Fundamental Principles of Modern and Actual Visual Art
Reference ABKUNS03000002
Taught in Major Course List for Bachelor of Art Science
Theory (A) 30.0
Exercises (B) 20.0
Training and projects (C) 0.0
Studytime (D) 150.0
Studypoints (E) 5
Credit contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Examination contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Credit contract mandatory if Exam contract? Course included in exam contract
Retake possible in case of permanent evaluation? Yes
Teaching Language Dutch
Lecturer Claire Van Damme
Department LW17
Key Words

Modern and Actual Art, chair Karel Geirlandt

Position of the Course

This advanced course wants to help students gain insight into the artistic and theoretical foundations of Modern and Contemporary art, heeding the dialectic relation with specific contexts, in order to develop critical and relevant interpretation skills. Students will be confronted with the semantic complexity of modern and contemporary art creations and with the importance or the lack of material, the importance of shape and realisation technique within this semantic process.


Consideration of key option and artistic realisations, concepts and attitudes that have been central to the history of visual arts from Duchamp to the present.
Case studies are used to analyse and illustrate key-positions that are deemed central to modern and contemporary art. the objective is to uses fundamental insights into Modern and Actual art as keys. They create a broad framework for more and more correct understanding and they create the possibility of further analysis.
With attention to variable themes, disparate artistic concepts, specific realisation processes, border-crossing artistic creations, and the specific usage of media within 20th century art, the course digs deeper into the artistic diversity of the 20th century up until today. Practical and art theoretical implications to the field of maintenance are shown. The importance of synchronic interferences from the personal framework, Western Art and Image analysis and international and multicultural perspective is stressed. On top of that, contemporary art's subject matter is considered from a multidisciplinary viewpoint.

Starting Competences

To have successfully completed the course History of Fine Arts, Comparative study of the Visual Arts and Methodological exercise of the Visual Arts or to have acquired the necessary skills by other means.
Students who take this course as a minor course are expected to make some effort to familiarise themselves with the basic concepts of this course.

Final Competences

  • To be skilled in critical and scientific foundational thinking on modern and contemporary art.
  • To have an insight into several specific artistic concepts and artistical attitudes essential to the research on Modern and Actual Art.
  • To be familiar with the semantic complexity of artworks.
  • To be theoretically initiated in the problems of maintenance of Actual Art.
  • To recognise the possibilities of multidisciplinary research.

Teaching and Learning Material

Cost: 0.0 EUR

  • Specialised web guide to research with respect to Modern and Actual art (available on Minerva)
  • Manual to the usage of texts, image material and photographic references, quotes and bibliographical references, author, image and reproduction rights (available on Minerva)
  • Selective reading list with indication of recommended publication or texts (available on Minerva)
  • Personal notes


Course Content-Related Study Coaching

Individual guidance possible during the assistant's office hours.

Teaching Methods

  • Seminar with visuals, critical discussion and reflection.
  • Participation in the annual Chair Karel Geirlandt Symposium (thematic and multidisciplinary research on contemporary art), participation plenary discussion, critical reflections afterwards in seminar.
  • Guided independent work: exercise (partly written, partly oral) complementary to the problems examined during the lectures
  • Optional: visit to museum or exhibition (if relevant to the subject matter)

Evaluation Methods

Periodical (100%)

Examination Methods

  • Oral exam, written preparation. Testing the student's critical insight in the lectures.
  • Oral presentation of three chosen reports from the Symposium Chair Karel Geirlandt (motivation of choice, synthetic report of thesis, critical commentary).
  • Feedback with respect to the first part of the exercise, questions and critical discussion with respect to the second part

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