The art and cinema of 20th century Spain: from Picasso to Almodóvar

Course Dates: 17/01/24 - 21/02/24
Time: 18:00 - 20:30
Location: Online
Explore the development of Spanish art from Picasso’s 1937 'Guernica' to the installations of Juan Muñoz in the 1980s and 1990s. We will focus on key episodes highlighting General Franco’s impact on Spanish art 1936-2000.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £116.00

Course Code: VB848

Wed, eve, 17 Jan - 21 Feb '24

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

In this 6-week art history evening class we explore a range of Spanish art and film from the beginning of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) to the end of the long transition to democracy in the 1990s. We begin by investigating some of the ways in which artists and filmmakers responded to the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship. In the second half of the course we see how art and film provided new images and identities for a young democracy anxious to forget its past.

The dramatic story of Picasso’s 'Guernica,' first exhibited in Paris during the Civil War, in the first week of the course is followed by case studies of how the painter Antoni Tàpies was co-opted by Franco’s cultural diplomacy and how filmmaker Victor Erice’s haunting and subtly critical ‘Spirit of the Beehive’ bypassed the regime’s film censors. Spain’s spectacular re-entry into European cultural circuits post-1975 will be explored through the exuberant transgressiveness of Almodovar’s films in the 80s and 90s, and the painterly brilliance of Miquel Barceló.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• Picasso’s Guernica and Joan Miró’s mural in the Spanish pavilion
• Franco’s cultural diplomacy and the paintings of Antoni Tàpies and Manolo Millares.
• Film censorship and Victor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
• Uncanny memory and silence in the sculptural installations of Juan Muñoz.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Compare Republican and Francoist approaches to art as propaganda
• Describe three key differences between the paintings of Tàpies, Manolo Millares and Barceló.
• Contrast the film styles of Erice and Almodovar and discuss the background to their creation.
• Participate in discussions about architectural symbolism in Picasso, Tàpies, Millares, Erice, and Muñoz.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for all levels.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information as well as basic functions of Zoom, specifically microphone and camera.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught online with slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course; these handouts will be available online/digitally for download on a Google Classroom, not printed out for you. You will be invited to join the Google Classroom within a week of your course start date.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You might wish to purchase a notebook for taking notes. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list provided.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Spanish Art 1900-1937: the age of Picasso, Miró and Dalí
Velázquez, painter to the King
Art and memory.

Mark Stuart-Smith

Mark Stuart-Smith gained his PhD in Art History at Birkbeck on silence in the work of the Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz, and is writing a book on Muñoz. He has a diploma in painting from the Royal Academy schools, a BA in Art History (Birkbeck), and a Masters in Cultural Memory (University of London). Mark’s main research interests are 20th-century Spanish art, and art and homelessness. He writes for the Journal Art History, and also teaches art at homeless day centres in London, including the Connection at St Martin’s.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.