| Department of Art & Performing Arts

MFA in Fine Arts

An additional semester may also be necessary when a student having a diploma or equivalent qualifications is admitted on merit for a Masters degree program. He/she shall have to complete 12 extra credits over and above the required number of 64 Credits for the MFA. These courses may be taken from art theory, seminar or art history courses only being offered each semester and not from studio practice courses. These credits can be taken concurrently with the MFA program and may be completed within the two-year period or an extra semester may be taken to complete the above.
64

Total Credits

32

Core Credits

32

Major Electives

Core & Elective Courses

Core Courses

Course code
Title
Credit
ART602
Approaches to Art: Themes and Theories
4

This introductory course combines a brief recapitulation of pre-twentieth century visual art with an initiation into cultural theory. Divided into two parts, the course will begin with a survey module that frames art from around the world in terms of significant art historical themes that highlight the varied functions and contexts of art-making and reception across cultures, and expose students to diverse approaches to interpreting art works. Topics covered will include the politics of representation, the changing status of the artist, scopic regimes of visuality and the concept of facture. This will lay the ground for the theory module - a focused exploration of key theoretical concepts that have informed the analysis and understanding of artistic and cultural phenomena in the recent decades. The students will engage with a selection of writings on art by Marxist, feminist, poststructuralist and post-colonialist theorists.

The first module is lecture-based and visual-intensive; it will include visits to museums and art historical sites. The second module involves the reading and analysis of relevant texts, classroom discussions and assignments. While there are no specific prerequisites for this course, some familiarity with art historical landmarks would be helpful.

ART603
Modernity / Modernization / Modernisms
4

This course offers a critical introduction to the concepts of modernity, modernization and modernism. It explores the emergence of modern subjectivities and multiple manifestations of modernism in various parts of the world. Considering the extent to which all modernisms can be viewed as part of a network of alternatives to tradition, realism, representation, mass culture, and even each other, this course will introduce recent theories and approaches for studying modernisms. Part I of the course traces the origins of modernism in Western society, examining some seminal texts and artist manifestoes that shaped this discourse and surveying the major ‘isms’ and defining moments between the late 19th Century and the mid-20th Century. 

Initially rooted in specific socio-historical contexts, modernity was transferred to other parts of the globe through commerce, colonization and monetized economy, and transformed by local experiences of nationalism, globalization, urbanization, large-scale industrialization and migration. Part II of the course contests the still- dominant notion of a normative, univocal Western modernism to take a closer look at alternative modernisms in non-Western contexts. This module will investigate how modernist artistic expression variously developed in the new economic, social and political environment of the emerging industrialised world, through specific case studies from Latin America, Africa and Asia, with a special emphasis on modernism in Indian Art.

Visual-intensive class lectures will anchor the course. Classroom interactions equip students with tools to analyze mediums, styles, technologies and techniques, as well as relevant art historical and interpretative texts. Students will be required to select topics for class presentation based on their specific interests. Credit will be awarded on the basis of class participation, presentations and two written assignments.

 

ART604
Art after WWII (Art and Displacement: Migratory Aesthetics in Contemporary Art)
4

This course charts important developments in art practice and theory after the end of World War II. Proceeding from the background of early 20th century art, which will be covered in second semester, the focus of this course will be on how the paradigms of modernism were challenged by radical political and social changes that occurred in Europe, North America, and Latin-America. Important art movements such as Pop-Art, Conceptual Art, Feminist interventions, and Anthropophagia will be discussed in detail along with the multifaceted experiments in performance art, public art, and lens-based practices, continuing into the 21st century. The course will draw as much from exhibition histories as from manifestos and writings by artists, and will contextualize these within broader theoretical debates.

A prior knowledge of art history is required, along with credits obtained for the second semester theory course - Modernity, Modernization and Modernisms. In addition to lectures, the course includes class presentations by students to discuss readings and images.

