I took Professor Alberro's 20th Century Art this past semester as a requirement for the Visual Arts concentration (CC). I found the class interesting. We covered an enormous range of material, so it was impossible to get to everything in depth, but I could sense Professor Alberro trying to touch on a wide variety of styles and demographics in 20th century, Western art. Despite the interesting subject matter, I struggled with Professor Alberro's lecture style. He lectures like he's reading a highly detailed academic essay, therefore it is very difficult to follow him. He speaks in long, eloquent sentences, and it is easy to lose the point before he gets to the end. There also isn't much preamble to the class - we sit down and he starts lecturing - and there isn't much definition of key terms or concepts, like a general summary of poststructuralism, or a clear breaking down of the lectures into different units. I would not necessarily take this class with Professor Alberro again, just because I had such a hard time following him through the very fast lectures, but I am also a bad auditory learner, so that style may work for some people! Also a WARNING: during the Body and Performance Art lecture, we looked at a lot of really intense, bodily graphic imagery and had in depth discussions about these works of art. I wish Professor Alberro had given a content warning before class started, because it was very difficult and uncomfortable to sit through.
Rosalind krauss changed my life. i went on to read saussure and freud and fried and greenberg and stainberg on my own time i own her book, The Originality of the Avant Garde and Other Modernist Myths. I've read Grids four times and counting. I mean.....I will never forget her. i think it's because i took the class my freshman year— she carried me from art history to art theory. <b>the class is amazing if you're really familiar with 20th century art history but have yet to serisously delve into theory.</b> for me there was no going back. I mean, god ! she's an icon ! ________________________________ Rosalind Krauss... How do I begin to explain Rosalind Krauss? Rosalind Krauss is flawless. She has had two annuerisms and continues to write, teach, and publish. I hear her floor 9 Schermerhorn office is insured for $10,000,000. I hear she does sculptural theory... in the e x p a n d e d f i e l d. Her favorite movie is Entr'acte. One time she met Clement Greenberg at an post-panel talk reception... ...And he told her she was pretty. One time I told her my great grandfather was a communist party member and Socialist Realist painter and she told me socialist realism killed the soviet avant garde and was one of the worst things of the 20th century... It was awesome.
Taking Prof. Rosalind Krauss' class was a privilege, and in its best moments, a joy. If you like 20th century art—especially Cubism, de Stijl, and Russian Constructivism, all of which receive their due time—then you will love this class. Krauss draws on literature, history, linguistics, and semiotics to present arguments about the course of twentieth century art. It should be noted that the real span of the course is the 1900s to late 1960s, with brief mentions of the Pictures generation and some later Minimalism and Concept art. The textbook, of course, extends well into those decades. (Even if you don't take this course, I would recommend the textbook, which has gorgeous illustrations and engaging prose. Krauss is one of the four authors.) Additionally, in terms of content, there is no real coverage of post-Impressionism, but Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, and Seurat are all mentioned, so you would be wise to read up on them a little before taking this class. Otherwise, a simple willingness to learn—and at times to grapple with Derrida and Foucault—is more than enough. Krauss' lectures, while engaging and illustrative, were often short—sometimes even just 30 minutes long. I never found them hard to follow, as other reviewers did, but it is frustrating to hear a teacher talk about cutting content because the semester is too short and then end class halfway through each day. As for my TA, I have only the highest praise. Nick came prepared every day with a PowerPoint and a clear lesson plan. He was easily available outside of class and via email, and he led discussions in a way that was both open and productive, guiding us just the right amount.
Krauss is one of the most reputable art historians of our time. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to take her class. Sometimes her lectures are difficult to understand, and there may be some blatant topic that was not fleshed out enough and everyone wants to ask a really blatant question about it, but at times no one does because it can be intimidating. Yet when she is on point, she is one of the (if not the) best lecture teachers I have ever seen. She points out numerous theories on artworks that you may have previously thought could never connect. Such an amazing class, I would highly recommend it. The TAs usually control your grades, so it all depends on whether or not you get a good TA. Luckily, my TA was completely understanding and AMAZING. Sometimes the discussion sections can get boring because no one reads, but if you read they should be almost as exciting as the lectures. It is manageable to get an A- on the exams by just studying the powerpoint and terms list (they provide a powerpoint of all of the artworks you could possibly need to know). The textbook for this class is by far my favorite I have ever read. Period. It's written by Krauss and some other art historians, and if I discovered it earlier I would have read it on my leisure time. I usually don't like reading extensively, so this gives you an idea.
