TEACHING IN THE GALLERIESour students were from Landmark High School and Chelsea Vocational High School Title of Class: The Use of Materials in Art Students: 6 boys (all from Chelsea Vocational High School) 2 girls (Landmark High School) Taught by: Illyana & Tiffany Fall 2010
Sikkema Jenkins & Co.Jorge Queiroz ExhibitionClass #1 - October 22, 2010, taught by Tiffany We visited a show at the Sikkema Jenkins & Co. gallery to see the exhibition of Jorge Queiroz. This show was chosen because it was a good introduction into the theme of the teaching in the galleries class which is the different ways artists use materials.Queiroz worked in pencil, charcoal, paint, and color pencils. Also, Queiroz used the materials ina variety of ways and as a result created different types of marks. In this lesson we discussed the materials and marks made by Queiroz. Each student was to go around the exhibit and write down ten words in their sketchbooks which came to mind when looking at the art. A few of the words mentioned were “disturbed”, “messed-up”, and “dark.” I asked the students why they felt they way they did about the artwork and they said it was the dark use of graphite and the imagery which made it seem so dark. Then each student was asked to make a drawing which had a feeling similar to that ofQueirozworks while simultaneously copying his marks. All of the students participated in the conversation and said they liked the work. They did not actually articulate why they liked it.
The students were given graphite pencil and then charcoal to use tomake a drawing which used similar themes and marks as Queiroz. Afterwards they shared their drawings with each other.All of the boys said they preferred to work with charcoal because it allowed for shading when drawing. The girls said they preferred pencil because it was less messy. After the students shared their drawings we all went outside of the gallery and Illyana and I told them about the theme of the class we were teaching and what we planned to explore in the coming classes. At the end of class I asked them to really think about the type of shows they want to see and to write in their sketchbook to discuss next week.
James Cohan GalleryRoxy Paine ExhibitionClass #2 - October 29, 2010, taught by Illyana We arrived at James Cohan and I began with giving them information about Roxy Paine, what the installation was made of and how it was constructed. They were then given several minutes to fully explore the sculpture by walking around, over, through and under it being sure to take note of recognizable objects and how it is put together. I went around and had them make a few sketches of any area they found interesting and write one word they would use to describe the installation.
Once they had finished, I asked them to share their descriptive word. Roberto answered “complex” and explained that there was so much going on throughout the whole thing. Eddy added that it was “alive” because it is one continual structure and mentioned “the lungs at one end and the engine at the other makes it seem like it is breathing and alive” I repeated their responses to everyone and then shared my own word and why I chose it. We were short on time and I was only able to ask them one of my questions, what do you think about the material he used? Does it enhance or take away from the sculpture? All the students agreed that they liked the material but Kevin responded, “I like it because you can’t figure out what it is”. Another student Tony said he thought the material added to it because “It makes it looks like a machine” As we were waking back to 14th street, I asked the boys what they thought of the exhibit and they said they liked it, Vicente added “It was cool, mad different.”
Lehmann Maupin GalleryErwin Wurm Exhibition Mitchell-Innes & Nash GalleryAnthony Caro Exhibition & Class #3 - November 5, 2010, taught by Tiffany I took the students to see two shows based on figurative work. The artist Caro (on the right) made abstract sculptures from metal and they were loosely based on the figure. Wurm (on the left) made sculptures representational figures. The two shows depicted the figure in the work in very different ways using different materials, and the feeling/content from each piece was very different. I asked each student to describe the shows/ Roberto said the Caro show “was very geometric” and Kevin said the Wurm show was “playful”.
