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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF2055 Variant Modernism

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Dr Will Rea

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits from any ARTF-coded module or appropriate equivalent in a relevant discipline. In the latter case, students are advised to get in touch with the module leader to discuss eligibility prior to enrolment

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Narrative histories of English Art in the 20th century have tended to imply a succession of movements of varying 'modernity'. This module will look at the different definitions of 'modern' or 'contemporary' art at different historical moments in 20th century England from Camden Town to the present day, as well as studying the underlying critical ideologies. The module will make particular use of the notable collections of Leeds City Art Gallery and the University Collections in an attempt to understand museological collecting and display policies.


This module aims to introduce students to British art, painting and sculpture, of the twentieth century. Week by week students will build a comprehensive knowledge of the major movements in British Art between 1908 and 1950. They will also be introduced to historical cultural context and the policy background as it imposes on the making of art in this country during that period.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module -
- students should be able to distinguish between different stylistic movements in English painting and sculpture which have all qualified for the soubriquet 'Modern'
- should understand their underlying critical ideologies and key these into an historical framework
- be able to integrate this knowledge with an understanding of museological collecting and display policies as exemplified at Leeds City Art Gallery and the University collections

Skills outcomes
Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument.
Use of audio visual aids
Participation in group discussions
Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual visual information
Using bibliographies and databases


Narrative histories of English art in the 20th century have tended to imply a succession of movements of varying 'modernity'. This module will examine certain key critical and historical texts (for example, C Harrison, English Art and Modernism 1900-1939, 1981; H Read, Contemporary British Art, 1951; 1964). At the same time it will focus on the important collections of paintings, drawings and sculpture at Leeds City Art Gallery and the University, using these as principal alternative archives. It will discriminate between the different definitions of 'modern' or 'contemporary' art at different historical moments, as well as their ideological bases and sources, up to and including the present day.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

180 hours - class preparation including researching textual and visual materials/reading/preparing presentations and essay

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through seminar discussion and individual sessions with students. Students are encouraged to arrange appointments with tutor to discuss issues and questions prior to essay writing.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 word essay60.00
Assignment5 x 500 word visual analysis40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:22:37


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