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Re: Teaching the merits of abstract art


From: Art Sherwyn (art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 10 2001 - 06:31:38 PST

    In your response to teaching abstract art;
Abstract art has to be experienced to be understood. "It takes one to know one." You must create activities and lessons that explore a myriad of experiences that parallel the individual characteristics of the wide range of abstract styles. The Fauves - expression through intense and rich color, The Cubists - re-inventing objects by manipulating and changing it's shapes, and building composition within the negative shape, The Minimalists - less is more, learning how to take away, and simplifying what's left, The Abstract Expressionists - Creating from gut emotion, Surrealism - placing real objects in unreal situations, Pop Art - taking an object and losing its function and enhancing its form.
    Of course this is very simplified, yet it is the place that I think most of us need to go to initally understand it. Within each of those simple explanations lays miles and miles of lessons and experiences. Just go in and play the game much like an abstract artist creates his/her work, "one step at a time, with no preconception of what the results might be.
Good Luck, Art Sherwyn

----- Original Message -----
  To: ArtsEdNet Talk
  Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 5:46 PM
  Subject: Re: Teaching the merits of abstract art

  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! Examples:
  Kandinsky, Klee, Pollock or the nonobjective artists such as Barnett Newman,
  Ellsworth Kelly or Robert Motherwell. I went to a seminar yesterday with
  other art colleagues and I brought this subject up. And do you know what
  their answer was? Most said they AVOID teaching it!!
  Does anyone else have this problem? What is your approach and/solution?
  Jill (BT) ---