History of Contemporary Art I - LM [Sede TN] (2016/2017)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Denis Viva
Denis Viva
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I sem Trento dal Sep 14, 2016 al Dec 23, 2016.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

Acquisition of knowledge concerning the main protagonists and historical events of Art History since the 1920s until the 1980s;
Understanding and visual analysis of contemporary artworks;
Critic and historiographic proficiency in Contemporary Art History;
Deep knowledge of the specific subject of the course


Prerequisites: Deep knowledge of the basic notions concerning Medieval, Modern and Contemporary Art History

Contents: The specialized course deals with the artistic history of Umberto Boccioni by paying carefully attention to the two-year period of 1912-1913 when the artist simultaneously experimented Painting and Sculpture. The course starts from the education and the first Futurist period in order to focus on the most accomplished elaboration of the "Plastic Dinamism" poetics. The last part is dedicated to a seminar discussion on some critical texts about the works of Boccioni in those years.

Teaching Methods: Lectures with projections of artworks pictures, visual exercises, and seminar reading of Art Critics texts
Study visits to the exhibition "Boccioni" at the Mart museum of Rovereto


Introduction and historical analysis of the 1912 and 1913 period:
- Maria Elena Versari, “Introduction”, in Umberto Boccioni, Futurist Painting Sculpture (Plastic Dynamism), The Getty Research, Los Angeles 2016, p. 1-55.
- Giovanni Lista, Futurismo. La rivolta dell'avanguardia, Silvana Editoriale- Fondazione VAF, Cinisello Balsamo 2008, p. 100-122; 134-204.

Visual Philology and the pivotal artworks of the period:
- Section "I disegni del Castello Sforzesco", in Umberto Boccioni. Genio e Memoria, curated and edited by Francesca Rossi, exh. cat., Electa, Milano 2016, pp. 253-86;
- Flavio Fergonzi, le schede “Materia, 1912” e “Dinamismo di un ciclista, 1913”, in La collezione Gianni Mattioli. Capolavori dell'avanguardia italiana, edited by ID., Skira, Milano 2003, pp. 155-215;
- Alessandro Del Puppo, “L'ordine del discorso. Osservazioni sui Dinamismi di Boccioni”, in Boccioni. Pittore scultore futurista, curated by Laura Rossi Mattioli, exh. cat., Skira, Milano 2006, p. 83-117;
- Flavio Fergonzi, “The Question of 'Unique Forms': Theory and Works”, in Italian Futurism 1909-1944. Reconstructing the Universe, edited by Vivien Greene, exh. cat., Guggenheim Publications, New York 2014, pp. 127-35.


Art critical reception:
- Roberto Longhi, “I pittori futuristi”, (in “La Voce”, V, 1913, p. 1051-52); ID., “Scultura futurista Boccioni”, (Edizioni La Voce, Firenze 1914), republished in Scritti giovanili 1912-1922, Sansoni, Firenze 1961, pp. 47-54; 133-62;
- Giulio Carlo Argan, (Introduction), Umberto Boccioni, De Luca Editore, Roma 1953, p. 7-24;
- Rosalind Krauss, “Lo spazio analitico: futurismo e costruttivismo”, in ID., Passaggi. Storia della scultura da Rodin alla Land Art, Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2000, p. 51-77

General catalogue, Anthology and Letters, only for searching:
- Umberto Boccioni, Scritti sull'arte, edited by Zeno Birolli, Mimesis, Udine 2011 (or Feltrinelli, Milano 1971);
- Boccioni. L'opera completa, edited by Maurizio Calvesi ed Ester Coen, Electa, Milano 1983;
- Umberto Boccioni, Lettere futuriste, edited by Federica Rovati, Egon, Rovereto 2009.

More Information: Students who can not follow the lectures should plan their program with the teacher.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written (analyzing some selected artworks) and further oral examition. The purpose of the examination is to verify: the formalist and iconographic skills; the knowledge of the Contemporary Art History grounds; the deep knowledge of the art historical facts, trends and artworks of the period considered by the course; the individual capacity and autonomy in researching; the knowledge of the theoric questions concerning Contemporary Art; the attitude for comparing visual, Art Critics or literary resources with the artworks; the philological approach to documents and artworks.