What is the course about?
From the beginning of the twentieth century, women artists were able to take a more significant role in the visual arts than at any point in the past. Even though this was still a time when women who moved in avant-garde circles were more likely to be models, “muses” or lovers, some women managed to work at the forefront of key Modernist avant-garde movements such as German Expressionism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Orphism, Vorticism, Rayonism and Constructivism. We shall explore the work of these artists as well as others who were not associated directly with specific movements but nonetheless made vitally important contributions to Modernism and the art world generally, including women who were official war artists and pioneers in abstraction.
We shall discuss the work of artists including Suzanne Valadon, Käthe Kollwitz, Gwen John, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Gabriele Münter, Vanessa Bell, Natalia Goncharova, Sonia Delaunay, Georgia O’Keeffe, Hannah Höch, Dod Proctor, Winifred Nicholson, Tamara de Lempicka, Barbara Hepworth, Eileen Agar, Frida Kahlo, Dorothea Tanning, Meret Oppenheim, Leonora Carrington and others.
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.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• We will examine a wide range of work by European and American women artists working in a wide range of media who both worked at the forefront of the Modernist avant garde art and who worked independently of specific movements
• We will look at cultural and social contexts of the day, and discuss how these artists responded to such contexts and negotiated their way through the male-dominated art world
• We will investigate and discuss how these artists express identity through their work
• You will learn how to analyse the formal features of selected works.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Name a range of women artists form the period 1900-1950 and identify the areas of the avant-garde they were associated with
• Identify significant art works by these artists and explain their importance
• Explain how contemporary cultural and social issues have affected the work and reputations of these artists
• Analyse the formal qualities of key works.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels and does not require any prior knowledge of women artists or the history of art. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, read hand-outs, understand health and safety information, and you will be invited to take part in discussions.
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, not printed out for you.
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?
VB141 - Modern Art 1900-1950 will provide a broad context for the same period you will have studied, and VB867 - Women in Art 1400-1800 and VB858 -Women in Art 1800-1900 will give a fascinating background to the period you have studied. VB840 - Women in modern and contemporary art completes the series.