Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Seat of the course: 
Varese - Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (64 hours)

General knowledge of European and Extra-European geography and of European and Extra-European history of the centuries mentioned above. It is not compulsory, but the knowledge of the history of different European countries literatures will be an important support to understand many of the topics.

Final Examination: 

The final examination consists of a verbal test which includes three questions on wide ranging topics and on specific ones based on the bibliography require at n. 6 (i.g. Which artistic trend is Mark Rothko part of? What is meant by the saying Nouveau Realisme and what are its characteristics? Which artistic trend Mexican Muralism considered a forerunner?). They will cover the complete program through the time frame considered. The student will be asked to emphasize relationships and connections between different topics delivered during lessons.
The result is expressed with a 30-point scale that can be divided into failing (0 to 17) and passing (18 to 30 cum laude) grades. The mark is based on a general assessment on the answers to the three questions. They all have the same value. The final mark will be revised considering the global knowledge of the student.
The fundamental principles are: the knowledge acquired, considering the communications skills required by the Bachelor’s Degree course, the correct positioning of phenomenon, events and objects in space and time, the ability in formal reading (with special care of the historical criteria and data and not the emotional ones), including a critical judgment (with references to the contemporary cultural heritage) and suggestions of proper comparisons, the communication skill using the proper language, as suggested during lessons.

Voto Finale

The course of Storia dell’Arte Conteporanea belongs to the group of humanistic teachings which characterize the course of studiose of the Second Cycle Degree of Science and Technical Communication.
The student will be able to know the outlines of the Italian, European and International History of Art from the beginning of the XXth century to the first decades of the XXIth century, using special care to focus on the historical Avant-gardes of early XXth century, the Neo avant-gardes of the second half of the XXth century and the contemporary art tendencies. Main topics of discussion will be the changes in the relationships and in the concept itself of art patronage and those related to the public perception of art and artists, as well as the origin and succeed of the dynamics of art market.
Among the learning abilities expected to be acquired can be pointed out the capability of visual analysis, especially considering the opposition between figurativism and the abstract/ informal and conceptual art, the development of communication skills using the proper language; the developement of a comparative attitude, considering the correct geographical, chronological and cultural context. The student will be able to investigate the art work (particularly considering the stylistic elements), connecting it with the geographical and chronological context, analyzing with precision its art language, describing it with terminological precision.
The acquired knowledge can contribute to the growth of the general skills of synthesis and processing of data and concepts derived from different sources.
The course provide for the acquisition of cross skills, as correct use of language, communicative competences and developement of comparative capabilities of judgment.

The following topics will be delivered during lessons:

Methodological introduction.
Post Impressionism and the Crisis of the last decades of the XIXth century.
Historical Avant-gardes.
Wiener Sezession, Jugendstil, Art Nouveau, Liberty (with a special focus on the development of the phenomenon in Varese), Art Déco.
Italian art between the two World Wars: from the Scuola romana to the Arte Concreta Movement (MAC).
European and international art between the two World Wars: Us Precisionism and Realism movements; German Sachlichkeit.
Sculpture between the two World Wars.
Art movements after the Second World War: Art Brut; Abstract Expressionism, New York School, Color field painting and Lyric Abstraction; CO.BR.A group; Nuclear art and Eaismo; Spatialism; Estroflessione current.
Junk Art and Dadaism revival.
English Pop Art and the Italian reception: the Scuola di Piazza del Popolo.
Informal art: abstractionism, informalism and neo-expressionism revival; from Fronte Nuovo delle Arti to Gruppo degli Otto; material, gestural and sign informalism.
Italian Arte Povera movement.
Conceptual Art: from Neo Dada to Minimal Art.
French Nouveau Réalisme.
Italian Kinetic and Programmed Art and international Optical Art.
Performance Art, Open-ended Art, Happening,
Wiener Aktionismus, Art installation, Body Art, Video Art, Fluxus and Visual Poetry.
From Land Art to Sustainable art.
Italian Transavanguardia and “return to painting”.
From Mexican Muralism to international Graffiti art: Aerosol Art; Street Art; Graffiti-logo; Graffiti-writing; Graffiti-design; Culture jamming.
Italian Analitical painting.
Hyperrealism and Photorelism.
Definition of Post-Modern.
Anachronism; Pittura colta movement; Hypermanierism; Nuovi-nuovi movement; Magico Primario movement; Metacosa movement.
Neo-neoexpressionism: German Neuen Wilden.
Italian Astrazione Povera.
French New Geo; Objectualist art; synthetic art.
Neo-futurism and Neo-pop.
Young British Artists; Bad Painting; Dumb Art; New Neurotic Realism.
House museums and foundations between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The debate on contemporary sacred art.
The success of Far East contemporary art.
Contemporary art trends.

Recommended books:

P. De Vecchi – L. Cerchiari, Arte nel tempo, Bompiani/Mondadori 1995 sgg,. per i capitoli corrispondenti al periodo indicato nelle varie e diversamente suddivise edizioni.
R. Barilli, L'arte contemporanea. Da Cézanne alle ultime tendenze, Feltrinelli 1988 sgg.
F. Poli, La scultura del Novecento forme plastiche, costruzioni, oggetti, installazioni ambientali, Laterza 2006.
R. Barilli, Prima e dopo il 2000. La ricerca artistica 1970-2005, Feltrinelli 2006.
J. Nigro Covre, I. Mitrano, Arte contemporanea: tra astrattismo e realismo (1918-1956), Carocci 2011.

Educational supports available on the e-learning platform: all the slides presented during lessons (in PPT format).


The course, in compliance with the present provisions, will be delivered with frontal lessons through the Teams platform supported by powerpoint files (downloadable from the e- learning platform), for the total amount of 64 hours. They will be all conducted by the tenured professor of the course,, encouraging, as much as possible, interaction between the lecturer and students. At the end of each lesson students can ask for clarifications and further explanations of the topics proposed by chat or e-mail.

The attendance of lessons is highly reccommended to take advantage of all the interdisciplinary connections (political history, historic geography, history of literature, history of music, history of faschion, etc.) and critical interpretations of the phenomenon which will be proposed by the teacher lesson by lesson and which can not be fully developed in the books available.

Consultation hours. Using the Teams platform or at the professor’s office (Collegio Cattaneo, Via Jean Henry Dunant, 7 Varese). You have to require a prior appointment by sending your e-mail to m.ferrario12@uninsubria.it. The appointment will be fixed within one week.
Before and after lessons it is always possible to have informal consultations or to require an appointment with professor Ferrario.