HART2223 Modernism and the Visual Arts

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit covers the art historical debates over global modernism and the way that artists responded to colonialism and industrialism as it made its way from Europe to the rest of the world. It focuses on the disciplinary shift from European modernism to global, multiple modernisms that emerged out of situations of cultural contact and exchange. Today, modernism also describes a mode of art that engages with globalisation, with the big picture issues of economic and cultural convergence and collision. The unit develops the student's ability to recognise debates over the nature of modernism and discern their central contentions. It gives students a crucial grounding in a body of art historical knowledge that is necessary for understanding specialist units that follow in Level 3, in fields such as contemporary and new media arts where discourses often engage with and react to modernism.
Students are able to (1) identify historical and cultural contexts of art historical studies of modernism; (2) analyse some key theoretical and historical moments in the development of modernism's significance within art history; (3) investigate some issues of display, dissemination and museology that relate to artworks produced within modernism; (4) synthesise visual information of modern artworks into broader art historical discourses; (5) make arguments relating to modernism; and (6) use art historical methodologies to derive understanding of relevant artworks.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short essay; (2) long essay; and (3) tutorial presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Darren Jorgensen
Unit rules
HART1000 Great Moments in Art (formerly VISA1000)
HART1003 Ways of Seeing: Themes and Theories in Art
VISA2223 Modernism and the Visual Arts
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
Enrolled students can access unit material via the LMS (Learning Management System).
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.