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Lesson Plans

Re: teaching contemporary art

From: Henry Taylor (taylorh)
Date: Wed Jul 19 2000 - 08:26:42 PDT

  • Next message: Jhirunrtx: "reply about supplies"

    > Daceballos writes:
    > > They just don't get Kandinsky or Diebenkorn, much less the
    > > art shown at the recent Brooklyn Museum "Sensations" show
    like Ofili's
    > > Madonna.
    > I have been teaching high school for about 29 years and I have
    > included nonobjective art and abstractions to my students. I
    will agree that
    > they resist it at first because they don't know how to look at
    it and
    > evaluate it's worth.

    Kandinsky, it is said, was turned on to the abstract when he was
    entranced by what he saw when encountered one of his own
    paintings in his studio leaned against a wall and not

    This rings true for me too. In making realistic art I frequently
    get caught up in the interesting juxtaposition between shape and
    color whether in the scene I am attempting to reproduce or in a
    small section of a painting or drawing. Like Kandinsky I have
    also encountered images that I did not immediately recognize but
    enjoyed simply for the pattern they presented.

    It might be useful to have students go back through their
    portfolios to find an interesting little area in a work which
    they could take and enlarge; Or maybe find a similarly
    interesting square inch in a magazine photograph or advertisement
    to enlarge and elaborate on.

    FWIW not all abstract - non-representational art is intellectual,
    meaningful, or even intended for analytical experience. Once
    medieval Monks approached the visage of flowers and herbs to
    discover their supposedly inherent religious message in the same
    scholastic way that contemporary art critics manage to
    analytically uncover intellectual meaning and entertainment.



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