History of Modern Art

Modern Art, Midterm Exam, Spring 2017, Douglas Green, Page 1 of 1

History of Modern Art/Midterm Study Questions and Prompts

Your midterm exam will be held in class on Monday, March 6. Unfortunately, no electronic devices or course readings will be allowed to aid you in your test taking but you will be permitted to use a single printed page of notes that will NOT exceed 250 words in length. On the day of the test, please bring a pen and a blank blue-book. If you are unfamiliar with blue-books, you can purchase them at the bookstore. It would benefit you to come prepared on the day of the test as I will not have any materials for you to take the midterm and you will fail this assignment. If you are absent on the day of the test and the absence is unexcused, you will not be allowed to make it up. My advice to you is to come on the day of the test, sick or not, as the make-up test will be completely different from the study questions provided. STUDY QUESTIONS: Study the following prompts carefully as I am looking for detailed responses that include: (I.) references to the readings (quotations or comprehensive use of paraphrasing are best), (II.) explanations of any reading references, and (III.) examples of artworks used in discussion. In reference to this third category, you should provide the titles of artworks and describe details in these examples that bear out the theory in the readings. You should NOT answer the questions directly. Instead, you should treat each individual number below as a prompt for a short, comprehensive essay that will include details not directly referenced by the prompt. The questions I have written below should provoke a deeper reflection taken directly from our class discussions and lectures.

1. Describe how the concept of the sublime in Charles Baudelaire’s “The Painter of

Modern Life” relates to realism/impressionism in early modern painting. What role does the metaphor of “the child” play in his theories on realism?

2. Explain what Hermann Bahr means when he writes about the concept of “seeing” in his essay “Expressionism.” How does he use Impressionism to strengthen his argument for expressionistic painting?

3. Describe how simultaneity is conveyed in both Cubist and Futurist painting. How does the depiction of time differ between the two art movements?

4. Using the theories of composition by Piet Mondrian, explain why painting must purify itself into a purely abstract form.

5. What does Clement Greenberg mean when he writes “the imitation of imitating,” and how does this phrase relate to abstract paintings of the avant-garde?

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