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Lesson Plans


Re: Cubism - LONG post

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Lisa Allen (allen.279)
Thu, 26 Mar 1998 01:26:54 -0500


Toulouse95 wrote:
>
> Lisa,
>
> This is more than you asked for, but I hope it will be of some use to you. I
> am including several posts I have saved about Cubism and Picasso for the past
> couple of years from this listserv. I will resend them to you as attachments
> if you would like. Many folks I have tried sending things to couldn't open
> them, though. (I use Microsoft Word files). I hate you lose all of the
> formatting, though, when I cut them to the e-mail file below.
>
> Good luck getting through school.
> Mary Jane
>
> CUBISM
>
> Cubism is a style of art pioneered in the early 20th century by Pablo Picasso
> and Georges Braque. In the most developed form of Cubism, forms are fragmented
> into planes or geometric facets, like the facets in a diamond; these planes
> are rearranged to foster a pictorial, but not naturalistic, reality; forms may
> be viewed simultaneously from several vantage points; figure and background
> have equal importance; and colors are deliberately restricted to a range of
> neutrals. Both Picasso and Braque artists were strongly influenced by the late
> works of Paul Cezanne and by Cezanneís idea that natural forms could be
> reduced to geometric solids -- the cube, the cone, the sphere and the
> cylinder.
>
> Cubism seems to have been another step toward abstraction or non-objectivity.
> It followed the contributions of assorted Post Impressionists and
> Impressionist artists. The influences of flat and decorative Japanese woodcut
> prints, stylized African ritual objects such as masks and the effects which
> the invention of the camera had upon the traditional role of realism in the
> visual art of the Western World are well documented. All of these were working
> to encourage change and innovation. As a result the tendency to reject Western
> tradition in favor of abstraction (or concerns of form rather then subject
> matter) were in the air in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Cubism was only one
> of several movements which were to take us into this century, with
> revolutionary changes in the visual arts.
>
> Some design devices of cubism involve:
> 1. "Multiple points of view" in the same picture plane.
> 2. "Shared edges" where the outside line of one shape also defines a second
> shape, sometimes inverted, so that negative and positive spaces are determined
> by your choice of dominant shape.
> 3. "Part for whole" where only parts of objects are defined and your mind
> fills in the rest of the object so it exists as a force or presence in the
> composition without being presented as complete.
> 4. "Continuity of line" where a line may be used to define the edge of a
> dominant shape but then extend on out beyond the edge of that shape to lock in
> and suggest the separation of the adjoining negative area into other parts.
> This has the effect of creating a unity between the positive and negative
> areas of the composition.
> 5. "Transparent planes" where one object can be seen through or drawn into
> another object. This device also adds to the unity of the formal composition.
> 6. A restricted, flat, "closet like" space which forces our attention to the
> surface of the composition.
> 7. Limited or "restricted color" which again forced attention to the surfaces
> of the composition where line, value and shape carried the composition.
> 8. Traditional spatial devices to aid in a sense of realism were rejected by
> the cubists [such as a perspective of color (warm expands while cool recedes),
> relative size, linear perspective, and atmospheric (aerial perspective)].
> Instead, the Cubists chose to overlap and the occasional use of vertical
> placement to suggest a very limited sense of depth in most of their work.
>
> Subj: Re: Re: Sculpture ideas
> Date: 97-05-25 08:13:08 EDT
> From: jenni
> We made jugs for Picasso with 13 year olds. First careful drawings of still
> life forms. Studied Picasso's various styles, tribal art, cubism, etc., using
> discarded plastic containers, bits of card and scrumpled up paper added to
> create forms - covered with strips of newspaper & paper
> paste, finished with white paper and painted. email: me for details.
>
> I had lots of emails to my Jugs for Picasso suggestion, its my first venture
> onto the Web and I was excited by the response. Im on holiday til June 2,
> photos and examples of pupils research work are at school, Ill find out if I
> can put these on a Webpage. A good starting point was a video of Picasso, this
> holds pupils attention when broken down into sections, and gives a good
> flavour of his life & loves. We also made chess pieces for Picasso which hook
> the less domesticated kids, taking into account the character of the pieces.
