Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen
Koninklijke Academie van Antwerpen
Theories of art 1900-195034284/3027/2324/1/22
Study guide

Theories of art 1900-1950

Academic year 2023-24
Is found in:
  • Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts, programme stage 2
  • Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts
This is a single course unit.
Study load: 3 credits
Special admission is required to enrol in this course unit under
  • exam contract (to obtain a credit).
  • exam contract (to obtain a degree).
Co-ordinator: Crombez Thomas
Languages: Dutch, English
Scheduled for: Semester 1
This course unit is marked out of 20 (rounded to an integer).
Possible deadlines for learning account: 31.10.2023 ()
Re-sit exam: is possible.
Possibility of deliberation: You have to pass this course unit (will never be deliberated).


(previously registered for Theories of art before 1500 AND previously registered for Theories of art 1500-1900) OR previously registered for Philosophy in art 1.

Prerequisite competencies (text)

The student is able to analyze philosophical and theoretical texts independently. S/he is able to reflect on a given philosophical problem (formulated in an abstract manner).

The student has a basic knowledge of Western cultural history of the 20th century, which will form the background against which historical developments in arts, aesthetics, and philosophy are discussed during this course.

The student is sensitive to the philosophical problems surrounding the work of art and the social role of art.

Learning outcomes (list)

BA3 - The student knows about and understands the social, cultural, artistic, historical and international context of the visual arts and artistic praxis, and continues to develop this knowledge and understanding.
 The student can orient himself in the history of the philosophy of the first half of the twentieth century (philosophers, concepts, movements).
The student has developed a historical sensitivity to the changing aesthetic ideas in the course of (art) history.
The student has gained insight into the development of Western philosophy during the first half of the 20th century.
The student can link the main (historical) art-philosophical and theoretical positions to important developments in the history of philosophy.
The student can fathom for himself a philosophical tekst and follow a philosophical argument and (re)construct one himself.
The student knows the main (historical) art-philosophical and theoretical positions of the first half of the 20th century.

Course content

Central to this course is the question of the relationship between philosophy and art. The philosophers of the Western tradition have almost always approached art as an "object" for philosophical reflection. The French philosopher Alain Badiou states that philosophy has again and again "made art philosophical", that is, appropriated it and turned it into a philosophical object. Philosophy could only embrace the arts after they had been ascribed a philosophical significance.

In the twentieth century, this approach has repeatedly been criticized. New scientific disciplines, too, approached art from a very different position: as a practice of human society (in anthropology); as a symptom (in psychoanalysis); or as a signifying text (in semiotics).

All these different approaches to the artistic practice, as they came to the fore in the early 20th century, will be addressed during the course.

Study material (text): Mandatory

A selection of philosophical essays by various authors will be made available at the beginning of the course.

Evaluation (list)

Evaluation(s) for first exam chance
Eerste examenperiodeKnowledge and comprehension test during the examination series100,00Written and oral examination

Evaluation (text)

Students are expected to be present during classes. Absences can have a negative impact on your study results.