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Mirrors & Screens: The World of Andy Warhol - HOA00014H

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. James Boaden
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module will look at Andy Warhol, one of the most influential artists of the latter half of the twentieth century - both artist and work are instantly recognizable to many people who have never stepped into a gallery. This course will seek to unsettle the fixed idea of Warhol's life and work and find new inroads into the work itself and the critical literature that surrounds it. We will examine works from throughout the artist's career including early illustrative pieces, his famous silkscreens, the rarely seen films, his magazine Interview, his autobiographical books and his work as a producer of The Velvet Underground. We will look at the effect of adopting mass production methods to the making of art, and the interplay with popular culture. We will examine a number of themes within the work such as violence, celebrity, mourning and consumerism. Warhol's work will be seen in the context of that of his contemporaries - particular attention will be paid to Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Le Monte Young, John Cage, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring amongst others. We will also examine the artist's influence on a number of contemporary artists including Elizabeth Peyton, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons and Nan Goldin. Seminars will vary from presentations, discussion of texts and screenings and exhibition visits.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should:

  • Be able to address the work of Andy Warhol in relation to that of his artistic peers and the broader socio-historical situation in which it was created.
  • Be able to think critically about the uses of biography and anecdotal histories for looking at artists production and the reception of their work.
  • Have acquired knowledge of the techniques used in making Andy Warhol's work.
  • Be able to account for the influence of Warhol's work in that of a number of contemporary artists.
  • Have acquired familiarity with a range of critical, historical and analytical texts dealing with postmodernism.


Task Length % of module mark
Assessed Essays: two 2,000 word essays
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Assessed Essays: two 2,000 word essays
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive feedback on their formative work within one week.

Students will receive feedback on their summative work within 20 working days.

Indicative reading

  • Annette Michelson (ed.), Andy Warhol, October Files no. 2, MIT Press, 2001 (if you buy one book buy this one).
  • Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett, Popism: The Warhol Sixties, Penguin, 2007 (lots of earlier editions)
  • Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again, Penguin, 2007 (lots of other editions since 1975)
  • Thomas Crow, The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Age of Dissent, Everyman, (1996), 2005.
  • Steven Madoff (ed), Pop Art: A Critical History, California Press, 1996.
  • Lucy Lippard, Pop Art, Thames and Hudson, 1967.
  • Paul Schimmel et al, Hand Painted Pop: American Art in Transition: 1955-1962, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, 1992.
  • William H Chafe, The Unfinished Journey: America Since World War Two, Oxford University Press, (1986)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.