> Ultimately, I would like to make a Banquet for Picasso. Keep in touch, Jenni.
>
> CUBISM
> Subj: Re: cubism lesson
> From: rfromme (Robert Alexander Fromme)
> For the cubism lesson, I expect my high school students to first listen to my
> slide lecture on cubism. Next, for the project, I give the kids scissors,
> black and white construction paper( 18" x24"), charcoal, chalk and markers. I
> then ask them to try to cut, paste and draw a collage composition using as
> many of the cubists decorative devices as they can put in their compositions.
> After the lecture and slides, I post a list of the devices on the chalk board
> so that they can refer back to them and talk to one another about them as they
> try to get as many of the visual things going on in the space as possible. I
> also have some simple drawing of the devices which I use as handouts to help
> them look at the visual images as they struggle with the concepts. They can
> not copy the exact subject on the handouts but they are quick to adapt and
> invent from the examples. The kids begin the project frustrated and flying by
> the seat of their pants and end up with some very interesting compositions.
> There is usually a bit of learning along the way.
>
> I grade the works by 30% possible craftsmanship points, 30% possible
> innovation points and 30% counting the number of devices that they can point
> to and name from their own finished works. Here are some details of the lesson
> lecture/project:
>
> Stage 1. I show some slides which deal with the "seeds for the ideas which
> helped to bring about Cubism". These assorted glimpses show up in Early
> Renaissance Painting, in work by Degas, Seurat, Corot, Cezanne, Matisse, and
> in African sculpture, to mention a few places where you can see the
> simplification of form and an inventive freedom with natural volumes.
>
> Stage 2. I think it is important to talk briefly about the changes which were
> underway as Picasso and Braque were learning their craft. There were
> contributions of assorted Post Impressionists and Impressionist artists
> brought about by the influences of flat and decorative Japanese woodcut
> prints, stylized African ritual objects such as masks and fetishes. Also, one
> must mention the invention of the camera, its new ways of presenting a point
> of view and the impact that it had upon the traditional role of realism in the
> visual art of the Western World. In other words, I try to explain some of the
> forces which were at work to cause artists like Picasso and Braque to reject
> Western tradition and the Academy in favor of their particular flirtation with
> abstraction.
>
> Stage 3. At this point, I show a few slides by other abstractionists who went
> in other directions but were responding to many of the same urges for change
> and frustrations with tradition shared by Picasso and Braque. In other words,
> cubism was only one of several movements which were to take us into the
> experiments of abstraction in the early part of this Century. Useful examples
> of other directions toward abstraction in the same span of years can be found
> in work by Mondrian, the Kupkas, Kandinsky, Klee, Malevich Delaunay, Feininger
> and Modiglianni, to name a few. I try to point out that these folks were not
> cubists but were interested in abstraction. The next logical question
> is.....If they are not Cubists, what is Cubism.
>
> Stage 4. At this point, it is time to look at several examples of cubism to
> discover some of the design devices which were used in the construction of
> their paintings and collages.
>
> Although I listed some of these devices in an earlier conversation on this
> list, I will list them again because I use them as part of the lesson with my
> high school students and I try to use Cubist paintings and collages to expose
> the kids to at least one example of each device before they are expected to
> start their studio project on cubism.
>
> To my mind, Cubism seems to have been another step toward abstraction or non
> objectivity. It followed the contributions of assorted Post Impressionists and
> Impressionist artists.. The influences of flat and decorative Japanese woodcut
> prints, stylized African ritual objects such as masks and the effects which
> the invention of the camera had upon the traditional role of realism in the
> visual art of the Western World are well documented. All of these were working
> to encourage change and innovation. As a result the tendency to reject Western
> tradition and its Academy in favor of abstraction (or concerns of form rather
> then subject matter) were in the air in the late 1800s and early 1900s..
> Cubism was only one of several movements which were to take us into this
> Century, with revolutionary changes in the visual arts.
