 minutes completing this quiz.