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CODE 72641
SEMESTER 2° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:


Beginning with the experience of the historical vanguard at the beginning of the 20th century, the course retraces the technical and conceptual evolution of sculpture, highlighting continuity with more recent artistic events and aims to give students the critical and methodological tools to tackle the new processuality, new materials and new relations with the 20th century sculpture space.



The course aims to give students the critical and methodological tools to tackle a central issue of 20th century history of art, that is the technical and conceptual evolution of sculpture, highlighting continuity with more recent artistic events: in a progression that goes from the historical vanguard to current experiences, sculpture proposes new processualities, materials and relations with space, widely involving both painting and architecture in an ever narrower interrelation among arts. These innovations are analysed also in relation to the complex procedures of documentation, conservation and restoration that contemporary sculpture often requires.


The course aims to provide students with the notions and methodological tools necessary for the correct analysis and understanding of the evolution of sculpture from the 19th century to the present day.

At the end of the course, students will have to be able to illustrate the lines of development of 20th and 21st century sculpture in a timely manner and with an appropriate vocabulary, and to critically interpret the works in relation to their historical and cultural context; they will have to demonstrate that they have acquired the critical and methodological tools necessary to deal with the new processes, new materials and new relationships with space brought about by 20th century sculpture; they will have to be able to identify the crucial steps in the evolution of the concept of sculpture, from a three-dimensional object to an intervention in exhibition, museum, natural and urban spaces;  must be aware of the problems (documentary, conservation and exhibition design) connected with the question of the polymatericity and multimediality of the sculptural object and installation; must be able to autonomously construct paths of meaning, in both thematic and problematic terms, between the various lines of contemporary sculpture and architecture; must be able to orient themselves among the most recent declinations of the problematic of the interrelation between the arts; must present a written paper in which they must demonstrate that they know how to select themes and problems suitable for in-depth study, identify the appropriate sources, construct a bibliography of reference, and argue in an original manner and with propriety of language the theme they have chosen to examine.


Sound knowledge of the evolution of 20th century art and the methodological tools of the discipline.


Lectures are structured with the support of multimedia material and designed to encourage discussion on the topics addressed.

Classes are held in person. Attendance, although not compulsory, is recommended. No remote learning is available for this course.


Evolution and problems of twentieth-century sculpture, with particular attention to the innovations introduced by the avant-gardes of the second half of the twentieth century and their current outcomes; during the course, some elements of the history of contemporary architecture will be provided, with particular reference to the most recent trends in museum architecture.

Thematic Insight: Border Art. an artistic genre that allows to reason about the different declinations of the concept of border, from geo-political and territorial to identity, cultural and gender ones. A cross-analysis is proposed that, starting from the works, protagonists and languages of this expressive sphere, also highlights the main methods, tools and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the phenomenon of borders and frontiers. In addition to demonstrating knowledge of the contents of the course and the visual sphere relating to borders, the student will therefore also acquire critical skills and language properties pertaining to this field of study.

The syllabus is the same for both attending and nonattending students 


R. KRAUSS, Passaggi. Storia della scultura da Rodin alla Land Art, Bruno Mondadori, Milano 1998.

F. POLI, La scultura del Novecento, Laterza, Bari 2006.

For the thematic insight on  Border Art

A-L. AMILHAT SZARY, Walls and border art: the politics of art display, in “Journal of Borderlands Studies” 27 (2), pp. 213-228, 2012.

C. GIUDICE CRISTINA, C. GIUBILARO, Re-Imagining the Border: Border Art as a Space of Critical Imagination and Creative Resistance, in “Geopolitics” 20 (1), pp. 79–94, 2015.

A. MASALA, "What kind of dirt do you need?" Da San Diego e Tijuana a Venezia: Border Art oltre i confini, in S. PORTINARI, N. STRINGA, Storie della Biennale di Venezia, Ed. Ca' Foscari, 2019, 

- the reading the following essays in also recommanded (OPTIONAL):

G. ANZALDÚA, Borderlands La Frontera The New Mestiza, Aunt Luke Books, San Francisco (CA) 1987, capitoli I-II. 

J-A BERELOWITZ, Border Art Since 1965, in Postborder City. Cultural Spaces of Bajalta California, edited by Michael Dear, Gustavo Leclerc, Routledge, New York (NY), 2003, pp. 143-181.

N. SHEREN ILA, Portable Borders. Performance Art and Politics on the U.S. Frontera since 1984, University of Texas Press, Austin (TX), 2015.

Non-attending students must supplement the examination programme with the study of the following essay:

J. E. YOUNG, The Counter-Monument: Memory against Itself in Germany Today, in "Critical Inquiry", vol. 18, n. 2. 1992, pp. 267-296.

The texts indicated may be subject to changes or additions; it is therefore advisable to wait for the start of the lectures and the presentation of the programme by the lecturer before purchasing or borrowing.


Exam Board


PAOLA VALENTI (President and Coordinator of Integrated Course)

LEO LECCI (President Substitute)


ANDREA MASALA (Substitute)



17 April 2023

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



oral exam


The examination will take place in oral form; an in-depth study will be required, to be presented at the examination in the form of a thesis accompanied by images, notes and specific bibliographical indications, on a topic dealt with in the course (the editorial standards to be followed in writing the paper will be uploaded on the Aulaweb).

N.B. The written paper constitutes an integral part of the examination and of the student's assessment: the motivations underlying the choice of topic, the ability to organise the discourse, the originality of the treatment and critical points, the quality of the sources used and the bibliographical references, the correctness and clarity of the presentation will all be taken into account.

Lecture materials will be made available to all enrolled students at the end of the course and uploaded to Aulaweb.

Exam schedule

Data appello Orario Luogo Degree type Note
24/01/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
07/02/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
09/05/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
13/06/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
27/06/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
11/07/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
12/09/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale


L'elaborato dovrà essere inviato per posta elettronica alla docente e agli assistenti, dottor Alessandro Ferraro ( e Andrea Masala ( almeno 10 giorni prima della data in cui si intende sostenere l'esame e dovrà poi essere presentato all'appello in forma cartacea.