Foundations of Modern Art: An Eleven Part Course with Sabry Amroussi

Foundations of Modern Art: An Eleven Part Course with Sabry Amroussi


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Join acclaimed art historian, Sabry Amroussi, for a comprehensive overview of Modern Art. Together we will explore the narrative timeline of this artistic movement from its origins until the start of WWII. 

Lecture 1 - Becoming Modern:
 As we see the modern world take shape the old world is still relevant as we discuss works from movements like Orientalism, Romanticism, and the Victorian Art of the Pre Raphaelites. Expect the likes of Casper David Friedrich, John Everett Millais, Alma Tadema, and the groundbreaking workshop of William Morris.

Lecture 2 - Realist Tendencies:
The world was changing rapidly and some artists wanted their work to be about their contemporary environment—about themselves and their own perceptions of life. In short, they believed that the modern era deserved to have modern art. Social comment and a 'realist' depiction of society should be introduced to art. In this lecture, we will see this done in some of the earliest photographs made, and in the works by Millet, Courbet, and an often overlooked but essential group of Russian painters called the peredvizhniki, and their most important protagonist, Ilya Repin.

Lecture 3 -  The Urban Jungle:
Paris was booming, building and becoming a monster in which the new bourgeoisie meddled and mingled. Using the works of Nadar, Hausmann, Degas and above all, Manet we will see how this affected a new, modern, Urban Art.

Lecture 4 - Road to Impressionism:
Social changes, new ideas about art, the influence of foreign lands, and even new material to paint with all made art change quicker than it ever did. Follow the road to Impressionism featuring artists from the Barbizon School, the love for Japan, and of course, the monolith that is Monet.

Lecture 5 - Height of Impressionism:
The impressionist movement was the predominant art movement in the latter half of the 19th century, with its anti-Salon attitude, and vibrant art scene. Meet protagonists like Caillebotte, Renoir, Mary Cassett, and the haunting works of the late Eduard Manet.

Lecture 6 - Post-Impressionism:
As impressionism became bourgeois art itself, this caused a backlash: be it a symbolic, scientific, or highly personal approach to art, artists like Seurat, Signac, Gauguin, van Gogh, and the great Cezanne paved the way for the art of the new century.

Lecture 7 - Art Nouveau:
 It is not only France where revolutions in art and ideas took place. In this lecture we will venture off to Belgium, Austria, and Spain, discussing the 'new art' by the likes of Klimt, Ensor, Munch, and Gaudi.

Lecture 8  - Fauvism and Expressionism:
Following in the footsteps of their great idol Vincent van Gogh, a new generation of artists went ahead where the Dutch master had to stop. Henri Matisse, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Egon Schiele and Wassily Kandinsky each took their own go at and invented what we now we call expressionism.

Lecture 9 - Cubism & Early Abstraction:
 As if it was hanging in the European air, artists in France, Russia, and the Netherlands were exploring a form of art that became, in the end, truly abstract. Next to the pivotal works by Picasso, Leger, and Braque, we will also venture further into Europe, to discuss the work of the mysterious Kasimir Malevich, and the abstract works of Dutchman Piet Mondriaan.

Lecture 10 - Futurism, Dada & the Surreal:
Fueled by the traumas and confusion of the First World War, artists sought new ways to express their inner turmoil. From the haunting works of de Chirico to the vibrant art of Boccioni and Severini, we will see how Italy played a pivotal role in modern art. Elsewhere, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Magritte ventures into the realms of the human subconscious.

Lecture 11 - German Art Between the Wars:
We will end this course in a country that would set the course the world would go to the rest of the century; Germany. We will discuss the works of the famous Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau with works by Klee, Breuer, and others, and the too often overlooked New Objectivity movement, ending with the art and visual identity of the group that would put an end to this: the Nazis.

Sabry Amroussi is an art historian and writer living and working in Amsterdam. He specializes in the art of the Dutch Golden Age, mainly in the works of Rembrandt and his school, and also has a keen interest in the Jewish history of Amsterdam. He lectures and teaches on both subjects, and gives art historical tours all across Europe. As a true omnivore when it comes to art, culture, and even cuisine, he has worked with and for major museums and collectors, such as the LACMA, Rijksmuseum, van Gogh Museum and the P de Boer collection on Amsterdam. As a guide for Context, he is eager to share this knowledge in real life, always with a big scoop of humor, ofter intermingling art with social life, cuisine, and history.

How does it work?
This is an eleven-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.
Is there a reading list in advance?
Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. These will be provided at the course's conclusion.
How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.
How much is the course?
The course is $385 USD for eleven lectures.
Is a recording available?
Yes. All registered participants will be sent a recording within 24 hours of each session's conclusion. The recordings are available to re-watch for seven days thereafter.

Are there additional seminars, courses, and in-person experiences being led by Sabry Amroussi?
Yes!  Sabry Amroussi will be leading several virtual experiences in the coming weeks. Details are available here.

Additionally, Sabry will be leading a Context Journey in Amsterdam in 2022. Context Journeys are multi-day, small group tours in cultural capitals all over the world. Expertly crafted to take learners to the heart of a destination, our Journeys take logistics and planning off of your plate as you uncover the history, art, and culture of your chosen destination. For additional details, please click here.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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