ART605
Art After Independence
4

By examining the works of selected artists and artistic developments in post-Independence India, this course will introduce Indian art to students in terms of the wider context of the ‘art world’ – a network in which art is mediated by institutions, exhibitions, markets, collectors, and publics. This course will also study ‘folk’, ‘tribal’, ‘popular' art and ‘craft’ practices within the broader framework of contemporaneity. Central to this framing would be historical and contemporary debates around modernity and tradition, the art and craft divide, and the various modalities of referencing, appropriation, and collaboration in art. Taking cognizance of the proliferation of media and sites of art throughout the second half of 20th century, Art After Independence will be an advanced theory course aimed at analyzing and critiquing the boundaries that are produced between different visual cultural practices.

A prior knowledge of art history is required, along with credits obtained for the second semester theory course - Modernity, Modernization and Modernisms. In addition to lectures, the course includes assignments by students on a topic of their choice, and class presentations to exchange ideas with peers. This course will include visits to local museums, galleries, exhibitions and artist studios.

ART609
Painting and Drawing/Cross Media Project I
4

Painting

Painting and Drawing are explored as language and disciplinary framework, and in addition re-defined in terms of their changing function within different contexts and times, and in relationship to other art forms. Further, they would provide a basis for explorations in other media, or could be incorporated into other forms of practice.

Through active engagement with the medium in all its aspects, a combination of perspectives unique to each student would emerge during the first semester, which would enhance not only their knowledge of the visual world but also their capacity to interpret and comprehend it. Short, intensive workshops based on folk, classical and street/popular/traditions would also be organized in addition to interactions with contemporary artists. Apart from the learning experience that this entails, it would build an understanding between different kinds of practitioners, extending beyond art into community.

The studio component of the course would be complemented by adequate theoretical support. Talks, relevant reading, consultations with other faculty etc. would form an intrinsic part of the instruction. In addition, the course would offer occasional refresher sessions in Life Studies, Portraiture, Landscape and Still Life; both faculty and students could avail of the facility. 

Drawing

To widen an understanding of Drawing today, in addition to the formal sessions mentioned above, an attempt will be made to compile the different methods and applications that have come into being over time.  Short modules that would explore forms of drawing which find extensive application outside of its hitherto prescribed realm would be invaluable. Experienced visiting faculty from the disciplines of architecture, engineering, botany, the digital media, etc. could conduct short modules on ways in which drawing supports most forms of research. At the end of every year, the course material would be put together as a growing body of knowledge that spreads beyond the boundaries of its specific disciplines, and which would in turn create a new curriculum for Drawing.

Students would gain perceptions to do with space, scale and dimension as seen from varying perspectives, and could put it to good use in creating their own propositions. It needs to be said that this is as yet an uncharted area of research and that our department would be one of the very few, if not the only, that might offer such possibilities.

Cross-Media Project

Equally important is the fact of being located within a landscape and among communities;             to find ways of building networks through projects, investigations, and friendships.  It would involve field trips related to local histories/sites, or any subject of the student’s choice, carried out with a range of investigative visual media.  It is believed that these explorations could, apart from exposing and sensitizing students to the multiple realities that surround them, create practices that would go beyond the homogeneity of an exclusive ‘art school’ language.  It further creates a genuinely engaged viewership – with a breadth of scope and agency that would continue to grow with each exchange, beyond the currently prescribed boundaries of what constitutes art.  Students would be encouraged to re-imagine cultural and economic frameworks for practice, either collectively, individually or through institutional/organizational affiliations; there is a need at the present time to re-create and extend contexts for art and its supporting structures.

The course is seen as complementing the core area of Drawing and Painting and is experimental and process-based. The notion of Praxis is central to the module, and the emphasis is on finding a grammar that binds medium (explored in the earlier module), concept and subject-matter in an integrated approach to the excavation of meaning.  Theoretical support that could expand and enrich the field of inquiry would be provided by core/visiting faculty and by other departments.

It will be expected that the students would produce a dissertation pertaining to their choice of project, or to reflections on their own practice. Articulation through speaking and writing about one’s work and related concerns would be encouraged throughout the course. Students would present their work to an audience at the end of each year.

ART620
Sculpture and Installation 01
4

The course lays emphasis on the advancement of individual students concerns and engagements. Students will work in three dimensional space integrating sound/ mechanics/ new media etc. They will deal with making objects by carving/ assembling/ readymades. The students develop their practice benefiting from one on one critiques with the mentors as well as joint student critiques. Intra and inter school cross-disciplinary collaborations will be encouraged.