>
> Some design devices of cubism involve:
> 1. "Multiple points of view" in the same picture plane
> 2. "Shared edges" where the outside line of one shape also defines a second
> shape, sometimes inverted, so that negative and positive spaces are determined
> by your choice of dominant shape.
> 3. "Part for whole" where only parts of objects are defined and your mind
> fills in the rest of the object so it exists as a force or presence in the
> composition without being presented as complete.
> 4. "Continuity of line" where a line may be used to define the edge of a
> dominant shape but then extend on out beyond the edge of that shape to lock in
> and suggest the separation of the adjoining negative area into other parts.
> This has the effect of creating a unity between the positive and negative
> areas of the composition.
> 5. "Transparent planes" where one object can be seen through or drawn into
> another object. This device also adds to the unity of the formal composition.
> 6. A restricted, flat, "closet like" space which forces our attention to the
> surface of the composition.
> 7. Limited or "restricted color" which again forced attention to the surfaces
> of the composition where line, value and shape carried the composition.
> 8. Traditional spatial devices to aid in a sense of realism were rejected by
> the cubists [such as a perspective of color (warm expands while cool recedes),
> relative size, linear perspective, and atmospheric (aerial perspective)]
> Although they rejected many of the traditional spatial devices of the our
> traditional painting in the Western World, the Cubists chose overlap and the
> occasional use of vertical placement (things placed higher in the picture
> plane are represented as being deeper in space) to suggest a very limited
> sense of depth in most of their work.
> 9. Volumetric concerns are expressed using "simplified shapes" such as the
> cone, the cylinder, the cube as learned from Cezanne and African ritual
> objects which were being imported and shown in Europe in the late 1800s and
> early 1900s.
> 10. Picasso and Braque used distortion freely.
> 11. Later they began to introduced collage materials into painting and
> sometimes introduced the use of letters, words, and phrases into their works.
>
> In every case, the Cubists were interested in formal concerns over subject
> matter and, as a result, I find it hard to accept the suggestion that the
> cubist were after issues of realism.
>
> The lecture portion of the lesson can not be complete without mentioning that
> cubism was not static. It changed in many ways while it was developing and it
> was to have a variety of effects upon other artists and styles. For example,
> after the earliest work, the Cubists seemed to focus their interest on formal
> concerns and inventions rather then depend upon subjects which could present
> powerful symbols full of associative content. Subject matter became so
> fractured and removed from nature that mystery hangs in place of the earlier
> symbolism. Toward the end of the later "synthetic" period, the artist do an
> about face and seem to revert back to the reintroduction of subject,
> personality in the figures and mood in the pictures.
>
> Of course, a second way that cubism changed involved its early "Analytical"
> phase ( three years of analyzing, breaking down and destroying tradition in
> favor of the creation of new concepts of reality, of space and of structure).
> The second phase, introduced with the invention of the collage, came about
> around 1911-1912 and was called "synthetic cubism". This was a much longer
> period of development where visual and sculptural forms were constructed or
> built up using all kinds of experimental methods and processes. As this second
> stage continued, other artists like Gleizes, Gris and Leger joined the group.
> The images took on more enrichment of space, color, linear movement and
> texture. Some scholars speak of the later phases of the movement as an
> eclectic style and the artist's desertion of their earlier structural purity.
>
> Here are some links with a bit of info on the history of cubism.
