WEEK ONE: 9 - 13 July 2012

Course 9: Dr Natalia Murray

Russian Art 1863-1932: Innovations, Influences and the Roots of Modernity



This course is now FULL.  Please contact us if you would like to be added to the waiting list.

This course will examine the history of Russian art in all its diversity from the first artists’ rebellion against St. Petersburg’s almighty Art Academy in 1863, the blossoming of arts in Russia’s Silver Age, and the upsurge of avant-garde art to its subsequent disappearance after 1932, when Socialist Realism became the only artistic style permitted in the Soviet Union. We will look at the cultural as well as geographical boundaries of Russian art, and its contact with developments in European art as well as the shifts of cultural context, which often occurred through emigration, cultural export, exhibitions, publications, and collaborations.  The complex nature of the Russian avant-garde, its origins and roots, will be examined throughout the course. We will also look at traditional Russian art and icons and their influence on the Russian avant-garde and will discuss the works of Repin, Serov, Benois, Bakst, Somov, Vrubel, Malevich, Tatlin, Kandinsky, Filonov, Rodchenko, Chagall, Popova, among others.  Lastly, we will examine the influence of political changes in Russia under Stalin on the fate of Russian art. Visits include the Victoria and Albert Museum (Ballets Russes drawings and stage designs); the Naum Gabo archive at Tate Britain; Tate Modern and The Courtauld Gallery.


WEEK TWO: 16 - 20 July 2012

Course 18: Martin Caiger-Smith

White Walls and Marble Halls: Contexts for Contemporary Art


Contemporary art in Britain has, in recent decades, extended its appeal to an ever-wider public. In Tate Modern it has a museum space of international standing, yet it is also shown in a range of much broader contexts.  Living artists are brought to engage with the spaces, collections and programmes of many established museums and galleries from the National Gallery to the Freud Museum; they are seen on London rooftops and on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. New approaches to the display of art question the conventional structures of school, style, medium and chronology. Seeking spectacle and renewed relevance, historic collections are embracing the contemporary; and contemporary art spaces incorporate historical work in their displays and demonstrate a new understanding of historical contexts in which today’s art can be experienced.  This course confronts issues of categorisation, collection, display and interpretation at the heart of the museum and gallery world today.  Where do the boundaries lie between the historic, the modern and the contemporary, between the temporary exhibition and the permanent display, the museum and the street? How do living artists work with (and in) the museum? And what part does context and presentation play in our appreciation of contemporary art?



WEEK THREE: 23 - 27 July 2012

Course 27: Dr Klara Kemp-Welch

East European Art After Stalin


We regret that this course had to be cancelled.

Please note this is a revised version, focusing on the later period, of the course Klara Kemp-Welch taught in 2010 ‘Art and Revolution: East European Art from 1917-1989’

This course offers a survey of modern and contemporary art from the former Soviet Union and from the countries that became Soviet satellites after 1948. Engaging with developments in a range of traditional and experimental media, we explore the shifting relationship between art and ideology since the death of Stalin. What was the role of culture in the Cold War? How were artists in the Soviet ‘bloc’ affected by the historical events of 1956, 1968, and 1989-91? How, under late socialism, did they operate independently in the absence of an art market? To what extent are ‘former-East European’ artists now free of political history? What is at stake in the increased visibility of East European art in the globalised art world today? The course addresses these and other issues through class discussion, slide lectures, film screenings, and visits to exhibitions and displays of modern and contemporary East European art in London galleries, such as Calvert 22, and major collections, such as Tate Modern.