The director spoke to the students briefly about the history of the artist and the content of his work. After we listened to the director I had the students write about and draw the sculptures. At the Lehmann Maupin Gallery we saw the work of Erwin Wurm. The sculptures were made of glass, metal, wool, and canvas. Wurm'swork was more humorous and colorful than Caro's work. A gallery associate spoke to the students about the work of Wurm and focused on his sense of humor and use of materials. The students wrote and made a drawing of Wurm's work. After we left the Wurm exhibit I showed the students the video called "Can't Stop" by the Red Hot Chili Peppersbecause it was inspired by Wurm'sone minute sculptures. After they viewed the video I asked them to break into groups and come up with their own Wurminspired idea. The students enjoyed themselves and they learned about the use of materials in art. After this project I asked them to write a few more Wurm inspired ideas in their sketchbooks. Also, I asked them to write questions they would like to ask someone about their career, like if they were interviewing them. I gave them this assignment to prepare them for he talk with an artist. The students felt the Caro show (on the left) had a more serious feeling to it and thought it seemed like it was made by an old person, while the Wurm show (on the right) was more humorous and young feeling. The class said they enjoyed the Wurm show more because they liked the colors, humor, and the way it related to pop culturelike the Red Hot Chili Peppers music video.
Barry Friedman Ltd.Sergei Isupov ExhibitionClass # 4 - November 12, 2010, taught by Illyana We gathered in the lobby of the gallery before we entered and I told them about the artist (Sergei Isupov), the exhibit and what I wanted them to do. There was a lot to see and take in at the show so I gave them a considerable amount of time to view every piece in the small gallery. While they were looking I asked them to choose a drawing or sculpture and sketch it; they also listed any themes or patterns they saw in the work.
When we regrouped I asked the students, what themes or patterns did you see? The class remained quite for a while until Eddy said that he saw “a lot of loneliness and sadness, but he doesn’t use dark colors, he mostly uses colors that are bright.” Amy responded with “I don’t think they’re all sad because there are some pieces that show love” I asked if there were any more themes or patterns and Vicente and Kevin both mentioned that there was “a lot of nudity”. I also asked the group if they thought Sergei was telling a story through one particular piece called History of Lovers. Only Katherine answered, saying, “ I don’t know what kind of story he is telling. I see a woman in the forest holding a baby in the front with people in the back but I don’t know.” At the end of the gallery visit we started talking about graffiti art. While I told them about my “graffiti” past Kevin asked, “have you done any tagging? Where?” and Vicente added, “What was your tag name? What did you write?” It was an interesting experience to have the tables turned with them asking me questions.
The Asia SocietyYoshitomo Nara ExhibitionClass #5 - November 19, 2010, taught by Tiffany The Yoshitomo Nara Exhibition at the Asia Society was chosen mainly because it related to pop culture (and this is something they requested to see more of). Nara was heavily influenced by music, especially punk and rock music. All the students seem to be interested in music so I thought they would like it. In addition, the exhibition was chosen because Nara used different types of materials to execute his ideas. Before entering the show I showed them a music video by Shogun Knife, a punk bank which Nara loves. I asked the students what they thought of the music video and they did not like it very much.
On the left the students are looking at Nara’s record collection. In this same room Nara hung some large plates that were painted with lyrics from different songs Nara liked. The students were given a project similar to the one just mentioned. Each student was handed a circle shaped paper, which was about the size of their palm, and they were to write any music lyric and then draw an image which related to it. Before they started drawing I asked them to tell me why and how they could tell Nara was influenced by music. The students answered because of the use of “music notes” and “guitars”. I also asked what they thought of the show and they said it reminded them a lot of the work they see kids doing today, like Manga and anime. Previously Vicente had requested to see anime inspired shows so I was glad to hear they thought this reminded them of anime. As a homework assignment I told them to make their own character similar to Nara’s drawings.
Yancey Richardson GalleryRachel Perry Welty Exhibition Claire Oliver GalleryMichael Anderson Exhibition & Class #6 - December 3, 2010, taught by Illyana When the class arrived at Yancey Richardson gallery I gave them a brief description of Rachel Perry Welty’s photographs. I wanted them to focus on writing this week so they were told to observe the pictures closely and to write down a few words they would use to describe the photos. I did the same with them at Claire Oliver gallery. I spoke with them about Michael Anderson made note of how he is into graffiti and uses it in his collages. As they were looking at the work, I asked them to write another three words in their sketchbooks and to make note of anything they have a question about.
