History of Art of the 20th Century - 1st semester


1) To know the main movements, proposals and debates that define 20th century art and architecture.

2) To understand the importance of the first avant-gardes on 20th century artistic production.

3) To relate the proposals of the first avant-gardes with further artistic developments.

4) To recognize the fundamental questions raised by modernist architecture and to problematize its subsequent repercussions and revisions.

5) To relate artistic production with 20th century socio-economical, political and cultural aspects.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

-- Docente a contratar --, Margarida Brito Alves


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





ARGAN, Giulio, Arte Moderna. Do Iluminismo aos Movimentos Contemporâneos. - São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1992

BENEVOLO, Leonardo, Historia de la Arquitectura Moderna. - Barcelona: Gustavo Gilli, 2005

BOIS, Yve-Alain; BUCHLOH, Benjamin; FOSTER, Hal; KRAUSS, Rosalind; Art since 1900. Modernism. Antimodernism. Postmodernism. - London: Thames & Hudson, 2004

CHIPP, Herschel B. Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics. -Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

DIDI-HUBERMAN, Georges, Devant l’ Image. – Paris: Minuit, 1990

ELKINS, James, Stories of Art. - New York / London: Routledge, 2002

FRAMPTON, Kenneth, Modern Architecture: A Critical History. - London: Thames & Hudson, 1992

GRENIER, Katherine, Les Anées Pop. - Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 2001

HARRISON, Charles, WOOD, Paul (editors), 1900-2000: Art in Theory - An Anthology of Changing Ideas. - Oxford/ Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers, 2002

STILLES, Kristin (editor), Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art. A sourcebook of artist´s writings. - Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996

Teaching method

This curricular unit is based on sessions that privilege an expositive component conducted by the teacher, complemented by debates with the students analyse thar and discuss previously selected texts. The aim of this methodology is to deepen and consolidate the acquired knowledge and ensure the students´ critical and active involvement in the discussion of the fundamental issues that structure the programme.

Evaluation method

The evaluation is based on a final written test (50%), the elaboration and presentatioin of a final reserach work (50%) - with 10 pages, related to the syllabus and developed individually or in groups of 2 or 3 students - and the student´s participation in the classoroom´s discussions (10%).

Subject matter

1. The representation issue. Photography versus Painting.

2. The first avant-gardes: continuities and ruptures. Fauvism, Expressionism, Abstraction, Cubism, Dada and Surrealism.

3. Modernism in Architecture: Rationalism and Functionalism. Chicago School and European dynamics.

4. Realisms between World Wars and Totalitarian Regimes.

5. Neo-avant-gardes: Informalisms and New Figurations. Pop Art and Nouveau Réalisme. Conceptual Art and Performativities.

6. Architecture after World War II. Modernism versus Post-Modernism.


Programs where the course is taught: