CCOG for ART 213 Spring 2024

Course Number:
ART 213
Course Title:
Modern Art History: Art Since 1945
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Examines major developments in global art after the rise of European modernism and the devastation of World War II. Analyzes art from the mid-twentieth century to the present in order to gain a greater understanding of contemporary art and its global perspective. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Explain how art is representative of the historical moment in which it was produced, acknowledging the interactions between social, cultural, technological, and/or economic factors and art made after 1945.
  • Utilize a critical vocabulary as a framework for discussing, creating and/or writing about art.
  • Analyze the relationship between form, context and meaning in visual communication. 
  • Articulate the relationships between contemporary art, visual culture and world history to enhance civic and global engagement.
  • Apply insights gained from course content to visual culture encountered outside of the classroom.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

Through the study of art history, students look closely at works of art and architecture, articulating the way elements of art are interrelated and considering how values and interpretations have changed over time. They critically analyze visual communication, work creatively with art historical data, use evidence to support arguments and assess the stakes of primary and secondary sources. They also analyze the relationships between art and its historical, cultural, social and political contexts. Art history enhances students’ engagement in contemporary global culture through a deeper understanding of history, which helps students recognize connections between the past and present and become more aware of their own vantage points.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment tools may include:

  • informal and formal responses to discussion questions

  • analysis and evaluation of reading assignments

  • visual and contextual analysis of art in writing assignments and exams

  • journals assessing learning in and out of the classroom

  • research projects resulting in papers or presentations

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Analyze and work creatively with art historical data, using it to better understand the history of art and visual culture.

  • Evaluate primary and secondary art historical sources, assessing their stakes and motives.

  • Assess the ways in which art is impacted by the viewer’s vantage point.

  • Articulate the relationship between art and its historical, social and political context.

  • Recognize and differentiate various styles of art and evaluate how values and interpretations change over time.

  • Recognize and identify parallels between the art historical past and the present.

  • Conduct a formal analysis of a work of art and articulate the way its elements are interrelated.

  • Research and write coherently about art history, using evidence to support arguments.

  • Use knowledge gained in the course to study fine art, multimedia, art history, design, anthropology or history at a four-year institution.


  • Modernism and Modernity

  • Art and the legacy of World War II

  • Representation and Abstraction

  • Social Realism

  • Art and the Cold War

  • Abstract Expressionism and the New York School

  • Post War European Art 

  • Post War Japanese Art and the Gutai Group

  • Nouveau Réalisme

  • Fluxus

  • Dada and Neo-Dada

  • Pop Art

  • Minimalism and Post Minimalism

  • Light Art

  • Installation Art

  • Conceptual Art

  • Land Art 

  • Video Art

  • Performance Art

  • Body Art

  • New Media Art

  • Feminist Art

  • Post Modernism

  • The Pictures Generation

  • Commodity Critics

  • Identity Politics

  • Institutional Critique

  • Decolonization, Post Colonialism and Art

  • Photorealism

  • Neo-Expressionism

  • Art and the Collapse of Communism

  • The Art Market

  • The YBAs

  • The Rise of the Art Star

  • Art in the Age of Digital Distribution

  • Social Practices and Relational Aesthetics

  • Modern and Post Modern Architecture

  • Contemporary Art and Globalization