The Avant-Gardes, from Fauvism to Dada

Ref: C2419171

In the history of art, the two first decades of the 20th century saw an incredibly rapid succession of ruptures and experiments. Avant-garde artists relentlessly explored uncharted territories. We will study this period in an effort to deepen our understanding of modern art. The course will begin with a presentation of the origins and meaning of the concept of "avant-garde" in art. We will then study a sequence of avant-garde movements (such as Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism, Orphism) that developed in the two first decades of the 20th century. We will try to understand and question the urge artists felt to challenge conventions and continuously be innovative. We will investigate the impact of the First World War on avant-garde movements and their members. We will see how they were challenged by this conflict, which cast doubt on their faith in fast and inevitable progress. To conclude, we will consider different endings: dada and the “return to order”.

Course aim

This course aims to deepen your understanding of avant-garde art through the study of a succession of art movements from 1905 to 1923.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Name and describe defining features of the “avant-garde”
  • Name avant-garde movements, describe their style and situate them (dates and countries)
  • Identify influential avant-garde artists and associate them with relevant art movements
  • Discuss the limitations of the concept of "avant-garde"

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full Course information sheet

The Avant-Gardes, from Fauvism to Dada


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing