ART140: THE SPIRITUAL IN MODERN ART
New Course Offered: 2021 Term 1.
Day and time: Wednesdays from 11:00am-1:00pm.
Dates: First class meets Wednesday 17 February 2021 and continues for 8 consecutive weekly sessions. The last class is on Wednesday 7 April 2021.
Location: Hamilton, or on-line distance learning.
This series of eight talks, in our new Art and Architecture series, examines how the dimension of the spiritual exhibits itself in the secular art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Week 1: Impressionism to Post Impressionism: From Monet to Munch, the latter half of the nineteenth century saw artists reject the long tradition of realism and begin experimenting with new forms of expression. The new language of art may have been shocking and radical, but often these were just different vehicles for giving voice to old spiritual and transcendent ideas.
Week 2: German Expressionism: At the turn of the twentieth century, two slightly different German art movements developed further the new emerging expressionist style. One called itself, The Bridge, the other The Blue Rider. Both these innovative and revolutionary art movements had a strong social and mystical focus which attempted to address and respond to the growing spiritual decline in a modern post-Darwinian world.
Week 3: Fauvism, Futurism, Orphism, Rayonism: This collection of movements had, as its focus, colour, (often non-representational), light, and a dynamism of abstract forms. Underlying these formal preoccupations were often some kind of vague metaphysical quest, romantic in nature if sometimes misplaced.
Week 4: Kandinsky, Mondrian, Russian Abstraction: Abstract art came of age with this group of artists. At base, except for the Constructivists, the movement was deeply aligned with a spiritual mission. Indeed Kandinsky wrote a whole book on the subject to explain the theory behind his art, entitled, Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1912).
Week 5: Dada: This art movement was the most radical one to emerge during the war years (1914 – 18) and its influence has reverberated down the decades. It was essentially nihilistic and anticlerical, but at its core, despite all its negations and protest, was a desire to give birth to a civilization worthy of the name.
Week 6: Surrealism: What many fail to realize is that this art movement found its impetus in a quasi-religious impulse. Its founder, Andre Breton, was enamoured by things of an occultist nature. Indeed the earliest manifestations of the surreal in art, by Giorgio De Chirico, were labelled, “metaphysical” paintings
Week 7: Abstract Expressionism, POP art: These are two antithetical art movements, the former usually associated with a desire to express deeply felt emotion, often of a spiritual nature, while the latter is frequently perceived as entirely secular. However, looking a little closer, this simple duality breaks down at a certain point. They both exemplify spiritual flirtations
Week 8: Modern art in New Zealand: While New Zealand artists tend to cry shy of the spiritual in their art, some of our seminal practitioners in the business, from Colin McCahon to Shane Cotton, have made it the hub of their focus. Even someone as secular as Dick Frizzell has dabbled in the dimension.
Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course.
Distance Learning: This course has distance-learning options for those unable to attend the live class sessions in Hamilton. Students have three options for attending our courses once they have registered:
- attend in-person classes in our Hamilton classrooms at the regularly scheduled day and time,
- attend our live on-line classroom sessions via Zoom at the regular scheduled day and time,
- watch the live-recorded class sessions at your leisure, at a time, day and place more suited to your schedule.
These options can be mixed and matched throughout the course to suit your own availability and location.
Peter Dornauf (MA, Dip Tchg) has taught in secondary schools, Wintec and Waikato University collectively for over 25 years. He is a well know Waikato artist, art critic and a writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. His book “Days of Our Deaths” serves as the basis for one of Peter’s other popular EarthDiverse courses, A “Cultural History of Death.” Peter is also developing additional courses for future Terms.
In addition to our in-person classes in Hamilton, our courses offer distance learning options for those unable to attend classes in-person. Live-streamed Hamilton classes are available via free Zoom software for those living outside the Waikato. Live-streaming allows you to participate fully in your own learning, ask questions of the instructor and participate fully in the same way as if you were in the physical classroom.
Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time.
Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning components will be sent after completing your registration. There are no additional fees for this service. However, distance learners will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a good quality web-camera (tablet devices and mobile phones can also access our live-streamed classes), a built-in microphone (most modern laptops have built-in microphones) or a headset with a microphone. You will also need to download and install the free Zoom software on your computer or device. Those accessing the video recordings will be able to do so with a simple web browser on any device.
- Any Term can be taken independently of the others, and there are no prerequisites for any of the Term courses.
- This class has no assignments, required readings, quizzes, tests or exams.
- All classes encourage questions and group discussion.
- PDF copies of each class presentation are emailed to all participants the next day so that you are free to focus on class content rather than taking notes. You are most welcome to come, sit back, relax, take part in and enjoy the discussions!
- Course fees include a short tea/coffee/snack break in the middle of each session.
- There are no refunds for missed classes. Missed classes can be made up by watching the on-line recording of the class session, which is usually posted within 24 hours.
- Guests of registered participants are welcome to attend a single class at no charge.
- Certificates of Completion for any particular Term Course or Series are available for Professional Development purposes upon request at the end of each Term or Series.
Cost per person per Term (8 classes):
- Waged: $105 (includes online registration fee)
- Unwaged (unemployed, students, seniors): $85 (includes online registration fee)
Prices for Waged and Unwaged registrants remain the same regardless of your chosen method for accessing our courses. This means that you have the option to mix and match access between attending our regularly-scheduled live class sessions in our Hamilton classrooms, accessing our live class sessions on-line via Zoom at the regularly scheduled class meeting time (no matter where you are located), or watching the video-recorded sessions anywhere at a time and date of your choosing. This allows you to study at your own pace and in your own time.
Once registered, you have three choices for attending your course:
- attend our in-person class sessions in our Hamilton classrooms,
- Zoom in to our live classroom sessions and participate in discussions,
- access the live-recorded class sessions each week. This allows you to register for an entire course, even though the scheduled class session day/time may not be suitable to your schedule. You may also use this option to watch any recorded session for review, or in case you may miss a class session due to prior engagement, being away, or due to illness. This allows you to catch up with any “missed” sessions at a more suitable time.
Once registered, you will receive detailed instructions on how to access our courses via either of the distance-learning options, i.e. live access via Zoom, or watching the video-recorded sessions.
LOCATION: This course is held at Artmakers Trust, Norris Ward Park Arts Centre, 2 Seddon Road, Hamilton, located on the corner of Ward Street and Seddon Road in downtown Hamilton. The carpark entrance is off Seddon Road at the back of Norris Ward Park. Our classrooms are immediately to the left of the Waikato Society of Potters studio and to the right of the Community Men’s Shed. There is plenty of free parking available in the carpark just outside the classroom. Bikes are also welcomed!
DISTANCE LEARNING: You get to choose your location when you Zoom in to our live classroom sessions, or access our classes at your leisure and at a time and day of your choosing by watching the video recorded sessions from each class. This allows you to study at your own pace.