ART632
The Photographic Image I
4

This course explores through practice, the historical, expressive, critical, representational, formal, conceptual and technical aspects of this very varied, fluid, and pervasive medium through experimentation and research within the student’s own practice as a means of personal expression. An aesthetically based medium, photography, will be explored and discussed along with reading into the practice and work of other artists who use photography directly or as an take off point. Some potential subjects discussed will be appropriation, authenticity, truth, quality, performativity and transcendence. Also discussed will be some of the following: the problems of making judgments and issues of quality; the content of art and photography; the shifts in the definitions of 'mainstream,' and  'outsider, ‘and the role of the photographic image.

Learning Outcomes:

The students would be able produce conceptually mature and visually dense works with a criticality to examine appropriation, authenticity, truth and quality. Display and exhibition making along with addressing  artistic survival concerns  are also addressed . The students’ further build an ability place their own and works of others within certain art historical and contemporary art lens based contexts and practices.

ART652
The Moving Image- Form and Function
4

This course introduces students to the moving image, working with film and video to develope creative ideas. The focus will be on the fundamentals of the moving image and time-based media, towards developing an informed perspective that is abstract/ conceptual/ narrative/ personal/ political. Technical demonstrations and lectures along with viewing and discussions of a range of films and video works by other artists and projects made by  students will be included. The course includes developing concepts for moving image work- making storyboards/ narrative structure, capturing and importing video, editing- working with effects and transitions and sound. The discussion will be furthered by an analysis of video, moving media installation art, and works researched by students

Elective Courses

Course code
Title
Credit
ART660
The Artists Body
4

Happenings, performance, body-art, interventions: the artist has been using his body as subject and as actual material. The artist's body has throughout history been the subject of art -- primarily through painted self-portraiture. From the western post-war period and in India Post 90s, however, artists began using their bodies as the subject and the actual material of the artwork.

We shall be looking at how the artist’s body is/has been an important tool for intervention in contemporary Indian and world art. Students in this course are introduced to various aspects of the “performative”, the body and related art practices, exploring the historical background, and current issues within contemporary art.

Technical expansiveness, theoretical development and the role of the body as medium will be explored through individual and collaborative projects and research.

Learning Outcomes;

The students would be able produce conceptually mature and visually dense works with a criticality to examine appropriation, authenticity, truth and quality. Display and exhibition making along with addressing  artistic survival concerns  are also addressed . The students’ further build an ability place their own and works of others within certain art historical and contemporary art lens based contexts and practices.

ART671
Art In Public Domain: Intervention And Action
4

The course lays emphasis on the advancement of individual students’ concerns and engagements. Questions of responsibility and sensitivity, methods and medium, poetics and politics while working outside the secure space of a gallery will be deliberated upon. It could involve travelling to realize in-situ projects.

The students develop their practice benefiting from one on one critiques with  mentors as well as joint student critiques. Intra and inter school cross-disciplinary collaborations will be encouraged.

ART673
Art + Ecology
4

Art+ Ecology is an interdisciplinary, research-based course engaging contemporary art practices. Graduate students shall develop land and cultural literacy with a conceptual foundation in field based research art making and a wide range of production skills, including sculpture, installation, social practice, and new/digital media. Advanced coursework includes working on and in various collaborative and interdisciplinary fields with departments across SNU from environmental engineering, economics, anthropology, sociology, and natural sciences.

Art+ Ecology course will encourage students to investigate, question, and expand upon inter-relationships between natural and cultural systems.. Art will be viewed as an agent of analysis, critique and radical change. The course would be less bound to traditional media and is towards to stimulating ideas and new forms of public engagement and aesthetic experience in the public domain.

Learning Outcomes:

The students would be able produce conceptually mature and visually dense works with a criticality to examine appropriation, authenticity, truth and quality. Display and exhibition making along with addressing  artistic survival concerns  are also addressed . The students’ further build an ability place their own and works of others within certain art historical and contemporary art lens based contexts and practices.

 

ART691
Independent Study I
4

Independent Study I