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Thursdays, June 8 – June 29, 1 – 3pm


Wassily Kandinsky. Red Square (detail), 1916. © 2023 DeA Picture Library / Art Resource, NY

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

The Russian avant-garde movement was responsible for major shifts in visual art, thanks to now-iconic artists like Popova, Kandinsky, Chagall, and Malevich. Explore the origins of abstract art in Europe, and learn how these artists spearheaded advances in abstraction, conceptual architecture, photomontage, experimental film, and textile design, as well as within the government buildings and state-backed war memorials that characterize the era.

This course will shed light on these canonized artists and introduce other key players who are not as well known. Highlights from painting, architecture, sculpture, photography, and film across movements like abstraction, suprematism, futurism, and constructivism will be examined in close detail, using deep-zoom technology that allows you to get up close to art in ways that can’t be done in person. Students will come away with a revised and rethought narrative around the Russian avant-garde, the innovations that led to its renown, and the artists—both established and underrepresented—whose important work defines the incredibly and diversely productive artistic era.

The class is online-only. More about online classes.

Barnes classes will:

  • Increase your understanding of art-related concepts.
  • Increase the ways you think critically about art.
  • Improve your ability to communicate about art.
  • Deepen your appreciation for cultures and histories outside your own.

Wassily Kandinsky. Red Square, 1916. © 2023 DeA Picture Library / Art Resource, NY


Joseph Tokumasu Field

Tokumasu Field earned his MA in curating at Richmond University, London, and specializes in modern, contemporary, and Asian art. He has taught at Brooklyn College, the 92nd Street Y, the Isamu Noguchi Foundation, and the Guggenheim Museum, all in New York. He works to provide access to art for all, highlighting marginalized artists and centering people over objects in his teaching practice.

Art in Context

Art in Context courses connect works of art to history: What was happening politically, socially, and culturally at the time a piece was made? How did these circumstances shape the artist’s formal choices?

Recent Barnes Class Testimonials

“[The] professor was highly engaging, facilitated excellent discussions, and [was] very knowledgeable. I learned a lot about teaching art history from watching her.” Course: Matisse and Picasso with Martha Lucy

“Every single second of the course was a productive, valuable, and interesting use of my time. The instructor's enthusiasm and reference to outside resources sparked a greater interest in me as a learner and resulted in me exploring even more on my own. I couldn't have enjoyed the experience more.” Course: Salvador Dalí: Surrealism and Beyond with Jonathan Wallis

“I am not an artist and prior to this course I had not thought about what an artist might be 'thinking,' as opposed to 'feeling.' I loved this course and plan to immerse myself in color theory.” Course: Visualizing Memory with Lucas Kelly

“This course is equal to or exceeds art history courses I have taken at several major universities in terms of syllabus and quality of instruction.” Course: The School of Paris with Joseph Tokumasu Field