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ARTH 252 — The Art of the 1960s and Its Enduring Impact on the Art of Today

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jan 23—Feb 27
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 5
Unit: 1
Tuition: $360
Instructor(s): Kevin Muller
Status: Open
7:00—8:50 pm
Jan 23—Feb 27
6 weeks
Drop By
Feb 5
1 Unit
Kevin Muller
The 1960s was a period of radical artistic experimentation and innovation. From Pop and Minimalism to conceptual and performance art, artists produced provocative and innovative works that challenged long-standing assumptions about the studio practices, procedures, themes, and subject matter appropriate for high art. As these pioneers broke with the past, they set the stage for the art of today. To comprehend the seemingly bewildering state of contemporary art, it is helpful—arguably even necessary—to draw connections between art of the 1960s and of the 2000s. To do so, each class session in this course will be divided into two parts. In the first half, we will examine the artistic innovators associated with a canonical art movement of the sixties, such as Pop, Minimalism, and Earthworks. In the second half, we will explore how present-day artists draw inspiration from ideas and approaches pioneered by their predecessors. For example, we will investigate how Pop artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Tom Wesselmann depicted consumer culture, then look to artists like Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst to see how they have taken Pop approaches in new directions that speak to our 21st-century world. By pursuing this comparative approach, students will ultimately come to a richer understanding of both past and present.

Kevin Muller, Art Historian, College of Marin

Kevin Muller is a specialist in the history of American art. He has lectured on the collections at the de Young, Crocker, and Oakland museums. He has received fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and The Huntington Library. His publications span three centuries of American art. He received a PhD from UC Berkeley.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.