This was an excellent course, and I highly recommend students (non-majors as well) take this course if they have the opportunity. Although Alberro's speech is long-winded, he responded well to questions and encouraged students to ask questions despite the size of the course. The mandatory discussion sections are highly useful and it is important to do the reading, as participation in the section contributes to part of your final grade calculation. I'd say that the discussion section is the most important part of the course, as your TA grades all of your assignments. You can definitely get away with reading the book and skipping lecture, but it is an enjoyable class so there is no real reason to skip. It is also important to understand what Alberro emphasizes throughout lectures, as it informs the questions on the midterm and final in ways that you cannot gleam from the textbook. The grading in the course is dependent upon your discussion section leader. Look at the TA's carefully before selecting a section and consider taking an undesirable time if it means choosing a "nicer" TA. The reading in the class are optional. I read the corresponding textbook readings during the first half of the semester, but did not do the readings during the second half. Alberro gives you a list of 25 images that could potentially show up on the exams (midterm and final), so you can do the reading after you get that list. The hardest part of preparing for the exams was selecting appropriate secondary texts to support your argument. For each slide comparison on the exam, you needed to incorporate one reading. We go over readings in discussion section, but it is still a challenge.
This class is recommended, but not entirely because of the quality of the instruction. I came out of the class far less enamoured by Alberro's "genius" (as other reviews have referred it) than when the semester first started. At first, I was blown away by his long-winded, convoluted style of speaking, but realized that when I peeled the veneer away from his words, there were rather banal ideas underneath. His style was rather frustrating to take notes off of, as evidenced by the large number of laptops brought to class to take notes on (or check facebook when Alberro began to ramble). Alberro would begin speaking about an idea, then realize that part of his explanation required another explanation, etc. He would not finish the original idea until a good few sentences (crammed into one run-on clause) later. Like a previous reviewer mentioned, going to lecture is essential. The slide comparisons are taken from works that Alberro discussed. However, I would argue that reading the textbook is not essential. Although it is no doubt a very good textbook, it is a very dense work that requires multiple reads in order to grasp the ideas presented. I personally only read through the textbook once before the final and I think I probably retained about 5% of what I read. I was a little lost during lecture sometimes because I did not read the textbook beforehand, but the ideas put themselves in place in my head eventually -- I think that way was much more efficient than having to struggle with the textbook. In addition, I did very few of the readings. If you have a good TA, there is really no reason to do the readings either, as they will be outlined for you during discussion section. And really, you only need to pluck a few sentences of idea out of the *essential* readings in order to incorporate them into the exams. No problem. I don't want to say that I didn't care about the content of the class -- on the contrary, I am an art history minor. What I'm trying to outline is the fact that learning in this class is very efficient -- for someone that had only the faintest ideas of 20th century art before the class courtesy of Arthum, I was able to put in minimum effort and still learn a great deal. I didn't do so hot on the final but by getting an A on the essay and almost perfect on the midterm I still walked away with an A.
I loved this class, it was by far my favorite. I am an art history major as a result. I thought that Albero was great but I absolutely LOVED my TA, Rachel. There were weekly assignments of readings but she outlined all the important points so there was no need to actually do them. She was so knowledgeable and super engaging...discusssion section was the best part. Albero was a pretty good lecturer, at points he was a bit boring but BRILLIANT. I loved when he would deviate from his notes and expand upon something he was so passionate about. Do yourself a favor, no matter what you are interested in, TAKE THIS CLASS.
