Our conceptions of abstract painting may lie in a romantic notion of expressionism, the lofty spirituality of intuitive painters, or a cold calculated sense of execution found in minimalism. We may even feel that in today's pluralistic age of art making that abstraction may only serve the whims of dealers and collectors in the market. I would argue that the practice of abstract painting can be extremely radical, allowing for endless possibilities and manifestations of images through the act of painting. Sustaining this practice expands the mind and material understanding of the maker.
This course is for the student looking for a hands on investigation into the methods and material practices of abstraction. We will focus on the tools, techniques, and conceptual methods employed by abstract painters through time to build a foundation for beginning a new body of abstract work, or enhancing a student's practice already in motion. Attitudes and Actions could easily stand for motives and techniques, as we will supplement our studio work with readings from artist interviews, critics, and art historians from the past and present. We will learn how these artists approached their work and how we can apply their lessons to our own work without simply stealing their pictorial devices for our own use. We discuss the work of seminal abstractionist such as Juan Miro, Arshile Gorky, Richard Diebenkorn, Cy Twombly, Willem DeKooning, Philip Guston, Amy Sillman, Bill Jensen, Charlene von Heyl, Robert Gober, and Per Kirkeby. As we progress we will have an open dialogue allowing for all types of fuel for speculation of abstract painting, including poetry, film, philosophy, new media, etc.
This course will be divided into three sections dealing with three time periods of abstraction, to give structure to the readings and assignments. These include Past forms of Abstraction(Modernism and it's offshoots), Contemporary forms of Abstraction, and finally Speculative forms of Abstraction. Slide lectures and readings will accompany each section.