This course seeks to offer an up-to-date appreciation of the panorama of European painting in the years after the Second World War, a period generally subsumed under the generic concept of Informalism. In attempting to avoid taking that category for granted, the course will draw on the most recent theoretical insights into the period in order to shed light on its less well-known and perhaps most revealing aspects. Among other thematic areas, the course will analyse the scene in Europe and North America in the late forties; the shift of the West's cultural capital from Paris to New York and its political background in the cultural Cold War; the process by which painterly abstraction came to occupy a hegemonic position in art; the role of artists such as Fautrier, Wols or Dubuffet and art brut; the emergence of a ‘formless' art — as a response to the geometrical modernity of concrete art — and its links with Parisian surrealism; the role of Constant and the Cobra group as precursors of late-avant-garde practices which exercised a crucial subsequent impact, such as Situationism...
With the collaboration of: