ARTH103-22S2 (D) Semester Two 2022 (Distance)

'Picasso who?' Introducing Modern Art

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 18 July 2022
End Date: Sunday, 13 November 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 31 July 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 2 October 2022


What makes modern art modern? This course covers all you've always wanted to know about modern art and never dared asking. This course offers a general introduction to modern art from 1850 to 1945. It examines key art movements from Impressionism to Surrealism in their cultural and social contexts while introducing you to art historical methodologies and key art theories.

This course will investigate a range of models and practices of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Modernism. Classes will focus on key movements and artists and will cover the dominant ‘isms’, including, but not limited to, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada and Surrealism. These movements will be set in their social, political and historical contexts, and will cover issues of modernity and urbanism, utopianism, stylistic imperatives, political radicalism and the two World Wars. We will also consider questions that Modernism has raised for critics, theorists and historians. The course focuses on Modernism in painting, but it will also include classes on Modernist sculpture, photography and film.

ARTH103 provides a valuable contextual background for ARTH215: International Contemporary Art.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course, students will have developed:
  • Knowledge and understanding of Modernism in its wider art historical context.
  • Recognition of key artistic concepts and interrelationships between artistic practices, critical debates and social and historical developments.
  • An awareness of the history of modern art as a ‘constructed’ narrative.
  • An understanding of how histories of modern art relate to processes of colonization, industrialization and internationalism.
  • The ability to think critically and construct evidence based arguments.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.

Course Coordinator

Barbara Garrie


Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

There is no one set text for this course, however all students are strongly encouraged to read:
• Charles Harrison, 'Modernism' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press and Tate Gallery, 1997).

Also recommended:
• N. Stangos, 'Concepts of Modern Art: from Fauvism to Postmodernism' (London: Thames and Hudson, 1994).
• Anne D’Alleva, 'How to Write Art History', 2nd Edition (Laurence King Publishing: London, 2010).
• Michelle Facos, 'An Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Art' (Hoboken: Taylor & Francis, 2011).

(Image: Albert Ludovici Jnr, "On the Lawn, Hyde Park", 18??. University of Canterbury Art Collection.)

Course links

Library portal

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $799.00

International fee $3,600.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All ARTH103 Occurrences