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Lesson Plans

Picasso... and social reform in art education

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Daniella Ramos Barroqueiro (barroque)
Fri, 1 Mar 1996 22:13:38 -0600


What a wonderful way to teach Picasso! That is definately the way it SHOULD
be taught. Perhaps if my Picasso lessons were brimming with content like
the one you describe, I would not be reconsidering my approaches to art
And, yes I would agree that the issues you address in this lesson would
qualify as issues relating to social reform War and outrage against Fascism
are certainly weighty topics of discussion in an art class, or in any

(Presently, I am teaching VERY young children. I am working on ways to
tailor some of these "grown-up" ideas to a young audience.)

I must also keep in mind that what might be considered "old hat" to me, may
be something fresh and new to my students. But there is so much going on
right now in the art world; people's idea of what art is seems to changing
drastically. I think it would be exciting to expose students to the
cutting edge of Contemorary Art - as long as it was appropriate to do so. I
guess that would mean...
"Rated G" contemporary art. (As you know, so much of it these days,is not.)

In addition to learning about new art, and going beyond a formalist
approach to art education, I would like to try to expand my choices beyond
Janson's "History of Western Art" to the less visible, under-represented
artists and cultures. First, I need to take some time to learn more about
them, myself, then I may proceed. I suspect that this will be a long
process but, I am at the beginning of my career so I do have time to
rearrange my methods and aquire new knowledge to pass on to my
students...Anyway, I thank you for your imput. I enjoyed hearing about your
University of Illinois

Debbie wrote:

In response to"Should we teach social reform?, or stick to what we know..."
It is interesting that you chose Picasso in terms of"old hat" what we know
curricula. When I teach Picasso, as with GUERNICA his work is introduced in
terms of the larger theme of a "Humankind's Reaction to War". His
monumental work was a gut level scream of outrage against Fascism and
modern war...indiscriminate slaughter of women and children.....! This
response by an artist, and our views of his work today, are certainly
issues worth studying, and yes...we can dare call it social reform! In a
production activity examining the pure outrage Picasso must have felt, I
might ask students to explore a social issue that moves them
emotionally...either to anger, tears, horror..etc..and why? Then respond to
that issue visually, with a variety of media to choose from, and lack of
restriction to size requirements. It would be interesting to see what
students get "fired up " about. Does this not address the issue you
mentioned, and does not art express it in a way no other medium can? We
MUST remember WHY most art was created, and not forget that it is still a
powerful form of communication!