Thursday, April 20, 2017

FIFTH GRADE . . . Picasso animals

Animal Sculpture by Matthew

Fifth graders explored abstract art with our latest sculpture project. Inspired by the shapes and forms of animals in nature, we built an abstract version of our favorite animal using wood, string and cardboard.

Pablo Picasso changed the way we all view and accept what we consider to be "Art." His brilliant and influential ideas went far beyond just painting a face with features in the wrong place. As a well trained realistic artist, he could create a very recognizable and beautiful study of the human face. He was trained in anatomy and in figure drawing. He understood how to represent the world on paper in a traditional way. Why would an artist paint a face as strangely abstract as he is best known for doing, if he could draw like this image below?

Realistic Sketch by Picasso
Abstract painting by Picasso
Fifth graders compared these two images in class and most students thought he was just having fun with the shapes and colors, or perhaps he was looking for a way to be different. We saw many examples at the end of the 19th century of how art and architecture started to pull away from realistic, practical forms. The world was changing and Pablo Picasso was a dramatic leader in our changing vision. His cubist portrait with features drawn in strange places was a creative experiment in how to portray a 3-D person on a flat surface. Why would you try to make something look like it has dimension on a flat canvas, if the surface is flat? He broke all the rules as he tried to make sense out of these revolutionary ideas.

Fifth graders broke all the rules with their sculptures. Using wooden blocks, they arranged shapes in a creative way, inspired by the features of their favorite animal. Here are some of our abstract sculptures. Can you tell what animals these are based on?

Animal Sculpture by Jason
Animal Sculpture by Lindsay

Animal Sculpture by Alexandra
Animal Sculpture by Logan

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Thank you for your thoughts!
Barbara Levine
Ranney Lower School Art