As someone who had previous doubts about the value of 20th century artworks, I can now (somewhat intelligently) explain and argue modern and post-modern works. Unlike many other art history courses, this one is not about memorization - it's about understanding. With that said, going to lecture is crucial and reading the textbook or wikipedia will not suffice. Professor Alberro's lectures are very clear and interesting. You will walk out of every class feeling enlightened. I personally think this is a great course for non-art history students as well to just increase your general knowledge about art. Walking through MoMA will never be the same after taking this course - you'll be able to understand and appreciate so much more! Great course - highly recommended.
I took 20th Century Art, expecting to be blown away by Branden Joseph. While Joseph did do a great job teaching, I was much more impressed with Elisabeth, aka Tina. Tina has been the best TA I have ever had at Columbia or Barnardâ€”and this is coming from someone who has had a lot of TAs. She is extremely knowledgable, approachable, and straight-forward, and this is reflected in her teaching style. With Tina, don't expect an easy Aâ€”she can see through the BS that usually fills art history discussion sections. If you put in the work and really think about the readings before and after class, though, you will be rewarded for your efforts. Tina really goes out of her way to help her students understand the tough material Joseph assigns, and she is very willing to help students with their papers. In short, Tina is amazing, and you'll probably learn more in her class than the actual class itself.
Branden Joseph is one of the most brilliant and captivating teachers I have ever had. I took his course Spring 08 and ti was absolutely spectacular. Granted, I am an art history major, but I had absolutely no idea and barely any previous knowledge about 20th century art. Not only was the course material interesting, but the reading, which seems like a lot at first, was quite relevant and adds a lot to the course. I agree with the previous review that Branden Joseph is a rockstar and he knows is but that title is well deserved. He has written a lot about 20th century art and really knows his stuff. The course lectures do get repetitive at times but it is more so to reiterate the things you need to know and by the end of the semester you can bang out theories and information like no other. I recommend doing the reading because the midterm and final essay are both centered around what we read but you do discuss the reading in your discussion sections and Branden Joseph both analyzes and comments heavily on the main texts. Speak up during discussion sections as a majority of your grade is based on class discussion and your TA's can be a big aid when grading your final research paper. I recommend this course 100% to any one interested in 20th century art as it is a great basis for getting not the major art movements and a chance to have Branden Joseph as a teacher.
The previous review certainly doesn't reflect Professor Joseph's reputation in the art history department nor does it speak very accurately about his lecture style in classes that are actually taught exclusively by him. As evident by the ridiculous number of people, grads and undergrads, that turn out for his lectures, Branden Joseph is a ROCKSTAR, and he knows it. Quite arrogant but with the intelligence and accomplishments to back it up (he's THE Rauschenberg guy and the heir-apparent to such luminaries as Krauss, Bois, and Buchloh ), his theory-filled lectures are dynamic, fascinating, and often quite funny. Many of the readings he assigns are his own work, yet rather than simply summarize, he aggressively tackles the readings with his own insights and forceful opinions. In person, he is intimidating and knows it, freely calling you out if you don't know your shit. No coddling sensitivity here (but do you really need that from a lecture course?), just youthful haughty brilliance that, yes, is completely worth your tuition money.
The class started out promising: Professor Joseph, rising hotshot in the Kraussian world of art history, gave a sweeping review of the art world's trends from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth. It was an impressive narrative that drew on theory from Benjamin, Freud and Greenberg and seemed very promising. The class on Picasso and semiotics was particularly breathtaking. But somewhere around Pop Art he started repeating himself over and over again and it seemed to me he had a sizeable chip on his shoulder about having to teach a century's worth art at an impossible pace to undergraduates. He's a talented writer and has a formidable mind for visual analysis--too bad he did so little of it and read so often from his notes. Given that his field is contemporary art, he devoted probably more time than was actually due to the really whack world of post-modern art (and even had a class on post-post modernism). There was an army of TAs and your impression of the class/final grade depended a lot on your participation in section and of course the quality of your TA, which was decidedly mixed across the board. Joseph himself was in my opinion not receptive to student questions and comments and was even hostile during office hours. Overall, a mixed review.
