Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Art for art's sake

As one of the country's students, it is that time of year again, and despite my sub-standard health at present I am determined to get to my lecture today - Vienna: Modern Interiority. Knowing our dear course director as I do, "interiority" being her favourite term, this will probably mean interiority of the mind, as well as buildings. Fascinating fin de siecle period, with the Secession and the development of psychoanalysis, and one that I am finding more and more absorbing.

All of which is an excuse for easing off on any book that is not associated with the weekly topics. We are supposed to spend at least 6 to 8 hours a week in the Oxford libraries, which once I am fit I hope to do. This course is the Advance Diploma in History of Art, at Oxford University's Continuing Education Department. It lasts two years and it at the level of 3rd year undergraduate work. Having completed the 2nd year course, I know what to expect. Reading and researching is one of the keys, but even more importantly looking at art/buildings/objects/design of the 20th century.

Saturday should be our first study day which is based around Cubism, primitive art (visiting the Pitt Rivers) with Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907 (image copyright MoMA, New York) as a case study. Arguably this was the first cubist painting, and the Pitt Rivers visit is to look at the tribal artefacts which may have influenced Picasso.

Next week we go on to Fauvist Arcadia.... and so on ... I love it.

So, back to The Problems of Philosophy and the Worringer essay on Abstraction and Empathy, not to mention erudite journal articles on the Pucksdorfer Sanitorium by Hoffman, and Klimt't Stoclet Frieze with its Egyption iconography. Anyone would think I was clever!

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