Monthly Archives: August 2017

Photo 1 – Photograms


Read the following article

Man Ray to Thomas Ruff

In  your  journal, 1  page, handwritten or typed

1. comment on how Photograms changed Man Ray’s career.  How did his work compare to Fox Talbot’s or Christian Shad’s work?

2. Explain how his work caught on and the role that composition and choice of materials played.

3. Does Ray’s abuse of women or his evasiveness about his Jewish background cause you to look at his work any differently?

4. How has Ruff has updated photograms with digital technology?

5.  Read the links about Moholy Nagy:

6. From these sites (and others on a google search), print the photogram you find most aesthetically pleasing.

7. Comment and explain why you like that photogram and how you think it was made.


Art 3 – Social/Political Content in Art – Guston and Catlett – due 9/13


1. In your sketchbook, generate ideas in lists or mind maps to explore issues that are important to you.  List things about society, culture, gender, race, the environment, education, consumerism, commercialization, industrialization, etc.
Keep in mind, this is not an assignment to create a poster or slogan and it is not limited to particular time or a specific person. Translate your ideas into larger themes such as greed/oppression/equality/justice/human rights, etc.

Then, after you come up with content ideas, brainstorm the images or symbols to represent these things. Start thinking visually and working on design and visual impact to make your image timeless so that it can be applicable to other times in history rather than just September 2017.

2. Look and write 3 main responses to Guston’s work in the following link:

3. Listen to the following conversation and write a reaction and response to what he says about painting and the creative process.

4. In the article below, read and list at least 3 important points of Guston’s historic context and at least 3 ideas about the evolution of his style (the visual strategies and characteristics – the look, the visual features).

5. Another important artist concerned with social content was Elizabeth Catlett.

Summarize at least 3 points about her history and 3 points about her style (focus on the prints and paintings) from the 3 articles and links below:

As you create a work addressing meaningful content with imagery of your choice, you will use mixed media and work on a ground.  Make thumbnails and explore ideas thoroughly before you start. Review the 3 sites below as reference for your media and methods. Makes some notes on your ideas and inspiration from these sites.

Art 2 – Pattern, Decoration, and Contour – Robert Kushner – due 9/13


1. In your sketchbook, take notes on the artist and his art:

Pattern and Decoration

Robert Kushner at D.C. Moore Gallery

2. Take notes on the paragraph right above Kushner’s “Night Garden” 2000, explaining why some critics rejected the Pattern & Decoration movement:

Art and Perception – Pattern and Decoration

3. Take notes on interesting aspects from this account, starting with “The Beginnings with Goldin” until “Meanwhile Back in New York” (p. 13-16):

Pattern and Decoration: An Ideal Vision in American Art 1975-1985, by Amy Swarz

4. For this project (Unit 2 and Creative Extension), continue researching and sketching themes of interest in your sketchbook, focusing on Pattern & Decoration and Kushner’s work.

Photo 1 – Reading photos and the 1963 March on Washington


From the series Mad Men, an ad pitch for the Kodak Carousel product: This provides an introduction to considering the role of nostalgia in a photograph’s appeal (as well as the role of nostalgia in this television show’s appeal.)  By the way, also be sure to notice the style of photography in the filming of the show as well. How many times do they use the silhouette?

Look at the following iconic photos from the March on Washington, 1963.

(for quick reference, from On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., for a political rally known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Organized by a number of civil rights and religious groups, the event was designed to shed light on the political and social challenges African Americans continued to face across the country. The march, which became a key moment in the growing struggle for civil rights in the United States, culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a spirited call for racial justice and equality.)

Photos from March on Washington

Consider how each of these photos tells a story. Specifically, focus on “who” is in the photo, “what” emotions and ideas are expressed, and “how” the photographer made artistic choices.

Does nostalgia play a role in how we see these photos?

Do any other “filters” play a role in how we see these photos?

Look at the images slowly and choose one (other than one with King actually in it) which best conveys the emotions and ideals inspired by King’s presence in Washinton? Share your ideas about your “reading” of the photo and how it signifies that important event in history.

Here is the background story to one image that does this.