Foundations of Contemporary Art
with Felice Amato
Foundations of Contemporary Art, surveys the movements and theories of the twentieth century that inform contemporary art production. Special emphasis will be placed on the emergence of modernism and the subsequent shift from modernist models of art making to postmodernism’s critical deconstruction to our current post-historical phase. This course will follow the trajectory of an interdisciplinary, manifesto driven art world from 1900 through the beginning of the 1960’s. This narrative is political, reactionary, anti-status quo and often confrontational. It rejects traditionally understood ideas about the nature of art, materials and authorship and replaces such ideas with radical notions of what art can be and who might identify oneself as an artist.
This class covers a semester’s work in 8 weeks.The class is grounded in approximately 20 hours of lecture by Professor Douglas Rosenberg. This is not a class in which memorization of dates and names is emphasized. Rather students will be asked to make connections between artists’ work and events, technology, politics, and more. Students will read Art Since 1900: Volume 1: 1900 to 1944 / Edition 2 by Hal Foster and After Modern Art: 1945-2000 by David Hopkins as well as other shorter articles and excerpts. There will be additional web content to complement the lectures and texts. There will be two exams (midterm and final) which will be open book format over several days. There are also 4 assignments (2 of which are creative works). Students will engage in weekly asynchronous forums to discuss ideas as well as several real-time interactions which will be arranged to accommodate students’ schedules. There is some flexibility with scheduling but students who will not have access to the course for more than a few days should check with the instructor to see if that can be accommodated.
*Please note that, due to the nature of modern and contemporary art, there could be images and language some students might find offensive. If you believe this will create a challenge to your full participation, you should discuss this with the instructor prior to committing to the course.
May 30 –
Meet Your Professor
Felice Amato is a visual artist, educator, and performer. She creates object performances and puppet works that draw from personal experiences, mythology, and popular culture as well as from the objects themselves. She is active nationally within the contemporary puppetry community. Currently, Felice is completing a PhD in art at UW-Madison, which centers on women’s relationship to puppets, dolls, and other figurative objects, specifically in the early twentieth century. This includes women’s work making, developing and designing, marketing and consuming, collecting, and performing with dolls. She will be starting as an assistant professor in the Art Department at Boston University in Fall 2017.
Felice Amato recently was featured in the project gallery for the Public Humanities Graduate Exchange Program. She partnered up with local social justice organization, YWCA, to create her project, entitled, “Tales of Struggle, Healing, and Home: Women and Material Narratives.”
Amato [worked] with women in the YWCA’s housing program who are at a place of disempowerment, transition, struggle, marginalization and/or healing in their lives. Her role [was] to provide them multiple opportunities to explore the fabrication of puppets or other figures and to offer them the chance to devise narratives. Amato [shared] art historical and contemporary examples of women’s puppets and dolls. The materials themselves and their tactility–as well as the creativity and ingenuity involved in making objects–spur community-building through conversation, encouragement and artistic risk-taking. These objects could serve as characters in healing stories or parts of broader narratives but they may also be simply a chance to play. (source)