Mr. Neely is something of a rarity at Columbia (and I would imagine at most major research universities that often have to rely on TA's to teach important portions of classes): he knows what he's talking about, and he's eager for you to understand it too. More than willing to read papers in advance, he really carefully considers what you're writing, which, as another reviewer noted, is a welcome change from most other classes. He finishes the semester by giving you a few recommendations for books that might fit your interests, which was pretty neat. He's a pretty good museum tour guide, too. In short, if get him (or can maneuver into getting him), consider yourself lucky. He's the raddest.
Rosalind Krauss' lecture was the most worthwhile class I took at Columbia. Yes, sometimes she isn't quite "there" and her lectures can be scattered and short. But on days when she is with it she is incredible. And the readings for the class (almost all written by Krauss and her "October" friends) are some of the most exciting, provocative things you will ever read in scholarship. She will shoot you down if you ask stupid questions in class (but only if the questions were really, really stupid), but she is far from being the monster many claim her to be. Also, specifically for Art History majors, her class provides the rigour some of the more "wishy washy" courses profoundly lack. She is both a brilliant formalist and uses lots of "infamous" french theorists but in a manner that is convincing, necessary and intelligent. For non Art History majors, her approach is anti art-hum drivel and can even appear to be daunting. However, armed with the most basic dictionary of literary theory terms and a good TA, you should find the course fine, and extremely worth it.
Evan is extremely smart and not self-conscious about being so, but the fact is, he DOES know his shit. He's a fair grader and if you show any genuine interest in the material he will absolutely go the extra mile to help you out. I definitely recommend getting into his section because he will enrich the class immeasurably.
I completely disagree with the other reviewer. Evan is a great TA-- smart, patient, nice, fair. Yes, he expects a lot from his students, but he is a great teacher who comes to class prepared. He was able to clarify the most difficult texts and help us to develop skills to read well on our own. Always available to talk outside of class, Evan makes it very clear to his students that he cares about their learning. Your papers will come back with notes all over them because he has taken time to read and think about them. After writing so many papers for professors who glance at them for a second, I found this a refreshing change. The bottom line is this: if you work hard, you will learn a lot from Evan. He will challenge you to think carefully, independently and thoughtfully. If you don't work hard, you will probably get an A anyways. (He gives As to practically everyone because he's cool). Take his class.
Christina is a gem. You should feel really lucky to have her. I liked her section so much, because she was really good a presenting difficult material in an efficient and interesting manner. She is extremely patient and is always happy to meet with students outside of class. I worked hard for her section, but it definitely paid off, because I learned a ton about 20th Century art. Christina is also just a funny, sweet person, who is fun to be in the same room with.
Professor Buchloh is a remarkable teacher and a very generous one. He approaches art history from a perspective of Marxist critical theory, which can seem severe and intimidating at times, but it's really quite rooted in humanism, in a question of how art can benefit or harm society. I absolutely understand the complaints about his lectures being filled with a vocabulary that can be difficult to understand, but it's not the kind of professorial speech that superfluous or decadent. His concepts are complex, but they're not at all irrelevant or overly interested in the formal aspects of art that can seem irrelevant. I suggest writing down everything he says and then asking TAs or other students or Buchloh himself what a word or a phrase means. I have heard mixed things about the TAs (although mine have been intelligent and helpful) but Buchloh himself is consistently generous in office hours, whether you're totally confused or you understand the material and want to ask a follow-up question. He seems quite committed to not being remote and to making sure that undergraduates really do have a grasp on what he teaches
melanie is intimidating, intelligent, unexcitable, eloquent, and often frightening. and i'm an art history major. i can't imagine what she must have been like for those in the section who were just taking their first art history class-- but then again, her section added so much to my understanding of buchloh's lectures that it may have been the first art history class that actually really mattered for me, too. don't be scared of her, because that would be a shame; just suck it up when you say something stupid and don't worry, keep trying. she's not insulting you, she's trying to help you. you might even get her to be sort of friendly by the end, kind of. and that she only wears shades of black and grey? gosh, i kind of miss her.
