FIN2017 : Art Since 1945

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 emergence of Conceptual Art circa 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; Rauschenberg & Johns; American Pop Art; Happenings, Environments & Happenings; Minimalism; 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 introducing intensive study of individual works. Students undertake an in-depth critical analysis of paired images involving a comparative approach which identifies and defines the salient properties and associations of the works in question. Students are required to carry out a close visual analysis of the works, supported by reference to critical and theoretical texts.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading120:0020:00Seminar preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Office hour
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops23:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork13:003:00Museum visit
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study180:0080:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
FIN3027Art since 1945
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. 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
2. 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
3. Tutorials: to provide feedback and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of submitted work, and increase awareness of the potential for individual development
4. Workshops: to allow the students to undertake directed, prescribed work in a supportive environment with staff present to advise and answer queries. Workshops allow for more innovative and cross-curricular teaching.
5. Museum/Gallery Visits: to enrich student’s experience and inform the student of visual, technical and material aspects of the art of the period.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M40Visual Analysis Assignment, 1500 words
Written exercise1M602000 words
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 presentation 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 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 visual analysis demonstrate the student’s ability to absorb and critique information and then present an argument in relation to a specific topic using appropriate academic writing skills.

Reading Lists