Sculpting a Modern Art Chair with van Gogh & Gauguin
How it works:
To enhance students' understanding of the Impressionist movement in art history, this unit follows A Walk in an Impressionist Garden with Monet and
van Gogh. Students make the connection between
Impressionism and Post-Impressionism and its leading figures--van Gogh
and Gauguin. To further their understanding of the Modern Art
movement, they see van Gogh in a different light--compared with Paul
Gauguin--and explore Post-Impressionism and specifically van Gogh's
"Gauguin's Chair" and "Van Gogh's Chair." They explore Internet sites
and take a virtual tour of "Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the
South." By viewing Internet images, classroom posters, and text
illustratons, students become familiar with the artwork of van Gogh, as he traveled to
the South of France, and Gauguin's work when the two artists met there.
Students interpret the unique style of these great painters and see
their influence on the
development of modern art. They also view slides of famous modern
art works by Picasso, Klee, Dubuffet, Close, Johns, Pollock, O'Keeffe,
and Warhol. Finally, the students choose a modern artist whose work appeals to
them, and they create a small three-dimensional cardboard chair that will be painted in that artist's style.
This unit fulfills the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts,
English Language Arts, and Technology. Students actively engage in the processes that constitute
creation in the visual arts, are knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources
available, respond to and analyze works of art while connecting the individual work to other works and to aspects of human endeavor and
thought, and develop an understanding of the personal and cultural
forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape
past and present cultures. They read, write, listen, and speak for information and
understanding, literary response, and critical analysis and
evaluation, and they apply technological knowledge and
skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.
Required materials include a computer with
Internet access, a VCR and television to view the video "Van Gogh's van Goghs," a slide projector with
view artwork, and various books and magazines. Cardboard and
paints will also be needed.
Sculpting a Modern Art Chair with van Gogh & Gauguin was created for a seventh grade major art class.
However, it is easily adaptable to all age groups: K-12, after-school classes,
community organization and senior citizen groups, and college-level courses.
Through the use of technology and the Internet, students visit the collection at the van Gogh museum in
Amsterdam and go on a virtual trip at the site "Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the
South." Visits to their favorite artists' homes, galleries, and museums provide valuable information on their
lives and works. This is a wonderful motivational tool for students to
design their own modern art chairs.
This unit can usually be completed in one month. Library and computer lab visits aid in the
exploration of these artists. If students have Internet access at home, this lends itself to assigning homework to
gather additional research and background information. There are many valuable books, videos, and CDs that appeal to all the senses and
stimulate interest and creativity in all students.
About the teacher:
Lori Langsner is an art teacher at Myra S. Barnes Intermediate
School 24. She has always shared
her passion for art with her students and is constantly looking for
new ways to utilize technology. She is one of the original writers of
the TeachNet Grant Project for her school and she recently received a
TeachNet Grant for A Walk in an Impressionist Garden with Monet
and van Gogh.