Auction of Claude Monet’s Meule

Fundamentals of Western Art

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Christie’s Education Hong Kong is pleased to present a series of programs that aim to provide a broad overview of major artistic movements in the Western world from Renaissance to Contemporary.  The programs are not intended to be comprehensive – rather, they aim to cover key movements that influence the course of art history and teach methods of looking at art.

Participants will gain a systematic framework through art historical survey lectures, coupled with close reading sessions to better understand how to approach a work of art.  Handling sessions and gallery tours will discuss materials, techniques, and condition: aspects critical to collecting and display but often neglected in traditional art history classes.  There will also be discussions with Christie’s experts on the development of the market and collecting trends.

This program is essential for art collectors, regardless of their chosen fields, as the works and movements discussed are constantly referred to by artists throughout the ages.

Course dates

Part III - Modernism in Europe:
From Fauvism to Surrealism

Thursdays, 12 April - 24 May 2018 in English

6:30 - 7:45pm

Christie’s, 22/F Alexandra House, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, No.1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (24 May)

(Discounted rate of HK$9,000 if paid in full by 30 March 2018)

Part I: From Renaissance to Neoclassicism 
November, 2016

Part II: 19th Century in Europe
May, 2017

Part III - Modernism in Europe: From Fauvism to Surrealism

In the early years of the 20th century, avant-garde movements flourished in Europe, while artists experimented relentlessly to break from the past and create a new visual language. This new evening program at Christie’s Education will provide a broad overview of major artistic movements, such as Fauvism, Expressionism, Geometric Abstraction, and Surrealism.  We will discuss Paris as an artistic capital, as well as the evolution of modernity throughout other centres in Europe.

Session One | Thu 12 Mar| Fauvism & Expressionism
Fauvism was the first of the 20th-century avant-garde movements in Paris, led by French artists Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and André Derain (1880–1954).  The Fauves’ emphasis on exuberant brushwork and intense colors was a radical departure from the tradition of representational art.  Around the same time in Germany, Expressionist artists also celebrated exaggerated colours and vibrant brushwork as a means to convey intense emotions and the human condition in modern life.

Session Two | Thu 19 April | Cubism
With his monumental Desmoiselles d’Avigonon, the young Spaniard Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) shattered traditional notions of perspective and space, setting the stage for the birth of Cubism.  Picasso and his fellow artist George Braque (1882-1963), pushed these ideas further, through fracturing and analysing three-dimensional objects, then rearranging them onto the canvas, to highlight the two-dimensionality of a painting.  

Session Three | Thu 26 April  | Pablo Picasso
Considered by many to be the most influential artist of the twentieth century, Picasso was extraordinarily prolific throughout his long life, with styles that spanned movements such as Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, and beyond.  Picasso’s genius stemmed from his ability to continually evolve, mastering different styles while making them his own. 

Session Four | Thu 3 May | Geometric Abstraction  

Cubism had far-reaching consequences on 20th-century art, not just in France, but throughout the rest of Europe. In Holland, Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) was a chief contributor of the De Stijl movement, and pioneered a simple and rigorous style using only black horizontal and vertical lines with blocks of primary colors. In Russia, Kazimir Malevich (1879–1935) founded Suprematism, pushing art beyond the illusionistic through basic geometric forms suspended in unstructured space. 

Session Five | Thu 10 May | Dada & Surrealism
The horrors and inanity of World War I led a group of intellectuals to reject reason, and idealism in modern society, leading to the creation of Dada and Surrealism.  Key proponents of Dada such as Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) subverted artistic traditions and declared ‘read-mades’ to be works of art. Surrealism was a literary and artistic movement that explored chance and the subconscious, exemplified by richly symbolic and sensuous works that celebrated the uninhibited mind. 

Session Six | Thu 17 May | School of Paris
This lecture explores the loosely affiliated group of foreign artists who gathered near Montparnasse and became known as the School of Paris.  These artists were stylistically diverse and from all over the world, including Italian Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), Russians Marc Chagall (1887-1985) and Chaïm Soutine (1893-1943), all gathered in an environment of unprecedented international exchange.

Session Seven | Thu 24 May | Tour of Christie’s Spring Preview
Join Christie’s specialists on a tour of Christie’s Spring 2018 Auctions Preview.

Schedule and topics are subject to change. Please check back for updates.



A letter of attendance will be issued to participants who attend all sessions. 

HK$10,000 | Mandarin course
(Discounted rate of HK$9,000 if paid in full by 30 March 2018)

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