Rachel is fabulous! What a great T.A. I had her for two sections, both of which handled fairly challenging subjects, and she was incredibly helpful at clarifying the themes of the lectures and readings (esp. Benjamin Buchloch's jargon). She is also hilarious and enviably hip. If she is TA-ing your class, try to get into her section- it's a smooth move.
took the class with her three years ago. I am writing this so that all of you who don't realize how lucky you will be to sit through her so-called 'hodegpodge' will do so. Take her course come spring; she's amazing and hilarious.
Yeah she's a bitch, but unless you are a grad student she won't even have time to put you down. Otherwise she's writes brilliantly, teaches a little less brilliantly and is deadpan funny on occasion. I fell asleep in some of her classes but I'd take her class again given all that I know now about her.
This professor is remarkable. Even though his first couple lectures seem incomprehensible to the average art history dilletante and above average art history major, one eventually gets over his haughty Teutonic affectation of Parisian French and the constant barrage of art historical terms that he throws at you in his lecture because 1) heÂ’s infinitely smarter than you 2) one lecture in his course is infinitely more rewarding than an entire semester worth of almost any class at Columbia (and in my case, four years of economics). HeÂ’s an artistic tour de force: he digresses as lecture, maligns French names with an undeniably Buchlohian patois, makes overly sophisticated art history rejoinders, and even inserts the occasional polemic against mass culture. If youÂ’re expecting a survey course that will allow you to get by at the MoMa, seek elsewhere; however, if youÂ’re looking for a course that will allow to eloquently bulls**t in a Kurt Schwitters independent gallery exhibition, youÂ’ve found youÂ’re course. Highly suggested: Find a TA that can (patiently) explain some of the theories and terms that Buchloh covers in his lecture.
Thank God for Abigail... I doubt I'd have done as well as I did in Buchloh's 20th Century Art class otherwise. She was my TA for this class and will be teaching Art Hum starting in Fall 2003... if you're placed in her Art Hum section, consider yourself blessed. Abigail is kind, understanding, down-to-earth and overall a very cool person. Don't be fooled by the friendly exterior, though! This is a girl who REALLY knows her art history... but there's not a trace of pretension to be found anywhere.
Oh, Buchloh. I disagree with the horrendously negative CULPA review on him... like many Columbia profs, he's chock-full of experience, brilliance, and pretension but comes off as a bad teacher because his lectures are so difficult to understand. I gave up on taking notes during class about halfway through the course and found that I enjoyed audibly absorbing the material far more than I did scrambling to record each twelve-syllable word that came out of his mouth. Thankfully, lecture notes weren't really needed because my TA did a wonderful job of decoding Buchloh-talk for us and compressing his endless lectures into a list of essential concepts we needed to know. About that: your TA will make or break the course for you; he/she grades your papers and exams, so if you get one who's nitpicky about details, watch out. (Don't worry; most of them were friendly, patient, and understanding, having taken the course themselves as undergrad Art History majors at Columbia and Barnard). We barely got through half of the syllabus this semester, but still got a lot out of the class. Be prepared to spend a lot of time untangling Saussurean semiotic theory, too. Buchloh himself can be quite a riot ("This next painting is... well, this painting is utter crap, don't you think? It's not even worth talking about. Ugh, next slide, please."); his dry humor comes out at the most random times, and when it does, he seems so pleased to find that the class is still awake, listening, and laughing at something HE said. Aww.
Abigail Susik is a fabulous T.A. Not only does she have a genuine interest in your opinions, but she also perfectly decodes all that goes on during Buchloh's lectures. She is extremely knowledgeable and will soon be teaching Art Hum. Snag her if you can.
