History of Contemporary Art

History of Contemporary Art
MODULE 1 (Prof. Elena Di Raddo)
The aim of the course is to teach students a critical historical methodology for
studying the history of contemporary art from Neoclassicism to the present day, as
well as the necessary tools for reading and analysing contemporary works of art
and the ability to recognise the distinctive stylistic and expressive traits of the main
movements, trends and leading figures in their historical-cultural context.
During the course students will be taught how to study the subject and given a brief
historical overview based on an analysis of key topics and reading of the
masterpieces characterising the most important stages in art from Neoclassicism to
the present day. Special attention will focus on defining the concept of "modernity"
by taking a closer look at the various movements of the historical avant-garde and
their influence on the contemporary scene.
In order to gain a proper understanding of key topics - the main figures and developments in
the history of art from Neoclassicism to the present day - students are advised to read
one of the following high-school textbooks on the History of Art:
P. DE VECCHI-E. CERCHIARI, Arte nel Tempo. Dall’Illuminismo al Postmoderno, Bompiani, any
M. BONA CASTELLOTTI, Percorso di storia dell’arte. Dal neoclassicismo ai minimalismi, Einaudi
scuola, any edition.
For the movements, trends and specific topics in 20th century art, students should look at the
G. DORFLES-A. VETTESE, Il Novecento, Atlas, Bergamo (2 volumes).
F. POLI (ed. by), Arte moderna. Dal postimpressionismo all’informale, Electa, Milan, 2007.
F. POLI (ed. by), Arte contemporanea. Le ricerche internazionali dalla fine degli anni ‘50 a oggi,
Electa, Milan, 2003.
H. FOSTER-R. KRAUSS-Y.A. BOIS-B. BUCHLOC, Arte dal Novecento. Modernismo, Antimodernismo,
Postmodernismo, Zanichelli, Bologna, 2006.
The examination syllabus will be completed by an in-depth study of a chosen topic to be
prepared by reading one of the books listed by the lecturer that will be posted on the
Institute's notice board, webpage and Blackboard website.
Students unable to attend lectures will read any two of the books.
Lecturers with visual aids. Use of the blackboard online platform as a teaching aid.
Supervised visits to exhibitions and museums.
There will also be exercises throughout the year, which are particularly recommended
for those students who had never previously studied the subject.
To show they have achieved the course targets, students will sit an examination based on
recognising and analysing one or more works of art and setting them in their context. This
test (based on study from the course book) may take the form of a written examination
planned to be held at the end of the first semester and end of the second semester and
completed by an oral examination (on the topic for further study) during the official
examination sessions.
Both parts (course book and further study) may also be taken as oral tests during official
examination sessions, either on the same date or different dates.
Further information can be found on the lecturer's webpage at
http://docenti.unicatt.it/web/searchByName.do?language=ENG, or on the Faculty notice
MODULE 2 (Prof. Francesco Tedeschi)
Students will learn about the stylistic traits and poetic foundations of contemporary
artistic experimentation.
They will also be shown a methodological and critical approach to the history of
contemporary art, setting art events within the cultural context in which they first
emerged based on an interdisciplinary viewpoint.
The subject, aimed at students on the second-level degree course in Modern
Philology, will be: Conceptual art in Italy.
The subject will be studied bearing in mind critical-historical readings and analyses
of works by Italian artists that helped transform art along conceptual lines in the
60s-70s. The special subject will look at artists like Piero Manzoni, Giulio Paolini,
Vincenzo Agnetti, Gianfranco Baruchello, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Emilio Isgrò,
Alighiero Boetti, Franco Vaccari, Carlo Alfano. Critical debate during the periods
in question will also be taken into consideration.
The second semester course, aimed at students studying for second-level degrees as
well as students on first-level degree courses taking the one-year examination, will
focus on the subject: Vite parallele: Pablo Picasso e Giorgio de Chirico. The
personalities and works of these two artists will be studied in terms of their
similarities and relations while bearing in mind their distinctive traits.
For the first semester
F. MENNA, La linea analitica dell’arte moderna, Le figure e le icone, Einaudi, Turin, 1975 (also
later editions).
P. OSBORNE, Arte concettuale, Phaidon Press, London-New York, 2006.
M.T. ROBERTO, Arte concettuale and G. ZANCHETTI, Poesia visiva, in F. POLI, Arte contemporanea,
Electa, Milan, 2003.
Suggestions for further reading will be referred to and provided at lectures, including those
about the individual artists being studied.
For the second semester
M. CALVESI (edited by), L’opera completa di de Chirico: 1908-1924, “Classici dell’Arte”, Rizzoli,
Milan, 1984.
L’opera completa di Picasso cubista, presentazione di F. Russoli, apparati di F. Minervino,
“Classici dell’arte”, Rizzoli, Milano, 1972.
E. GRAZIOLI (edited by), Pablo Picasso, “Riga 12”, Marcos y Marcos, Milan, 1996.
Picasso 1917-1924: il viaggio in Italia, exhibition catalogue, edited by J. Clair, Palazzo
Grassi, Venice, 1998 (Bompiani, Milan, 1998).
Metafisica, exhibition catalogue, edited by E. Coen, Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, 27th
September 2003 – 6th January 2004 (Electa, Milan, 2003).
De Chirico, exhibition catalogue, edited by P. Baldacci-G. Roos, Palazzo Zabarella, Padua,
2007 (Marsilio, Venice, 2007).
Suggestions for further reading on specific topics and subjects studied at lectures will be
given at lectures and posted on the lecturer’s webpage at the end of the course.
The course will be taught in lectures with slideshows and analyses of works by the
artists being studied, which will then be uploaded on the Blackboard website. There will
also be educational trips to exhibitions and museums carefully geared to the topics being
Assessment will be based on an oral examination held during the official examinations
There will also be a workshop and seminar allowing further study on the topics in
question, mainly aimed at students on second-level degree course.
Further information can be found on the lecturer's webpage at
http://docenti.unicatt.it/web/searchByName.do?language=ENG, or on the Faculty notice