How to Be Modern: From Paris to New York and Beyond

Register for this Spring 2023 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website.
The journey of modern art began with a sensual Parisian picnic (Manet’s “Luncheon on the Grass” of 1862) and ended 100 years later with a bowl of canned soup, served cold at a Manhattan studio space (Warhol’s “Campbell Soup Cans” of 1962). But this century-long history cannot be told as a simplistic progression from one movable feast (or one -ism) to another. Nor can it be laid out like a square patchwork of various artistic expressions: painting, drawing, prints, sculpture, photography, design, or film. Instead, the development of modern art unfolded as a complex, dynamic and vast network of loosely associated artists working in the pursuit of the new and living and often moving across several continents. Believing that rules were made to be broken, these artists would come to challenge traditional definitions of art by blurring the line between high and low cultures as well as by experimenting with new aesthetics via multiple forms and innovative techniques. Seen as a forward-thinking, international art movement, modernism is perhaps best illustrated by a Jackson Pollock drip painting: a field of densely interlaced threads of paint of varying colors, some even expanding beyond the canvas, others ebbing halfway across it. The aim of this course is to follow some of those threads from start to finish and form a concise mental image of what modernism was­––and has become. Spring 2023 tuition is $719.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • A foundation in art history
  • Knowledge of modern art movements and styles

Ideal for

  • Art enthusiasts
  • Prospective and practicing art professionals
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.