(if you haven't read the negative review of Buchloh, this review will make little sense.) Ok, this is a matter of being truthful. The horribly negative review on Buchloh is just so unbelievably exaggerated. Yes, the lectures have the occasional jargon words, but if you have read any art history at all, you know you are going to be faced with some jargon from time to time. Jargon just comes with the territory. It doesn't mean that that's all there is. As for making up terms. Philosophers and Art Historians do this frequently. Buchloh doesn't fling these words around. They're relatively established art historical words. To the reviewer: read a book. As for the quote this person uses? He basically took fragments from different classes and pieced them together to make no sense at all. I believe the linguistic fragmentation refers to Surrealist traditions, while the part on dismantling verticality has to do with Krauss's essay on Pollock. And as for Divisionism, that's something Seurat developed...in the 1900s. Also, Buchloh has always been open to new perspectives in class. He asked us questions in the beginning of the year, but no one ever offered a perspective. Therefore there was no room to get rejected. Buchloh did not once reject a question or perspective in class. I have spoken to him one on one and he was actually open to my perspective that I gave him on one of his recent essays. So he guides the class in his own direction. At least he has a passion for what he teaches. (It's quite clear that Buchloh really loves the material, and he wants you to love it too) Saying that he is a Marxist is really stretching it, but yes, Buchloh is selective at times. I was quite offended when he looked over De Kooning in one lecture, but hey, so it goes. So he didn't mention Dali....To be honest, Dali kinda sucks, and he wasn't really that successful in the context of Surrealism. Miro did a much better job, hence his concentration on him instead of Dali. Six or Seven lectures on Dada?? Oh c'mon. Buchloh didn't spend that much time on anything. He always wanted to get so in depth, but there was never enough time. This is my biggest criticism of Buchloh. He cannot manage time at all. We didn't get past Minimalism, which was a huge disappointment. This isn't some brief survey course where they give all the movements everywhere in the world. Buchloh focuses in on Europe because that's where the most exciting things were happening. Even the reviewer gave no example of influential modernism from other parts of the world. I'm sorry that this person had a bad TA, my TA was great. She had her own views, didn't like certain articles, and helped us out all the time when necessary. I wish she wouldn't been a little more secure with her views, considering she knew the material extremely well, but oh well. I highly recommend this class. I'm no drone to Buchloh, he definitely has his faults, but he is a true resource at this University and he's a good guy.
I felt compelled to write a review after reading the overwhelmingly negative one that was recently posted. While Buchloh of course has his faults--like any professor--many of the claims made by the recent reviewer are completely unfounded. It's a pity that many students may choose not to take this enjoyable and stimulating class based on the review of someone who apparently has been placed with a narrow-minded TA. (Also a pity that our overall impression of large classes such as these is so strongly affected by the way our TAs grade papers...) "Obnoxiously boring" lectures? I laugh out loud several times a class. Sure, his humor is dry, but it's still pretty damn funny. It's true that his lectures are somewhat convoluted, but it's pretty simple to get the idea of what he saying, which is usually quite interesting. These claims of him teaching from an exclusively Marxist perspective, not mentioning Dali, and being obsessed with Dada are strongly exaggerated. Yes, he does teach from a Marxist perspective--most profs who are passionate about their work indicate their perspectives when teachingÂ—but the Marxism is not nearly as consuming as the reviewer claims. Buchloh mentioned Dali, he just didn't spend a huge portion of the lecture on him. Get over it. Perhaps Dada was covered in a bit more detail than other topics, but this doesn't merit the reviewer's claim of Buchloh's "obsession." As a non-art history major, I felt like I learned an extraordinary amount about the art and social history of the twentieth century. I highly recommend the class to anyone with those interestsÂ—art history major (based on what I have heard from many art history majors in the class) or not.
