4.670 / 4.671
Nationalism, Internationalism, and Globalism in Modern Art

4.670 - Graduate Subject
4.671 - Undergraduate Subject

Modern art emerged in an age of unprecedented nationalism and imperial expansion, while the contemporary art world claims to be "transnational." Yet even as modernism imagined itself to transcend the boundaries of mere states, present-day dreams of a global art confront heightened national posturing. Are the new stagings of the global and the local merely replaying old national/international dynamics? Or are newer discourses really replacing nationalisms - perhaps relying on a language borrowed from global capitalism? What role is played by individual artworks versus exhibitionary forms (the world's fair, the biennial)? Students study how international modernism interacted with the concept of "nation" and how contemporary discourses concerning globalism changes that dynamic. Modernist artists covered range from Delacroix to Picasso, the futurists, and cold war abstraction; contemporary artists to be studied range from the Chinese and Latin American avant-gardes to diasporal artsts from the Middle East. Readings include Hegel, Herder, Ernst Renan, Benedict Anderson, Saskia Sassen, Arjun Appadurai, and Kwame Appiah. Seminar attendance, visits to art museums, and a research paper are required