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Artists at 20th Century Intersections – Contexts of Society, Economy and Politics


Admission requirements

Lectures will be held in English. Reading skills also in German are required.


The course focuses on selected artists from the 20th century and aims to look at art as a complex structure, which always evolves in the context of society, economy and politics. Selected topics:

  • Gustav Klimt and Viennese Modernism

  • Adolf Loos: „Ornament and Crime“

  • Viennese Kineticism and Erika Giovanna Klien: „Degenerate Art“ and Culture Politics of German Nationalsozialismus

  • Oskar Kokoschka’s Political Allegories of WW II

  • Futurism and Italian Fascism

  • Socialist Realism in the Communist Countries

  • Andy Warhol and Consumer Culture

  • Niki de Saint-Phalle and early Feminism

  • Joseph Beuys: „Soziale Plastik“

  • Cindy Sherman and the New Media

  • Damien Hirst and Neoliberalism


See timetable History

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Written exam, several questions to be answered in essay form


Reading list

  • David Hopkins, After Modern Art: 1945-2000 (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2000)

  • Verena Krieger, Was ist ein Künstler? Genie – Heilsbringer – Antikünstler(Köln: Deubner Verlag 2007)


Via uSis

Contact information

Prof. dr. Patrick Werkner (Universität für angewandte Kunst, Wenen)


Lectures will be held in English. Reading skills also in German are required.