> http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/art/styles.cubist.html
> http://www.tamu.edu/mocl/picasso/art1.html
> http://www.tamu.edu/mocl/picasso/what_cub.html
> http://www.art.unt.edu/ntieva/news/vol_6/issue2/95sprp05.htm
> http://watt.emf.net/wm/paint/auth/cezanne/style.html
> http://www.artsednet.getty.edu/education/teacherartexchange/resources/Sampler/e-a2.html
> From: rfromme (Robert Alexander Fromme)
>
> Subj: Re: Cubism lesson
> Date: 97-09-19 18:33:19 EDT
> From: shildret (Sandra Hildreth)
> I like to get students started on an understanding of Cubism by setting up a
> single object - like a watering can, and have them sketch it from different
> viewpoints (eye level, above, and below), in various positions (upright,
> sideways, etc.), and normal and close-up views. These might all be on 1 large
> piece of paper, or several papers. Then I have them grid their drawing(s) into
> 4" squares, cut the squares apart, and rearrange. They can omit squares,
> overlap some, flip some upside-down, etc., until they come up with a pleasing
> composition. The less talented kids often just paint or color over this
> collage, but the better students frequently just use it as a guide to drawing
> a new composition. I know this is probably not how Picasso and Braque actually
> worked, but it helps my students understand how analytical the Cubists were
> and how the overall composition (and how visually challenging it was) was more
> important than the traditional portrayal of 3-D objects on a 2-D surface. They
> also realize it was not easy to do - which helps counteract the common
> misconception that anyone can do abstract art.
> Sandra Hildreth, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid, NY 13660
>
> Subj: Re: cubism
> From: RWFiske
> I've had my (8th grade) students do realistic partner portraits, divide their
> 12x18 drawing paper into triangulated shapes, do tracings of selected portrait
> portions (repeated--partly--into the shapes). They then use all the leftover
> Cra-pas (earth tones) to add color(s) to their "Picasso Cubist Portraits".
> They received well deserved raves on the finished products. I hope my skeletal
> plan here is understandable--if not Ill be happy to delineate further if you
> let me know!
> Kathy Fiske, Farmwell Station Middle School, Ashburn, VA
>
> Subj: Re: cubism lesson
> From: sidmill.us (Sidnie Miller)
> Dear Kim--this applies to the any and all description--I do a Betty Edwards
> approach to drawing and have the kids do an upside-down copy of various master
> drawings of people. Then I discuss visual memory and how you solve
> relationships of lines and shapes in your right mind and you remember
> them--even though you're not aware of it in your all-powerful left brain. (I
> know that many of you believe the whole right-left thing is bunk--but it makes
> great sense to me). Then I have the kids draw the same picture again--either
> upside-down or rightside-up or any way they can. They almost all hate it and
> say well, alright, but this time I'm going to do it really fast and
> sloppy--often the 2nd drawing looks as good as the first although the kids are
> really surprised to discover this--I think it's because your right brain has
> already worked it all out. Anyway, the assignment is to cut each drawing into
> slices about 1/2 inch wide. The first drawing is cut lengthwise and the 2nd
> drawing is cut crosswise, then the kids weave the 2 drawings together. The
> result is quite interesting and really looks like a cubist work, although the
> results are accidental.
> Sid - Sidnie Miller, Elko, NV 89801
>
> Subj: cubism
> From: jibundy (John Bundy)
> I have had students draw several views of a still life as contour drawings.
> then I have them use a window or light box to trace two or three of the
> drawings on top of each other. this results in multiple views of the same
> subject. We finish by filling in the new shapes. John Bundy
>
> Subj: Museum Visit - Picasso
> Date: 98-02-16 17:52:42 EST
> From: PicasoLovr
> This is right up my alley. We're doing Picasso in grades 3rd through 5th. Two
> exciting lessons are oil pastel Picasso portraits and clay masks. Another art
> teacher in Martin County came up with drawing with oil pastels on black paper
> 12 x 18". Their non drawing hand traces their profile from the top of their
> forehead to their chin, while the drawing hand draws a line profile down the
> center of their page. I demo this for them on the board. One vertical side of
> the paper they have to draw realistically, while the other side of the drawing
> they can make eyes, nose and mouth very abstract. Patterns for the clothing
> and the background can be very patterned and decorative. We look at the
> "Weeping Woman" painting by Picasso for ideas.
>
> Clay masks are first rolled out on a roller table to a little less than 1/2"
> thickness. I stress drawing first before cutting out a shape. Pulling clay out
> and carving are also stressed. Abstract features on the face, pierced noses
> and earrings abound. I usually have them curl the masks slightly with bunched
> up newspapers underneath before they leave. I put in the holes for hanging and
> get their initials on the back. After they are fired, they paint them with
> tempera paints and attach a pipe cleaner to the mask to hang it. This last
> lesson I observed at another art ed. teacher's class and I adapted it to a
> Picasso lesson.
