This course is about ideas that are related to art, art history and visual culture across cultural boundaries of “the East” and “the West”. It is designed to explore ideas about art, such as how art functions in various societies and its meanings. It will examine artistic traditions, the functions of art and its institutions such as patronage, art market, and roles of the artist across cultures, and will challenge assumptions about separation of cultural realms into eastern and western areas. The course will explore key monuments and concepts that shaped artistic traditions, techniques, and media and continue to define today’s international visual environment.
Art as a concept belongs to all cultures, and deploys similar strategies to create meaning. Through the application of linguistic theories, the course will look at strategies of art production and consider the meanings of certain works of art within specific cultural and historical situations. It aims to develop the skills of asking questions of a work of art and using historical knowledge along with some careful looking to answer these questions. Students will encounter works of art, not necessarily in chronological order, but connected together by common themes.
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