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Lesson Plans

Re: contemporary art/aesthetics

From: Yvette Lewis (yvlewis)
Date: Sat Jul 22 2000 - 07:06:29 PDT

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    > As an artist I create art to express things which I cannot
    > adequately put into words. If you scan my work what you will have
    > at best is a poetic work of your own device with my work as your
    > subject. Potentially we would have two separate and distinct
    > works of art!

    Henry, this I totally agree with. It is two works of art. At the same time I
    don't think that the verbal art of talking about or expressing ideas about
    art lessens the art. If it does then there was nothing there to express. It
    is not a war between visual and verbal, right and left side of the brain.

     When we scan a non-western or pre-renaissance work we,
    > in effect, describe a new, western, post-renaissance work which
    > would be unrecognizable to a person/artist of its time and place
    > of origin.
    Absolutely true, but is it posible that the experiecne of looking and
    appreciating the work from cultures and times not our own brings us to an
    understanding and a place of recognition of the commonality of the art
    expereince. Words describe the experience. If I just look at the work
    without words how can I convey that experience to another. I could create
    another work of art but that still doesn't bring the immediate connection of
    two people discussing an idea.

        What makes our familiar and favorite principles and elements the
    > appropriate ones? What are we missing by not knowing the
    > alternative values and relationships possible for art.

    That is what we have to bring to the classroom. There is not just one way to
    discuss or view or experience art. But to dismiss the words and the tools
    that we do have is to do a disservice to the students that are more verbal
    and do experience the world through that window.

    The discussion is an interesting one. Your writing is very articulate. Your
    words help me, the listener , to understand the concepts and experience
    better. It's not the elements or the principals that are so important it is
    the sharing of an experience with the words that are available to us.

    Once with 4th graders I was discussing shapes and patterns. I showed them a
    variety of images from Pueblo pottery to Mondrian. At the Mondrian, a
    student from the back of the room said, "look, if you go through the white
    square you can turn and go behind the blue square." That is the aesthetic
    experience in words. Then we all could follow and move in and out of the



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