Central European University / Budapest College /Department
Cultural History Course for the Winter Trimester
Modernism and Modernity in European Art
From the Artistic Trends of the 1890`s to Post-Modernism
Lectures given by Ilona Sármány-Parsons
The course is intended to give an overview of the main artistic trends
from Art Nouveau /Secession to Post-Modernism by concentrating on the changing
role of the arts in society and the changing attitudes of the artists to
It will concentrate on painting, viewed in its social, cultural and
national contexts, and will analyse the relationship between art and political
and /or philosophical ideas. As in the Fall Trimester, changing world views,
as manifested in works of art, will be analysed from a social, political
and philosophical point of view. Together with English, French, German
and Russian artistic trends, specific Central European variations of the
new styles in art will be discussed.
Apart from the oral examination at the end of the course, the students
will be tested on their recognition of the styles and masters featured
in the lectures.
E.H. Gombrich: The Story of Art. London, 1992. pp. 442-475.
H.Honour & J. Fleming: A World History of Art. London, 1982. pp.
R.Rosenblum & H.W. Janson: Art of the Nineteenth Century. London,
Shearer West: Fin-de-sècle. London, 1993.
N.Lynton: The Story of Modern Art, London, 1992. pp. 1-225.
Mark Girouard: Cities and People. New Haven, London 1995. pp. 343-382.
George H. Hamilton: Painting and Sculpture in Europe 1880-1940. New
Haven, London, 1993.
The following books are basic sources for the pictures discussed during
Herbert Read: A Concise History of Modern Painting. London rev. ed.
Nikos Stangos (Ed.): Concepts of Modern Art. New York, 1974.
Camilla Gray: The Russian Experiment in Art 1863-1922. London 1975.
Robert Hughes: The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change.
Open Univeristy Textbooks:
Modern Art Practices and Debates (Series edited by Frascina et al.):
Modernity and Modernism: French painting in the Nineteenth Century.
New Haven, London 1993.
Primitivism, Cubism, Abstraction: The Early Twentieth Century. New Haven,
Realism, Rationalism, Surrealism: Art since the Wars. New Haven, London.
Modernism in Dispute: Art since the Forties. New Haven, London. 1993.
Edward Lucie-Smith: Movements in Art since 1945. London
Thematic Units of the Course
15. Jan: 1/ The increasing antagonism between the artistic establishment
and experimental art in the 1890`s and its consequences. (This includes
discussion of official forums, the newly established art market and the
marginalised status of the avant-garde).
Readings: Shearer West: Fin-de-siècle. London 1993.Pp. 33-68.
G.H. Hamilton: Painting and Sculpture in Europe 1880-1940. Pp. 105-118,
22. Jan: 2/ Secession and Modernism in the Austro-Hungarian Empire:
in Vienna, Prague, Cracow and Budapest. The relationship of these Central
European art centres to those in Western Europe.
Readings: Carl E. Schorske: Fin-de-siècle Vienna. NY. 1981. Pp.
208-278. Ilona Sármány-Parsons: Austrian Painting in the
19th Century. Bp 1987. Pp. 7-32.
Optional: Jeremy Howard: Art Nouveau. 1996. Manchester/NY.
29 Jan: 3/ The Coming of the radical avant-garde generation: Fauvism
and Expressionism. France, Germany, Austria and the impact of their art
on the rest of Europe.
Readings: Shearer West: Fin-de-sècle Pp. 122-140. Norbert Lynton:
The Story of Modern Art. Pp. 25-54. Primitivism, Cubism, Abstraction: The
Early Twentieth Century (Yale, 1993) Pp. 46-86. G.H. Hamilton op cit
: Pp. 157-234 and 487-494.
5. Feb: 4/ The final break with tradition: Cubism in Paris, Futurism
in Italy and related tendencies elsewhere in Europe.
Readings: G.H.Hamilton Pp. 235-271 and 279-291. Primitivism, Cubism,
Abstraction Pp. 87-183. Norbert Lynton: The Story of Modern Art Pp. 55-73.
12 Feb: 5/ Abstraction: Experiments in the creation of a new visual
language. "Zero hour" for modern art. Kandinskij, Malevich, Mondrian.
Readings: Hamilton op cit Pp. 303-331. Primitivism etc. op
cit Pp. 184-264. N. Lynton op cit Pp. 74-122. Camilla Gray op
19 Feb: 6/ The attraction of war for certain artists and the multiple
crises of the creative ego: Dadaism, Surrealism and the individual contemporary
artists not belonging to any movement. Readings: Hamilton op cit Pp.
365-420. Realism. Rationalism etc op cit Pp. 19-61, 171-249. N.
Lynton op cit Pp. 147-200.
26 Feb: 7/ The heritage of the early radical avant-garde in historical
Readings: Lynton op cit Pp. 201-225. Hamilton op cit Pp.
331-340, 425-438, and on Klee 494-499.
5 March: 8/ Realistic tendencies between the two World Wars and the
special artistic profile of totalitarian regimes.
Readings: Realism, Rationalism etc op cit Pp. 250-332. Lynton
op cit Pp. 123-146 and 169-200. Hamilton op cit Pp. 331-340
12 March: 9/ Modernism in architecture. The pioneers of International
Style, Frank Lloyd Wright, Corbusier and others.
Readings: Patrick Nuttgens: The Story of Architecture. London 1983.
Pp. 259-270. Mark Girouard: Cities and People. Pp. 325-382.
19March: 10/ New stylistic trends after the Second World War. The influence
and defeat of Nazism and Fascism on the development of cultural policy
in the Western European states. The new art market and its effect on art
Readings: N.Lynton op cit Pp. 226-282, if possible up to 316.
Modernism in Dispute: Art since the Forties op cit Pp. 1-170. Optional
reading: Edward Lucie-Smith: Movements in Art since 1945. London 1997.
Pp. 7-24, if possible to 201.
26 March: 11/ The international art exhibitions. Trends since the 1980`s.
The effect of the new media. Post-Modernism.
Readings: Modernism in Dispute op cit Pp. 170-237. Nuttgens op
cit Pp. 271-281. Lynton op cit Pp. 317-364. Lucie Smith op
cit Pp. 202-290.
2 April: 12/ Test and Examination.
All lectures will be accompanied by slides.