The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture

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fall 2008

ARC 368R:
Four Masters of Modernism: Le Corbusier, Stravinsky, Picasso, Balanchine

Richard Cleary


Architecture students must have completed the introductory history sequence. Students from other units of the university may enroll with the consent of the instructor.


Pablo Picasso, George Balanchine, Igor Stravinsky, and Le Corbusier are inextricably identified with the concept of modernism in their respective fields of painting and sculpture, ballet, music, and architecture. This course introduces students to representative works by these masters and offers approaches for analyzing them. The study of individual artists and works will be linked by the broad theme of innovation and tradition in artistic creativity.

Educational Objectives

Understand principles underlying the works of Le Corbusier, Balanchine, Picasso, and Stravinsky; develop approaches for criticism of various art forms; sharpen skills for critical reading and analysis in unfamiliar subject areas; improve writing skills.


Assignments will include a series of position papers of about three pages in length responding to selected readings and four papers of about seven pages in length analyzing works by or themes pertaining to each artist. One paper may be replaced by a project in another medium.

Texts (subject to change)

  • Howard Gardner, Creating Minds (New York: Basic Books, 1994).
  • Michael Oliver, Igor Stravinsky (London: Phaidon, 1995).
  • Roland Penrose, Picasso: His Life and Work (Berkeley: University of California, 1983).
  • Igor Stravinsky, Autobiography (New York: Norton, 1998).
  • Bernard Taper, Balanchine: A Biography (Berkeley: University of California, 1996).