Worst class i've taken at UCLA, if you aren't required to take this class because you are an art major...DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. i literally learned about modern art from 1900-1920 for 10 weeks. the lectures were long (3 hrs of hell) and boring as heck. They should call this class 'modern bullshitting'. This is a 3 part year long class but you can take 31A to fulfill the performing and visual arts GE. I'm so bummed that I wasted that GE on this class, there are WAY better options out there. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.
His lectures are incredibly boring and long; its almost impossible to stay awake, even though the subject matter is really interesting. He gave us no idea whatsoever what was going to be on tests, and no direction at all on the essay, but he ended up grading both the essays and tests really easy, but I spent a lot of time stressing before I found out my grade. Easy overall, but only because he curves. I got a D- on the test, but he curved it up to an A-.
A lot of people will complain about the modernism series. That does not, however, mean that Jan Tumlir is a bad professor, and that the courses are not interesting. If you make the conscious effort to be interested, the classes are an intellectual challenge. Jan is an dazzlingly intelligent man. Moreover, he has a deep knowledge about art history, and the words he uses to describe them are eloquent and even artful in their own right. He can speak, and speak, and speak, but if you're tuned in you'll be so impressed, as I was, with the way that words drip off of his tongue. You're listening to a brilliant book of prose, but you must piece together and organize the ideas yourself to wrap your head around the concepts. Take detailed notes, stay involved, and stay intrigued.