Art 5 – History of Non-Western Art

Fall 2017

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Course Details

Riverside Community College District, Moreno Valley College, CA
Department of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Art 5 is a survey course designed to cover the arts of non-European cultures. It will provide the student with a familiarity of contemporary approaches, themes, and problems in dealing with non-Western art from a historical perspective. Some basic anthropological ideas about the functions of art will be covered as an overlap and supplement to an aesthetic approach. These points will be utilized through an overview if the arts of: Pre-Columbian and contemporary South America and North America; the Caribbean; the arts of Oceania, the Pacific Island cultures; the arts of sub-Saharan Africa; the arts of Islamic societies; the Indus Valley Civilization, the arts of South Asia and Southeast Asia. The types of art that will be explored in this class include, but are not limited to: objects, body adornment, dance, music, and literature. The student will gain a familiarity with the distinctive iconography of each region, and how these manifestations relate to the local cosmological and political institutions.

We will cover works from the prehistoric period to the present, as appropriate for each culture/geographic region. In addition, we will investigate the disparate methods used for gathering information about the arts that give expression to the various cultural groups. Purposes for the creation of specific types of artworks often have stronger influences on technique and style than is normal for western works, and serve as determinants in aesthetic values. Stylistic issues will be considered in relationship to purpose, and the conditions that affect stylistic evolution, or the lack of stylistic change, will be investigated with regard to controlling cultural factors. The differences from the western canons of art history will be scrutinized. Students will be expected to master visual recognition of select works by these artists and to discuss how the works demonstrate the significant traits of style, technique and material well as how they reflect the context of their creation in other ways.