Some kids hate him, some kids hurry to sign up for ANY course he'll teach. Personally, I think if you have any interest whatsover in 20th century art you should stay the hell away from this class. Buchloh's lectures are obnoxiously boring, COMPLETELY full of jargon (I once asked another art history professor what a word he used meant, and she looked at me and said simply: "That isn't a word. It's not a real term. He said that? Well, he made it up"). Just an example of my notes from that class: "-complete breakdown of analytical surface, linguistic fragmentation that dismantles verticality through divisionist technique; nonmimetic construction according to different logic that ruptures/accelerates the system" Right. His lectures are mostly bullshit, he interprets art through an almost exclusively Marxist perspective (if you dare propose that a piece of artwork is not directly responding to the alienated condition of man as a result of industrialization you will be immediately shot down). This narrow view leaves no room for any of your OWN interpretation at all, and it's so narrowminded that it becomes frustrating to no end. Buchloh is also extremely self-important, constantly referring to his own writing and other famous art historians which he bashes relentlessly for their problems. Worst of all, he refuses to teach any artist that does not address the condition of alienated labor or some other purely Marxist view on the effects of urbanization. He bashes any artist who paints members of the upper class (Renoir, Degas, Rodin, etc) and will not mention them at all. He even taught an entire lecture on surrealism without mentioning Salvador Dali. This guy is OBSESSED with German/Russian Avant-Guarde artists, so if you're not a fan of dada, RUN. He spent a good six or seven lectures on those. Also, this is NOT a 20th century art class--this is a course in modern art. The class begins in 1850, and right now it's the second week of April and we haven't even reached the 1920s. He becomes dreadfully behind in his lecture schedule. Moreover, as a modern art class, anything he doesn't perceive as "modern" (see above examples) no matter how significant or influencial he refuses to deal with. If you have any interest in what's going on in parts of the world OTHER than Germany, France, and Russia, god help you because he is completely Eurocentric. My TA, Nadja, was even worse. She's a complete drone to him, totally believes in his word as gospel, and thinks you're a total turd unless you repeat his ideas back to her. Will assign mammoth amounts of extra reading (70 page articles), and give you a B+ if you barf up everything you ever heard in lecture. A total waste of intellectual time and energy. If you have any self respect you'll formulate your own opinions on Modern art and leave the obnoxiously controversial stuff to Buchloh and his followers. On a positive note, Buchloh seems like a nice guy. I hear he's really easy to approach and talk to. What I found truly unbearable was his narrowminded view of the art he dealt with, as well as his refusal to teach anything that can't be interepreted in a Marxist way. Also, in the second week of April, he's only mentioned ONE female artist, and not a single black/asian one. When asked about it, he said "Oh, well none of the women impressionists/ primitivists/ etc were worth mentioning." Ick.
Give me a break. Rosalind Krauss' 20th century survey course is a joke. Her lectures consist of a hodgepodge of extremely confusing and arcane arguments taken from essays she wrote 20 years ago. Even the TAs can't make sense of what she's saying..."yeah, I can't really explain why she would say that" was an often heard refrain in our section (sections are mandatory). She's also an unbearable snob, communicating every syllable in a very superior tone of voice, and name drops like it's her job. Scornful of any ideas that conflict with her own, either those proposed by other academics or by students, she is hostile to student questions or disagreements. She doesn't show up to many of the lecture and, when she does, she often lectures for 45 or 50 minutes and then calls it a day. Or fields questions from the audience and subsequently engages in hand-to-hand combat with dissenters. Many hardcore 20th century art students swear she is god...for those of us who aren't already pretentious 20th century art fans, however, the class is unbearable.
Although she is knowledgable, I was bored out of my mind in this class. She writes her lectures out before class and then reads them, which isn't bad, but they just don't flow. She also has this cool German accent, but it means that unless you speak German and French, you're going to have no clue how to spell anything when she uses French and German words. And you don't get the slide lists until the class after the lecture, so you're not so sure which painting you're looking at. She jumps around, and shows about a gazillion images a class that you don't really need to know. I did learn things, and it wasn't the worst class I've ever taken, but I'd avoid it.
Professor Krauss is incredible. Each of her lectures brings me to an intellectual orgasm. Her knowledge of twentieth century art is unfathomable, and she presents it in a captivating manner. This is by far the best course I have taken at Columbia.
Truly the best prof at Columbia. Not only is she brilliant, but her personality and beauty are god-like as well. People like Prof Kiaer are why i came to columbia. Truly a pleasure studying under her.