Art 3 – Abstraction, African American artists, and painting from collages – Due 3/26


1. Watch the following 2 videos on the history and appeal of abstraction for African American artists.  Notice especially how some of them connect it to what they see in the external reality and how others are more concerned with emotional gesture and the internal reality.  After you watch both videos, comment on what paintings appeal to you in terms of the forms, composition, and color.  Think about the use of visual space, near and far, and the way your eye is motivated to scan the painting. Consider how they “organize the visual space.”

2. In the next video, look at the magazine collages and how students translate them into paintings.  Listen to their discussion of the process and listen to the instructor’s discussion of the way to think about abstraction, referencing it as a “story” with “characters” that are sometimes only a squeek, squeel, or a grunt. Notice the wide variety of marks and approaches to abstraction from specific shapes, patterns, lines and groupings of lines, atmospheric space, gradations and blended transitions of color. After the video, click on the link for examples of highschool student’s paintings from magazine collages. Then comment on what interests you most about this project, whether or not you want to organize the collage randomly, around a theme, idea, or emotion, whether you want any identifiable imagery even though it is primarily an abstraction, and explain the goals and intentions you will embrace as you start this project

highschool artists’ paint magazine collages


3 responses »

  1. 1) We really appreciated that one painting with the very vivid magenta and the royal blues. The Magenta covers most of the page and the rest of the patterns take up a small part of the middle. We love the color composition and the space arrangement; the magenta color appears to be in front and the other color patterns seem to be in the background. Our eyes focus directly on the patterns in the center of the painting.

    2) “You don’t come up with a painting by thinking of what you want to do, you come up with a painting by coming up with a step, and then reacting to that and reacting to that.”
    Sedem thinks this project is cool, and she likes the idea of transferring a collage into a beautiful painting. “I like that it is more spontaneous because I get very discouraged at myself when I plan to extensively and when it doesn’t turn out the way I want it, I get bogged down.”
    Yimei is interested in creating my own color composition. “I like how some paintings have very smooth transitions between the colors. I think this time I’m going to get away from my tendency of drawing identifiable imagery, instead I will focus on color composition, and be totally abstract.”

  2. I googled Beauford Delaney and found the following link. I really like that image because of the color combination and the movement of the splotches and splatters. It reminds me of dappled light in a forest. I also like that on two of the edges the viewer can see some of the paper beneath. It creates a counterbalance to the splotches of yellow found towards the center and it shows the interesting shape of the dark area. It gives the composition more dimension as well.
    I liked the concept of art being like a story. No matter how much planning goes into a picture, the best art occurs when the painter is in constant conversation with the composition. I am not yet entirely sure what I want to do for my abstraction. Regardless, I want to pay close attention to movement and color. I would also like to achieve a strong sense of dimensionality and space.

  3. 1. I really loved the vivid subtlety in Norman Lewis’ non-objective and representational abstractions. His work seems to merge this balance between a vivid yet simple color palette and more modern abstraction techniques.
    2. I really love the artist who totally changed her collages and what she said about paper and painting being such different media. They’re very similar in the sense that they’re 2d planes you have to make your own, but the technical skills and creative difference between collaging before painting and going from drawing to painting are immense. I really like the notion of just running with what my painting/collage turns into and not have a preconceived notion of my work. I would like to work on deviating from my original plan and getting the kind of movement that Norman Lewis gets in his work.

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