Global Opportunities

FIN3027 : Art since 1945: Postwar to Pluralism

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The course aims to provide students with an understanding of major developments in Western European and American art from the end of World War II to the counter-cultural and protest events centred on Paris in 1968. Students will investigate the impact of events, ideologies and philosophies, as well as shifts in artistic practice. Students will develop an understanding of key works, movements, theories and ideas including Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Art Brut, Nouveau Realisme, The Independent Group, Happenings and the work of artists such as Joseph Beuys. During their study of these, students will enhance their critical and art historical tools to analyse formative influences on the shift from modernist to postmodernist forms of art during the period.

Outline Of Syllabus

After establishing the core historical, political and cultural context for the module, the lectures cover topics such as: Abstract expressionism and Modernist criticism; Art in Post War Paris; The Independent Group and British Pop Art; Bacon & Auerbach; Rauschenberg & Johns; American Pop Art; Happenings, Environments & Happenings; De-Aestheticization & Anti-Form. The lecture programme is flexible in accommodating and giving particular emphasis to elements of the syllabus covered by national or local exhibitions.

The seminar programme complements the contextual framework offered by the lectures through discussion of key texts, which consist mostly of mostly primary critical texts from the period. Students are expected to develop close visual analysis of artworks, supported by reference to critical and theoretical texts.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00In-person lectures.
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Online lecture materials.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading113:0033:00Lecture and Seminar preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00In person seminars.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities111:0011:00Online asynchronous seminar enhancement.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study173:0073:00Independent study
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:0010 hours for formative assessment. 40 hours for summative assessment.
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will revolve around weekly lecture materials, delivered both in person, and online via Recap. These will be supplemented by in-person seminars and asynchronous structured learning activities in order to foster group discussion and analysis.

Lectures: to allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and modeling of the level and nature of the analysis required.

Online lecture materials shared via ReCap: to allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and modelling of the level and nature of the analysis required. These are broken down into smaller sections for ease of online digestion.

Seminars: to encourage interaction and the development of cognitive and key skills; to allow preparation and presentation of directed research on specific issues and case studies.

Asynchronous structured learning activities: to develop essay writing skills, visual analysis, and better encourage interaction between peers in their analysis and discussion of the course content.

Nb. In person lectures and seminars can move to synchronous and asynchronous online delivery as required in response to pandemic-related restrictions.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A1002500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1M500 word summary of a critical text.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The course work affords students the opportunity to conduct research with seminar and peer support into particular areas of interest, to develop their organizational and presentational skills, and then to demonstrate their ability to think independently in using their group-work to inform their individual essay.

The essay demonstrates the student’s ability to set their own question and to absorb and critique information and then present an argument in relation to a specific topic. It demonstrates the student’s ability to relay an argument in a clear manner using appropriate academic writing skills.

The textual analysis requires the students to provide a short synopsis of a set text. This is an essential research skill which tests their ability to read a text closely and explicate it, and which will be required when developing the assessed essay. Written feedback is provided which assists the student to apply the experience of this formative exercise to the summative essay assignment.

Reading Lists