Modern ArtThis course is designed to introduce you to some of the most exciting and challenging art of the past century and a half. Starting with the Impressionist art of the 1870s, and ending with Pop Art in the 1960s, we will take a whistle-stop tour of some of the major art movements associated with the period known as High Modernism, and pause a while to examine some of its leading artists, from Monet and Picasso, to Dali and Warhol.

Not only is study of this period in art history extremely rewarding and enjoyable in itself, but you will end the course with a greater understanding of some most significant works of art to be found in museums and galleries across the world today.

No previous knowledge of art, history, or art history is necessary, and your tutor is an expert at guiding both novices and the more experienced through the - sometimes shocking and sometimes comic - intricacies of modern art.

The course is organised to encourage discussion and debate, whilst also allowing us to explore the historical development of modern art, and the ideas and influences behind the work of artists of this period.

This course will comprise nineteen evening sessions held in the classroom at Imperial College, South Kensington. At the end of the course students will also have the opportunity to attend one Saturday afternoon session at Tate Britain in London, to talk about works of art in front of the real objects. 


1. Impressionism into Post-Impressionism
2. Modern Design: from William Morris to the Bauhaus
3. Secessionism, Anarchism and an Art of Dissent
4. Munch, Ensor and Expressionism
5. From Expressionist Film to Horror Film
6. Matisse and the Wild Beasts
7. Cubism and its Offspring in Art and Design
8. Bloomsbury and Blast! British Modernism before the First World War
9. Herbert Read, The Green Child and British Sculpture in the 1930s


10. Constructivism in Britain and Mainland Europe
11. Dada, Sex and Surrealism
12. Optimism and Austerity in Post-War Art and Design
13. Abstraction in Britain and America
14. From Britain with Love? The Origin and Development of Pop Art
15. Pop, Minimalism and Photorealism in Art and Design
16. The New Sculpture in Britain and America
17. From Dada to Conceptualism
18. Neo-Conceptualism and the Brit Art Generation
19. And now?

About the tutor

Dr Michael Paraskos is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and also teaches art history at the City and Guilds of London School of Art. Michael is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction and has published very widely on art of this period, as well as reviewing exhibitions and novels for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and The Spectator magazine. His novel In Search of Sixpence was published in 2016.

Imperial College undergraduates and postgraduates may, if they wish, acquire 2 ECTS credits after successfully completing their Evening Class. To qualify, a student must attend the classes regularly and pass a test at the end of the second term. Students will be invited to apply in the second term to take the test.

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be sent to the tutor, Dr Michael Paraskos,