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Of Fire and Blood: Art-making, Culture and Mythology in Mexico

Semester and Year SP 2014
Course Number ARTS-UG1431
Section 001
Instructor Jaime Arredondo
Days M
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U



A rich landscape of art and culture flourished in Mexico for thousands of years beginning with the Olmec civilization at around the second millennium before Christ. With the arrival of the Spaniards in 1519, a new hybrid culture resulted from the fusion of two different worlds, the Iberian and the Native American: a fusion which continues to exist and grow to the present day. This interdisciplinary workshop closely examines the art, culture and mythology of Mexico, both before and after the conquest, and combines our study of it with hands on art making. The course begins with a brief overview of the major Mexican muralists, Rivera, Orozco, and Siquieros, and American artists who were influenced by them such as Guston, O'Keefe, and Pollock. It then moves chronologically from the Olmec culture occurring 4,000 years ago; Teotihuacan, or the City of the Gods; the Toltecs of Tula, from which emerged Quetzalcoatl the "Feathered Serpent," a figure that inspired art for centuries; the hyper-religious Aztecs; the large and complex Mayan culture; and lastly, the new hybrid art formed by the synthesis of Spanish and Native American cultures. Topics to be covered include: astrology/astronomy; religion and shamanism; mythology; and human sacrifice. Museum trips, slide shows, videos, and the reading of rare texts such as the Popul Vuh are also scheduled.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Arts Workshops (ARTS-UG)