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SDSU Art Form and Content Discussion

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Full Question

The way an artist manipulates form (medium, visual elements, design principles) in a
work of art directly impacts the content, or how the work is understood by the viewer.
Moreover, great masters such as Donatello, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh often pushed
the boundaries of materials to explore creative approaches that were very different from
prevailing trends.
Many artists after World War II also became disenchanted with conventional
approaches to making art. They couldn’t see themselves painting something as banal
as a vase of flowers or a reclining nude after witnessing the atomic bomb, global
destruction, and the death of millions during the Holocaust. As a result, artists began to
look for new materials and approaches to help them celebrate their personal identity
and better express how they felt about the world. New content called for a new
expressive approach.
Assemblage was the most important new approach, but it was not a medium in the
traditional sense. Assemblage artists work extensively with found, recycled, and
discarded materials. Pablo Picasso, Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, Bruce
Conner, Betye Saar, and Edward Kienholz, among others, are all notable artists who
worked in Assemblage.
To help inform your Discussion post, please watch this short video about Assemblage:

Your Assignment
In this Discussion, you will post a 500-750 word analysis in which you examine how the
artist’s unique approach to their medium impacts the meaning of the work of art. This
format requires you to condense your ideas and focus only on those that are directly
relevant to the topic.
This Discussion is worth 100 points. Please read the Grading Rubric before you
Due Date
● Your first post to this Discussion is due by Sunday, April 5, at 11:59 p.m.
● Your responses to posts by at least two different classmates are due by
Sunday, April 12, at 11:59 p.m.
Step One: Select an Artist
In each of the images listed at the bottom of this page, the artist has used materials in a
unique way that makes a powerful visual statement.
Before you make your selection or write your post, scroll all the way to the bottom of this
page and review ​all​ the images and linked content and videos. Then select a work of art
that you find engaging or piques your curiosity. Write about the image because you
Step Two: Post in the Class Discussion
After you select one of the of images, organize your 500-750 word analysis into four
categories and follow the instructions listed below. It may be helpful to use headings in
your Discussion post.
Clearly state and describe the subject. What type of subject is it? In general, what is the
story, or narrative (if applicable)?
Form and Content – Medium
Clearly describe the artist’s unique approach to using the materials and why they chose
those materials. Explain how this approach contributes to making a powerful visual
statement and reinforces the meaning. In other words, what was the artist trying to say
or express by doing it this way?
Form and Content – Visual Element or Principle of Design
Clearly identify and describe the most dominant visual element or design principle used
in the artwork. Explain how it contributes to making a powerful visual statement and
reinforces the meaning. In other words, how did the artist’s use of this element
strengthen what the artist was trying to say or express?
Select 1 Artist of the following to do the assignment on
Tara Donovan

Alex Couwenberg

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