>
> Subj: Cubism Lessons (3D)
> Date: 98-03-01 20:13:28 EST
> From: rfromme (Robert Alexander Fromme)
> One of the principles of cubist forms involved multiple points of view. Why
> not have the kids draw simple contour outlines of each other's heads and
> shoulders from several points of view on scrap cardboard or poster board
> (side, 3/4 view, frontal, from top, from below, etc.) Then have them make a
> cardboard sculpture using glue or by slotting, or taping the cardboard
> shapes, creating three-dimensional portrait busts of each other. Bob, Robert
> Fromme <rfromme or <rfromme
>
> Subj: Cubism Lessons (3D)
> Date: 98-03-01 15:59:04 EST
> From: fastedy (David Zimmerman)
> Iíve been doing a five week unit on Portraits and Picasso (emphasis on Cubism)
> with 5th and 6th graders through Artist-in-the-Schools. I have each class for
> 5 double periods. We've done two 3-D projects. The first was a painted
> relief face made of foam core scraps I got from a local framer. We glued the
> pre-cut shapes onto heavy tag board, layering the scraps to create depth and
> deep spaces. Later it was painted with black acrylic (to get a base coat and
> to get into all the recessed areas). Then we dry brushed lighter colors on
> top. The result was very Cubist in appearance.
>
> The second was a small clay bust. I encouraged the kids to show more than one
> view of the face in this one. Some made several faces around the sides and
> back of the small sculpture. Some kids had to hollow out the form if it was
> too thick at the end. I didn't allow "drawing" in the clay. All forms have
> to be pushed IN or pulled OUT.
>
> I used an excellent book called "The Sculpture of Picasso" by Roland Penrose,
> Museum of Modern Art, which I got from our State Library. I made
> transparencies from this catalogue--the pictures were all in black and
> white--which were a great inspiration to the students. If you can get this
> book, I'm sure a lot of projects will come to you as there are many forms of
> wonderful 3-D work in it. I think the success of this unit came from looking
> long and hard at the work of Picasso and using a variety of mediums for our
> projects--just as he did.
>
> Let me know if you want more details about these projects. Deb Rosenbaum
> Always take time to stop and smell the roses... and sooner or later, you'll
> inhale a bee.
>
> David Zimmerman wrote: in my curent unit on Picasso I included the Stravinsky
> drawing only because I already had a transperency of it. I used it to show a
> progression in Picasso's work toward abstraction. Compared with some of his
> other portrait drawings of the time, the big hands and abstract lines emerging
> in the pant legs and chair show a good lead into other more cubist...
>
> Subj: Re: Picasso Unit
> Date: 98-03-03 11:38:15 EST
> From: wkrueger (Walter Krueger)
> Teaching music, I also make a Picasso/Stravinsky comparison. Stravinsky is my
> "Picasso" of music. Like Picasso (they were friends as I understand it),
> Stravinsky was an original. Both had a long and productive life. Both went
> through phases and style changes in their careers and were leaders in each
> field!
>
> So, don't be afraid of the analogy between Picasso and Stavinsky. There is
> more there than meets the eye! I'd like to see a slide show of Picasso works
> accompanied by Stravinsky music! Now, wouldn't that be something! --Walter
> Krueger, Portland OR
>
> Subj: Cubism
> Date: 98-03-03 19:58:54 EST
> From: XCPFULC (Fulcher, Pamela)
>
> Thank-you all for the GREAT ideas on cubism and Picasso! I have printed the
> ideas out and started my CUBISTIC file. For the last project in my unit we are
> going to create larger-
> than-life,3-D,cardboard instruments using the cubist style. I will try to
> round up something by Stravinsky to play during construction. Great ideas and
> thanks for sharing. Pam Fulcher

Wow! Thank you so much! Sorry it took me so long to respond I haven't
checked my e-mail for a few weeks. Wonderful lessons, thank you, and
everyone for such great ideas! Lisa