Art in Latin America
Art History and Theory
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
21 August 2019
Requisites for this module
BA V351 Curatorial Studies,
BA V352 Curatorial Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA V353 Curatorial Studies (including Placement Year),
BA V359 Curatorial Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA V35B Curatorial Studies (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad)
The artistic heritage of Latin America is both as vast as its expansive geography and as rich as its complex history. Interwoven with the social, political, and cultural realities that have shaped the region, art from Latin America is a diverse and fascinating tapestry of pre-Columbian artefacts and Colonial art; botanical surveys and post-independence paintings; iconographies of social revolution; and contemporary engagements with violence and injustice. Artists from Latin America have long made significant contributions to innovating aesthetic forms by reaching beyond geographical boundaries to pioneer and engage with transnational movements, from Geometric Abstraction and Conceptualism, through to the digital interfaces at the frontiers of technological development.
During this wide-ranging survey module, we will look closely at select artworks that offer insights into a range of topics that are relevant to key moments in art making in Latin America. We will study artworks in dialogue with the region’s socio-political processes, addressing important historical events such as colonisation, the Mexican Revolution, modernisation, and political conflict. Within this interdisciplinary approach, we will focus mainly on modern and contemporary works of art to examine them in relation to issues such as nature and the landscape, cultural hybridity, modernity, trauma, and identity. We will begin with an introduction to Latin America, then examine core topics over the following weeks, combining readings of key critical and analytical texts with detailed discussions of specific artworks. We will also work hands-on with artworks at the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA), a major research and teaching collection at the University of Essex and a unique university and national resource. Representing 350 artists from 19 countries, ESCALA includes more than 750 artworks mostly produced from the 1960s to the present.
The aims of the module are:
1. To explore key themes and issues related to Latin America through its artistic heritage
2. To encourage interdisciplinary approaches to studying art
3. To study key artistic movements in modern Latin America
4. To familiarise students with the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA)
5. To contextualise artworks in broader political, social and cultural contexts
At the end of the module, you should have developed skills that enable you to:
1. Discuss works of art in relation to their social and historical contexts
2. Engage in close analysis of physical artworks, digital artworks, and images of artworks
3. Read and discuss art historical and critical texts, and relate them to specific artworks
4. Engage in independent research by sourcing for and using secondary texts
5. Participate in class discussions and engage constructively with feedback
6. Formulate and sustain a clear argument in relation to specific works of art and their context, thinking critically and laterally
ESCALA often organises and shares information about events related to art from Latin America at the University's Colchester Campus or at other venues through its website blog.
We advise signing up to ESCALA's social media and checking the website frequently for information about ESCALA events and opportunities.
ESCALA also has its own archive and reference library related to its artworks. You can access this by contacting ESCALA Assistant Director, Sebastian Bustamante-Brauning.
1 x 2 hour seminar per week
1 x Reading week
1 x Gallery visit
Student presentations on ESCALA artworks
Revision session in Summer Term
This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Essay 1 (2500 Words)
||Visual Analysis (500 words)
||Essay 2 (2500 Words)
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Lisa Blackmore
Prof Richard Simon Clay
Professor of Digital Cultures
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
18 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
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