ARTH 1400 100 (or History of World Art 2) takes its students throughout various time periods from thousands of years ago to the present to study the great artists and what made their art so remarkable throughout time. This course discusses recurring themes in famous works of art and forces students to consider what makes an artist and their art great in the first place. Although there are many amazing artists studied in this course, there are five specific artists the course material will keep coming back to throughout the semester.
1. Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh is one of the most notorious and well-known artists to this day, and his art can still be seen everywhere. This class will talk more in depth about what makes Van Gogh so fascinating to so many people around the world, how his artwork reflected his mental state, and how his mental illness influenced his artistic work throughout his lifetime. You’ll learn things about van Gogh in this class that will change your opinion on many of his greatest works.
A concept you’ll learn early on in this class is the concept that artists put themselves on an almost divine level in society, often claiming their artistic gifts were gifts from God or even comparing themselves to holy religious figures. Michelangelo’s work was incredibly influenced by Christianity, and his most famous works are just some of the art pieces that will be talked about repeatedly in this class.
3. Jackson Pollock
Pollock is an incredibly well known abstract artist who focuses on capturing movement in his work. This concept of capturing movement in abstract and freeform pieces brings draws attention to a number of ideas such as the role of the artist in such a painting style and what randomness in art truly means. His works hold a number of themes that will be discussed regularly in this course.
4. Andy Warhol
Warhol and Pollock are studied in this class regularly, often being paired in a unit because their artistic philosophies completely mirrored each other. While Pollock was determined to be one with nature, Warhol was ambitious about becoming as machine-like in his art as possible. Studying what this means, how this defined their art, and what this says about who classifies as an artist is something that this class spends a lot of time on. It’s certainly an interesting topic.
5. Pablo Picasso
Picasso is known for completely shaking the world of art history. Seen as an incredibly Avante-Garde artist, his practice started in realism and progressed into completely abstract portraits. Such a progression almost seems backward when we look at other great artists that became great because they mastered the art of realism, but this also raises the question of subjectivity in art and what truly can be considered great. Questions such as these are recurring throughout this course, and nobody quite raises such questions like Picasso does.
Art history has rich roots in cultures all over the world, and there are so many fantastic artists that have been praised for their role in art history. This class will explore art history’s influence on various parts of the world, ranging from the early 1600’s to modern time. Although you will hear numerous names thrown out when talking about great artists, these five are the names you can expect to hear again and again.