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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

Unit aim

Examines issues that are central to the origins of modern art and the avant-garde. The onset of modernity enacted radical changes in the production and interpretation of visual art. Students will explore the reasons for, and the ramifications of, these changes, and in the process will become familiar with key political and theoretical issues concerning the legacy of modernist ideologies.

Unit content

  • Modernity, capitalism and the avant-garde
  • Craft as fine art
  • Primitivism and colonisation
  • The aesthetics of abstraction
  • Utopian visions: art as social critique
  • Art and technological reproduction

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1 recognise the various visual languages and aesthetic philosophies of modernism
2 articulate relationships between the avant-garde and modernity in Western and non-Western cultures
3 describe the key socio-political factors that impinged upon a range of modernist art practices
4 demonstrate an understanding of academic writing skills, information literacy, library and online research
5 achieve effective teamwork skills
6 demonstrate critical comprehension skills and annotation ability for a range of reference materials.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. recognise the various visual languages and aesthetic philosophies of modernism
  2. articulate relationships between the avant-garde and modernity in Western and non-Western cultures
  3. describe the key socio-political factors that impinged upon a range of modernist art practices
  4. demonstrate an understanding of academic writing skills, information literacy, library and online research
  5. achieve effective teamwork skills
  6. demonstrate critical comprehension skills and annotation ability for a range of reference materials.

Prescribed texts

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.