History of Contemporary Art - The Venice Biennale: strategies and significance of the major art exhibitions in the 20th century (Undergraduate students)

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This course requires a good basic knowledge of 19th and 20th century international art history. It is specifically aimed at undergraduate students but is also strongly recommended for PhD candidates students wishing to attend the other two courses on the Venice Biennale


The course will offer an introduction to the subject of the public exhibition of works of art in the late 19th century and in the 20th century. In the course of the lectures will be discussed the reasons that made public exhibitions the most characteristic event of the modern art system; will be examined, through some case studies, the major public exhibitions, whether periodical or not . The story of the Venice Biennale (founded in 1895) will be introduced, trying to contextualize it within the international exhibition system.

Obiettivi formativi

The educational goals are as follows: 1. To familiarize students about the system (both institutional, organisational and cultural) of public exhibitions of works of art in the late 19th and 20th century. 2. To provide the essetial chronology and the essential knowledges of the major exhibition. 3. To introduce the topic of the Venice Biennale, which will be the subject of the other two courses.

Riferimenti bibliografici

Three useful reference books are:

B. Altshuler, The Avant-Garde in Exhibition. New art in the twentieth century, New York 1994

Thinking about Exhibitionsa cura di R.Greenberg, B.W. Ferguson, S. Nairne, London-New York 1996

A.Negri, L'arte in mostra. Una storia delle esposizioni, Milano 2011