We gather around and share the three words they chose for the Anderson exhibit. Katherine said the work was “busy and confusing, it has a lot of different pictures to have to look at” another student Roberto noticed “he used the same image in one picture” he explained where he sees it in one of the collages “he uses the same picture the guy holding the gun three times” I asked them if they could recognize any of the images that were used in the work. Vicente pointed to Derek Jeter and Katherine said she saw the sign for the number 4 train. As we were leaving the gallery, I asked them How is Welty’s work similar to Andersons? Katherine said that they both “used things that can be found anywhere, she used house stuff and he used posters from the street”. I also asked if it was easier to connect to Welty or Anderson’s work. Kevin and Vicente liked Anderson’s because they said it had “more urban images” Katherine liked Welty’s because “I kind of could understand her images more, like the tags and the cereal boxes” she then asked me “How does she put herself in her images? How does she do the background?” I did not have the answer but I told her that it was an interesting question and that we could try and find out. When we arrived at Pratt, we sat in the lobby on the second floor and I played them several of Phil Hansen’s YouTube videos based in his Goodbye Art series.
Interview with Sketone on SkypeClass # 7 - December 10, 2010, taught by Tiffany The students had asked previously to learn more about graffiti art. I found an artist named Sketone who was willing to talk to the students about his career. I decided to talk to Sketone on skype since he lived in Connecticut and could not come see us in NYC. Unfortunately their were some sound issues with the computer and the skypevideo did not work correctly. Even still we talked to him and Sketone shared how he got into art and the development of his career. Such as, technology is advancing at a rapid pace and as an artist he has to keep up with it to continue getting work. Vicente asked Sketone “if he had beef with any other graffiti artists” and Kevin asked “if he was all city.” The questions they asked made me realize I speak a very different language than them but I was very proud and glad they felt comfortable asking Sketone questions. I asked Sketone to tell use a little more about thoughts on technology in art. He mentioned the use of the program Illustrator as a main part of what he has to use now, and all of the boys in the class were familiar with the program. In their sketchbooks I told them to design their own toy like Sketone’s toys. Also, at the end of the class I asked the students how this class differed from the gallery class they took last year and Joshua said ”this year they saw stuff that they could relate to and wanted to see.” Joshua’s comment meant a lot to me because I tried hard to give them what they wanted and I was always asking them what they liked and what they wanted to learn more about. Plus I was constantly asking them what kind of career they wanted. This class was successful in getting to know the students but art making was not incorporated in the class.
Final Reflection & FeedbackClass #8 - December 17, 2010, taught by Illyana I prepared several Internet links to art blogs and artist websites and a slide show of images from all the exhibits we had seen over the past two months. I also made an evaluation/reflection for the students to fill out that would tell Tiffany and me about their experience in our class. I began with showing them different links to artist blogs and websites that I frequently visit. I explained to them that it could be a source of inspiration, used for reference or just to learn about different artists’. Shortly after this, I gave the students the evaluations. While they filled them out, I showed slides of the images from our gallery visits to refresh their memories and give students who were absent a chance to see what they missed. There was not much dialogue in the way that it had been in previous classes so I will use some student’s answers on the evaluation as a way to show questions and responses. One question was, what were your favorite visits? Tony wrote, “Erwin Wurm. The color catch my attention and the body parts” and also included “Yoshitomo. Anime” Amy stated that, “I remember when we went to the Asian Society museum, I liked that the artist used bright colors to express sad emotion.” Another question I asked was, how was it to have a sketchbook for class? Do you feel it was helpful or unnecessary? Kevin wrote that, “I feel the sketchbook was definitely useful for our class because it inspired us to want to draw” Katherine said that it was useful because “It reminds me of what we did each week” I also asked them, Do you feel you learned about different materials you can use to make art? Has this inspired you to try different materials? Joshua wrote yes, “I learned to use charcoal and I started to use it in most of my drawings” Vicente said, “yes, I learned many kinds of materials used to make/create art.”
Drawings from students sketchbooks Illyana and I asked our students to continue drawing outside of class and these were some of the drawings they made.