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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Patricia A Failing
ART H 486
Seattle Campus

Abstract Expressionism: History and Myth

Thematic and chronological survey of abstract expressionism, including major genres of critical interpretation, revisionist scholarship, and the relationship of artistic production to a larger context of visual production. Recommended: some background in the art or history of the period.

Class description

Overview of cultural dynamics contributing to the construction of first-generation abstract expressionism as the "triumph of American painting;" major critics, artists (Pollock, Rothko, Dekooning, Newman, Motherwell, ect...), social and cultural contexts, revisionist histories, and gender politics.

Student learning goals

Understand ways in which modern art histories have been constructed

Identify and analyze stylistic development of major artists associated with the term "abstract expressionism"

Review ways in which the social and political context in which abstract expressionism developed is reflected in Hollywood film

General method of instruction

Lectures, Hollywood films. In addition to regular class sessions, students should expect to spend two additional hours per week screening films

Recommended preparation

Art History 381. 382 or other upper-division art history classwork, preferably in modern art history. Not recommended for students with no background in upper-division art history coursework. No exams given except when scheduled for entire class or in cases of documented emergencies

Class assignments and grading

Weekly reading assignments from class readings packet and textbooks; film screenings; research paper drawing upon period publications

midterm, final quiz, research paper


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Patricia A Failing
Date: 04/19/2011