Beginning with the emergence of Impressionism in Paris in the 1860s, the course examines what Modernism first meant. Considering the period at the turn of the century, participants will discover Abstraction, and how it shaped movements like Fauvism, Cubism and Futurism. Next is an examination of the idea of the Avant-garde, and how the quest to escape the conventions of art inspired the Dada group, the Surrealists, and the Constructivists. In the wake of these radical changes, the course further explores the inter-war period and ask what Tradition meant to Modernists and offers a survey on the impact of Photography. And, finally, an exploration of the concept of Expressionism, and how it fed post-war painting after that.
Understand key moments in the history of Modern Art.
Explain why Modern Art emerged and the different developments that led to artistic innovation.
Practice close looking and visual analysis, using key artworks from the modern period.
Name key figures in the history of Modern Art.
Articulate different key art movements and their characteristics.
Faculty, MA Contemporary Art, New York
Morgan Falconer is a critic and art historian. Educated at the University of Leeds, and the Courtauld Institute of Art, he completed a Ph.D. on American modernist culture at University College London. He recently completed a history of painting after 1945 entitled Painting Beyond Pollock, published by Phaidon in March 2015.Read More
Week 1: Discover the radical Impressionist exhibitions of the late 19th century and explore the technological innovations that lead to one of the greatest creative shifts in Western art history.
Week 2: Explore the lasting impact of Impressionism and the shift towards abstraction pioneered by artists such as Henri Matisse, Hilma af Klint, and Paul Klee.
Week 3: Understand the development of the post-impressionism movement as it inches closer to the avant-garde and modernity as we know it today.
Week 4: Discuss avant-garde artists and movements that questioned the concept of art itself, leading to the root of contemporary art.
Week 5: Consider how artists grappled with tradition during the inter-war period through a renewed interest in classicism.
Week 6: Investigate the dynamic art of the Expressionist movement and the post-war period and discuss how Modern Art transitioned to the Contemporary Art period in the late-twentieth century.
Course participants take away in-depth and valuable insight into the current and future art world. Those who successfully complete their course will receive a certificate of completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
Sotheby’s Institute of Art course participants come from all over the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds. As they study, travel, and explore the art world alongside each other throughout the program, fierce and long-lasting collaborations are frequently born. Individuals who complete these courses join our network of over 8,000 past participants around the globe who hold top positions at renowned art organizations.
English Language Requirement
Course participants should be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English. It is recommended that participants have the equivalent level of IELTS score of 6.0 /TOEFL score of 78 IBT, however evidence of test scores is not required to register.
Courses are open to participants 18 years of age or older, however, we prefer that students have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience to be able to properly engage in the course.
For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.