Modern War in Art


Art and war have always been intertwined, whether in glory or revulsion. But modern art and modern war are qualitatively different from their counterparts in the past in ways that ensured that their relationship would become more problematic and oppositional. The challenge of finding new artistic languages to express the new conditions of mechanized combat led many artists to explore abstraction, fragmentation, absurdity or arbitrariness to convey the energy, impersonality and nihilism of modern war. When the British soldier and poet Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) wrote of the human devastation of World War I as "obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud," he strained for metaphoric language appropriate to its magnitude. We will consider the same challenge to visual artists throughout the modern period. Prerequisites: Intro to Western Art (L01 113) or Intro to Modern Art (L01 215); one 300-level course in Art History preferred; or permission of instructor.
Course Attributes: FA AH; EN H; AS HUM; GF AH; FA HUM; AR HUM; AH MEA

Section 01

Modern War in Art
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