Modern Art and Culture

Academic year
Subject Area
Fine Arts
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Knowledge of Portuguese language and a foreign language, preferably English.

Teaching Methods

The classes will enhance comprehensive perspective of the artistic modernity drawn between the years 1900 and 1930, this course will be linked with a theme, iconographic and historical reading of defining works of art, stimulating the students participation and investing in their conceptualization skills.

Learning Outcomes

Analysis of the characteristics of some of the major artistic movements that established western Europe’s cultural landscape in the first three decades of the twentieth century, an historical age which is acknowledged by scholarship as the summit of Modernism; the  time  line of this curricular unit  is contained between the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1900 and  the publication in 1930 of the 2nd Surrealist manifesto: Cubism, Futurism, Suprematism, Constructivism, Dada, Neo-Plasticism, Surrealism will be the primary themes of this curricular unit.

Assessment of the implications that have befallen the traditional notion of art with the popularization of mechanical forms of visual communication. To attain this purpose it is essential that students develop reading habits and acquire a bibliographical culture  upgraded by the texts and documents provided by the teacher and that they develop the skills to infer  and comment the iconography produced by the Modernist experience.

Work Placement(s)



The course aims to raise awareness through formal and iconographic analysis of artworks (paintings, sculptures, collages, drawings and reading of excerpts from literary documents (poems and literary narratives) of the changes that have taken place in the artistic culture of the twentieth century, focusing the following issues:

• The Crisis of figurative image making: the end of reciprocity between visual form (mimesis) and semantic connotation (storytelling) and the absence of a  “ narrative relationship between objects" in the modernist pictorial surface.

• The methodological expansion of the concept of art work, the case of the "Demoiselles d'Avignon" (Picasso, 1907).

• The dialectics between the encoded image (visually complex as in Cubism or ascetic as in Russian Suprematism and Dutch Neoplasticism) and the image "nonsense" (Dada experience from the political to the burlesque).

• The phenomenon of the avant-garde, its notion and its praxis.

Head Lecturer(s)

Pedro Filipe Rodrigues Pousada

Assessment Methods

Exam: 40.0%
Frequency: 60.0%


Baanham, Reiner, Teoria e Projecto na primeira era da Máquina, S.Paulo: Editora Perspectiva, 1979.

Berman, Marshall, Tudo o que é sólido se dissolve no ar, Lisboa: Edições 70, 1989.

Calinescu, Matei, As Cinco faces da Modernidade, Lisboa: Vega, 1999.

Chipp, Herschel B.Theories of Modern Art-a source book by artists and critics, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.

Conio, Gerard, Le Constructivisme Russe, Tome Premier: les Arts Plastiques, textes théoriques, Manifestes, Documents, Lausanne : L’Age d’Homme, 1987.

Hatherly, Ana, O espaço crítico - do Simbolismo à Vanguarda, Lisboa: Editorial Caminho, 1979.

Krauss, Rosalind, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and other Modernists Myths, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1994.

Lodder, Christina, Russian Constructivism, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1987 (1983).

Sousa, Ernesto de, Ser Moderno em Portugal, Lisboa: Assírio & Alvim, 1998.