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Re: Clyfford Still exhibition and review: DBAE-- how does this work?


Date: Sat Sep 29 2001 - 17:39:59 PDT

I teach Art Criticism as 3 different formats- this way I could break it down
by grade level. I begin by presentinting the technical or formal context to
my beginning Art 1 students. Here we look at art in terms of how it is made.
 We break down the piece in terms of the Elements and Principles. Media and
technique and application is discussed during this segment. The next level
of criticism I introduce is the Social Context. This is where we look at
society and its influence on the art. We try and understand the "why" of
various pieces and in some cases the information presented within the piece.
  What is this telling us? What beliefs does this infer? Looking at this
portrait, what socio-economic class would you put the subject. Why do you
think this woman allowed Matisse to paint a green stripe down the center of
her face?
          The final segment I present is the "personal" context which is
divided into two sections. I first discuss the background of the artist
(necessary to research)- and discuss how artwork can be influenced through
the personal experience (ie. VanGogh, Kahlo). Then we look at the viewers
personal interpretation- and what effect (if any) does this piece have on
them. How it makes them feel -what experiences can they recall from viewing
the piece.
       Many educators take the personal context and introduce that first
during elementary years. I teach High School and find it very hard to get
them away (art 1 students) from that mentality of - I like that because it
makes me feel good. I find that they have to "mature" a bit before they are
able to elaborate on that -intellectually. Often times, the personal views
overlap the technical and social contexts -so at a higher level of
discussion, I am not trying to defend my segmentation of Art Criticism. The
thought processes are more dimensional.
       This is how I feel I could best teach criticism -because I believe I
look at art in these ways. But for you to teach the criticism concept, you
must analyze the way you view art. Simplify those concepts and present that
information to your students. There are a ton of books out there that
discuss the concept- good luck (hope this helps a bit)
Kathy in Kalamazoo