AP Art History
Unit 1: Mastering the Approach
How do we talk with a work of art, and how does it talk to us?
Why do some subjects, by artist from different times and places, look so similar, while others look so different?
Why don’t we always agree about what we see?
|(Day 1/Monday) What Is it Art? Prior to class, students read the beginning section in Art History, “What is Art?”, then watch the Colbert Nation videos. In class, students blog for five minutes regarding whether the portrait of Stephen Colbert is art.
Partners discuss their responses, then as a class we discuss the question, What is art? The instructor explains the contextual background of King Menkaura and Queen, including its function as a substitute body for the ka, then asks whether it is art since that was not its intended function We discuss ways that its medium, function, form, and context intersect We then discuss Spiral Jetty, the Terra Cotta Warriors, and Fountain using the same approach
|(Day 2/Wednesday) Tradition and Change:
Students read sections of Art History on Anavysos Kouros, Kritios Boy, Riace Warrior, Doryphoros, Hermes and Dionysos, and Seated Boxer before class Student groups of three invent and sketch a new Peanuts character, describing details that individualize their characters and ones that make them appear as “part of the gang” Groups display their sketches We explore naturalistic, idealized, and stylized in the context of Peanuts characters Referencing these terms along with tradition and innovation, students analyze features of tradition in the three Egyptian works We then compare King Menkaura and Queen with the Greek Anavysos Kouros. We use Kritios Boy, Riace Warrior, Doryphoros, Hermes and Dionysos, and Seated Boxer to explore innovation, tradition, influence, and change.
|(Day 3/Friday) Differing Interpretations: Students read the Miner article before class
Miner, Horace Mitchell “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” American Anthropologist 58:3 (June 1956) Accessed July 2, 2013
We use this as a springboard for discussion of how outsiders can easily misinterpret works of art removed from their cultural contexts.
A piece of hard candy is displayed and students are asked (1) whether it is art, (2) what their response is on seeing it, (3) what its function is.
The González-Torres candy dump photo is shared and I ask students to read and analyze statements from the artist, descriptions of audience responses, and several reviews of the work I then repeat the same questions.
We look then at the African work and the Mayan work, discussing potential misinterpretations by outsiders and the meaning of the works within their cultural contexts
Free Painting Project
Get pre-approval of your sketch, before drawing out your composition onto your canvas.
Begin painting, using Acrylics as your medium.
If Students acted like Teachers
What is Art For?
Word Wall: Gesso, Mat Board, Smock, Logo
Begin sketching ideas for Personal Logo Design