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Re: Teaching the merits of abstract art


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 09 2001 - 19:25:33 PST wrote:
> > I find it very difficult to teach abstract art history to kids. It's easy to
> teach the kids about the Impressionists as well as the traditional stuff, but
> abstract...I always get the weird comments from the kids! <snip>
> Does anyone else have this problem? What is your approach and/solution?

My students had the same reaction when I first started teaching about
abstract and nonobjective art. I discovered that if I taught them WHY
and HOW artists create these works, they could gain at least an
understanding of it, and apply the principles to their own work. I used
a series of slides of Mondrian's work, from realistic to nonobjective,
to demonstrate how artists don't just wake up one day and start painting
like that; most arrive at it gradually, through exploration. The
students, as they begin their own explorations, realize that it takes
insight and skill to create abstract and nonobjective work.

I've presented this lesson at NAEA several times. If you'd like, I
could send you the handout.